The Utah Department of Health, through the Medicaid program, has expanded medical coverage to all pregnant women and children under 1 year of age whose family incomes are below the federal poverty level.

Early prenatal care dramatically decreases the number of problem pregnancies and deliveries of low birth weight infants, said Suzanne Dandoy, department executive director.Low birth weight can lead to expensive specialized medical care or to infant mortality. Medical coverage during the first year of life increases the chance for continuing good health for infants.

Eligibility for this new Medicaid coverage is based on the federally established poverty level. Pregnant women whose incomes are below that level and children less than one year old whose net family income are below that level meet the basic requirements.

Pregnant women who qualify will receive Medicaid benefits for the entire term of pregnancy plus two full months following the delivery.

For children one year and under, Medicaid benefits may be lost if the family income exceeds the poverty level.

For more information, contact the Utah Department of Health, Division of Health Care Financing at 538-6155 or roll-free at 1 (800) 662-9651.

Available Medicaid bendfits

The net monthly income levels for different family sizes are:

Family Size Monthly Income Level

2 $ 645

3 808

4 971

5 2,135

6 1,298