Information on NMHPA and other recent health care laws is also available on the Department of
Labor’s website (www.dol.gov/dol/pwba) and the Department of Health and Human Services’s
The Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 (NMHPA) (Pub. L. 104-
204) was enacted on September 26, 1996 to provide protections for mothers and their newborn
children with regard to hospital lengths of stay following childbirth.1 In section 602 of NMHPA,
Congress declared its findings that:
(1) the length of post-delivery hospital stay should be based on the unique characteristics of each mother and her newborn child, taking into consideration the health of the mother, the health and stability of the newborn, the ability and confidence of the mother and the father to care for their newborn, the adequacy of support systems at home, and the access of the mother and her newborn to appropriate follow-up health care; and (2) the timing of the discharge of a mother and her newborn child from the hospital should be made by the attending provider in consultation with the mother.
Provisions substantially similar to those in NMHPA were later added to the Internal Revenue
Code of 1986 (Code) by the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA ’97) (Pub. L. 105-34), which was
enacted on August 5, 1997. All references hereafter to “NMHPA” include the relevant provisions
of TRA ’97.
NMHPA was incorporated into the administrative framework established by Titles I and
IV of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (Pub. L. 104-
1 NMHPA adds to protections already established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (Pub. L. 104-191). Among other things, HIPAA provides that a group health plan and a group health insurance issuer may not impose any preexisting condition exclusion relating to pregnancy as a preexisting condition.