The Maternity Insurance Bible
Sometimes it can be helpful to have a comprehensive overview of all your options when it comes to maternity insurance and health care. The following guide has been called the Maternity Insurance Bible because it aims to answer all your questions in a compact, extensive, and helpful manner.
This is probably the most common choice for Americans when it comes to health and maternity insurance. Private companies can vary a great deal in terms of price, coverage, and customer service, so if you are looking to buy private insurance be sure to shop around. Some companies, like Aflac, pay money directly to customers as reimbursement for expenses; other, more traditional insurance providers pay the medical provider directly. All insurance companies charge a monthly fee, and most require that you supply a co-pay for services; some may also have an annual spending cap.
Medicaid is a state and federally funded program designed to pay for the healthcare needs of pregnant, elderly, disabled, and underage individuals who woulds not otherwise be able to access medical services. If you are pregnant and make less than 30,000 dollars a year or live 130% below the poverty line, you are judged to be “categorically needy,” and are almost certainly eligible for Medicaid. In order to apply for Medicaid, contact your State Department of Healthcare; be prepared to provide proof of income, pregnancy, and citizenship.
Health Care Discounts
If you cannot afford traditional maternity insurance, if you are not eligible for Medicaid, or if your insurance does not cover all of your medical needs, you may be able to take advantage of various health care discounts in order to lower your costs. Ameriplan is one company which provides such a service; for a small monthly fee, you are granted access to a list of medical providers who have agreed to discount their services by 15% - 50%. A membership with the American Pregnancy Association can also save you money via a variety of discounts, though not all are medical.
If you don't wish to use a health care discount program, it may be worth investigating the option of a low-cost or free healthcare clinic. While these clinics are not available in all areas, many offer comprehensive medical services including blood tests, physical examinations, prescription services, and referrals for a very low price. In many cases the price of a low cost clinic visit may be less than $10, while a regular physician will likely charge $150 for the same services.
Other Ways to Save Money
In addition to the options listed above, many physicians offer a discount to patients who pay on the spot in cash. This may save uninsured women at least a little money on doctor's bills and associated costs. It is also advisable to contact organizations such as Planned Parenthood, which may be able to offer referrals to free or low cost clinics and advise uninsured women about the services available in that particular area.
Knowing what your maternity insurance options are can make the process of accessing medical care far less intimidating – and that's why we created the Maternity Insurance Bible! With information and determination, you're sure to be able to find health care that will fit your budget.