Do you have maternity health insurance? People who are looking for some sort of maternity health insurance generally fall into two categories. They are planning for a future pregnancy, and they are concerned about the cost of having a healthy baby. Or they are already pregnant, and wonder how they can get some help with doctor’s visits and hospital costs. Some of these people may have some coverage, but it does not cover pregnancy very well, or they may have no health insurance at all.
Here are some options to get medical coverage so you can have a healthy baby.
One common way to cover the cost of having a baby is with an employer provided group medical plan. These usually provide very comprehensive coverage so you can be sure that most of the costs will be paid for. However, millions of Americans lack group medical benefits.
I have only seen one private individual insurer, Assurant, that offers a maternity option, and that is with a fairly high deductible. That option is a rider (option) to some of their policies. You have to select it at an extra cost. Note that there could be others, particularly regional plans, I am not aware of. That is why I always suggest that people start their search with online quotes for their own zip code.
Let me be clear. Any complications, like a C section, should be insured by private major medical. But the normal checkups, blood tests, and deliveries will not be covered unless you have explicit maternity coverage.
How will health reform help? Even though US health reform is scheduled to put a stop to this, we have even seen cases of top health insurers denying coverage to newborns with health conditions because of pre-existing conditions. In the future, 2014, health reform should mean that insurers cannot deny adults with pre-existing conditions, but that is still a few years off. I am also not clear that means that, even if they accept pregnant women, they will provide full benefits.
Let us look at some public health care options, and also at some private charities that may provide some financial help.
Every state has some sort of high risk health insurance pool, but not everybody qualifies for it. In many cases, premiums are expensive and deductibles are fairly high. Now the CHIPS program is the federal and state public health insurance option for children from low to moderate income children does also cover pregnant women. This is a viable option for many families. And the newborn children should also be covered as soon as they are born. You could look for information on CHIPS, Medicaid, and High Risk Health Pools in your state.
Your county may have a hospital system that will provide services on a sliding fee scale depending upon your income. You may also find financial aid resources on a website like PPARX.org.
Do you have a higher income or some savings?
Some people use pre-paid plans to pay for normal hospital, medical, and doctor’s costs. This can be a good way to plan for your costs. You can check for payment plans by calling hospitals and doctors. I have seen some listed online too.
You can read more on health coverage if you’re pregnant or plan to get pregnant.