Low-Income Doulas Now Available in San Francisco and New York

After numerous articles published by outlets including the New York Times and Vox highlighted the shocking disparities in health outcomes for mothers & babies of color compared with white women, the governments of New York State and the city of San Francisco have stepped up to at least attempt to solve the problem.

Through new Medicaid avenues, enrollees have access to a reduced-cost or no-cost doula who will be reimbursed by Medicaid for some portion of their fee. According to the California Health Care Foundation, an experienced doula will often charge as much as $2400 while the Medicaid reimbursement is $600. 

There has been significant push back from community doulas, usually women of color who have been serving their communities with expert perinatal support for decades. These groups have been left out of the conversation and are not always eligible for reimbursement due to the hastily made rules around qualifications.