A Helpful Pregnancy Insurance Guide for Expectant Mothers
When looking at maternity and pregnancy insurance options, it can be good to compare your choices side by side in order to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each. Below is a listing of pregnancy insurance types and the coverage they offer; with luck, this information will give you a better idea of what you need!
What is Pregnancy Insurance?
In essence, pregnancy or maternity insurance is an addition to ordinary health insurance designed to cover the costs of prenatal care and labor. Some policies may also cover a certain amount of postpartum care for you and your newborn. As pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition by private health insurance providers, it is best to look into this type of coverage in advance. Medicaid, a public form of health insurance funded by the government, will likely only provide coverage while you are pregnant, unless you are eligible for another reason.
Advantages of Private Insurance
If you can afford private insurance, it is in many cases the most flexible and extensive option available. With a private PPO health insurance policy, you can choose any doctor or midwife you wish without being constrained by a “pool” of preferred providers. An HMO plan will limit your provider choices, but still guarantees you access to a wide variety of medical services. Often dental insurance policies can be piggybacked on top of a health insurance policy for very little cost.
Disadvantages of Private Insurance
The problem with private health insurance is that many people cannot afford the cost of a policy. Even the most inexpensive (and thus least extensive) coverage can cost over $100 a month, more than the cost of a phone bill or utilities payment! In addition, private insurance companies may not cover all procedures unless you are enrolled in a “full-coverage” plan – this is often referred to as being “under-insured,” as you have insurance but still cannot afford the medical services you need.
Medicaid is available in all US states, and is a state and federally funded health insurance plan for those who qualify. Most people covered will be what is called “categorically” eligible – that is, elderly, disabled, under the age of 18, or pregnant and living below 130% of the poverty line. If you make less than $30,000 a year, you may be able to qualify for Medicaid once you become pregnant. Even if you earn more than that, if you are unable to afford health care you may qualify under a “medically needy” status.
Maternity Insurance Alternatives
If you cannot afford private health insurance, are not eligible for Medicaid, or simply wish to save as much money as you can, it may be useful to look into other forms of discounted health care. Planned Parenthood often offers community resources to women, and may be able to refer you to a local low-cost clinic. Ameriplan offers discounted health care options, and is also a way to work from home during and after pregnancy! The American Pregnancy Association also offers certain discounts to members.
With the right information and a positive attitude, you should be able to choose a health care plan that will serve the needs of you and your baby!