Having a baby is a very joyful event. However, being pregnant also comes with a new set of concerns when it comes to insurance needs. Many couples are unsure of exactly what they need to know when it comes to pregnancy and health insurance. This short article will address some of the most common concerns and questions and help get you started in the right direction.
How Difficult Is It To Get Health Insurance While Pregnant?
The good news is that if you already have health insurance with a maternity benefit, then you should not have to worry about being denied coverage. This means that as with most things, it’s best to plan ahead and get coverage before you need. However, if you don’t have health insurance and you’re already pregnant then you still have some options.
Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) group health insurance plans cannot classify pregnancy as a pre-existing condition or deny coverage to pregnant women. Thus if you are eligible for coverage through your employer or your spouse’s’ employer, you will also not have to worry. Individual health insurance plans can and routinely do deny coverage to pregnant women who are applying.
There are many government programs that can help. Medicaid is a great option for many lower income, single mothers, as is the federally mandated state program Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is another federal program that can be of assistance to pregnant women by offering food coupons.
What Are the Typical Costs and Needed Insurance Coverages?
Policy coverage can vary and it is always important to check and confirm exactly what your insurance provider will cover. Several of the major things to ask about will include:
- A pre-pregnancy checkup
- Prenatal tests
- Prenatal care visits
- Postpartum checkup
- Coverage for different birth settings/ labor support options
- The baby’s hospital costs including any nursery costs
- Doctor visits for sick & well checkups
Estimates about the total cost of pregnancy can vary, but for a low-risk, routine pregnancy, most figures put the cost at around $6,000-$8,000 with a 2004 average price estimate of $8,802. Remember that if you have a complicated pregnancy or are at a higher risk then your cost can easily be higher. However, pursuing other options and non-traditional routes, such as birth centers rather than hospitals, may help you get that figure down.
What Should I Look For In An Insurance Policy?
If you are not yet pregnant, but you know or think that you may become pregnant in the future, then you need to keep this in mind when looking for new insurance coverage. It is important to ask your insurance agent about maternity insurance and related benefits so that you can have all of the information you need to make informed decisions prior to becoming pregnant. Remember to ask about the above list of typical insurance needs during pregnancy and make sure that any potential policy you may get, will cover these.
Remember that while insurance coverage for you and your baby is extremely important, it is also important to prepare yourself in other ways for the big event. For this reason it is best to take care of your insurance needs prior to becoming pregnant so that stress and anxiety related to pregnancy costs do not rob you of the joy of the overall experience. Contact us at Beaty Insurance and we can discuss your pregnancy coverage options.