Birth Centers May Save You Money
Ifyoure medically low risk, it may be worth looking into the possibility ofgiving birth in a birth center instead of a hospital. In an AABC study, birthcenters were shown to be a safe place to give birth for medically-low riskwomen. Additionally, birth centers are significantly less expensive than givingbirth in a hospital ward and have a high rate of patient satisfaction.
Birthcenters are characterized by
- Havinga relaxed and warm atmosphere
- Theoption to return home shortly after giving birth
- Providersthat may include nurse-midwives, direct-entry midwives, or nurses working withan obstetrician
- Beinga freestanding facility, on hospital grounds, or inside a hospital
Accordingto Centsai.com, giving birth in a birth center costs around $12,000, whereasgiving birth in hospital costs nearly three times that amount on average.
Ifyou cannot get insurance while pregnant and are medically low-risk, it may beworth looking into giving birth in a birth center as opposed to a hospital tosave money. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a birth centermight not be the right fit for you if you are expecting twins, are diabetic orhave preeclampsia.
Additionally,the American Pregnancy Organization recommends asking the following questions before choosing a birthing center:
Fora longer list of questions, and more information on birthing centers, you canvisit the American Pregnancy Organizations website.
What If I Dont Qualify For Medicaid But Am Pregnant And Uninsured
If you dont qualify for Medicaid or CHIP, there are still other ways for you to save money during your pregnancy and delivery.
Forthose who are in generally good health and expect an uncomplicated delivery,birth centers are a great option as they are typically less expensive thangiving birth in a hospital ward.
Anotheroption you may consider to help pay for the cost of your pregnancy and deliveryare axillary insurance products such as short-term disability insurance orhospital indemnity plans. These plans can help you off-set the cost of care andhelp make up for any time you spend out of work during your pregnancy,delivery, and after giving birth.
Youalso may be able to advocate for a lower price for your delivery with yourhospital. Typically hospitals have a charity or self-pay rates for those whopay for care out of pocket.
Youmay be able to find free or low-cost maternity care in your area, depending onwhat resources you can find within your community. You may be able to finddiscounted or free care through Hill-Burton facilities or other charitable organizations,such as:
Switch To Your New Employers Plan
If you lost health insurance because youre changing jobs, you can sign up on your new employers plan if you qualify. However, some employers dont offer health insurance to new employers. You may have to wait months before youre eligible.
If youre thinking about getting a new employers plan, make sure to review its provider network carefully. See if your providers and hospital are part of the plan. If theyre not part of the network, youll pay either more or all of the health care costs depending on the plan. In that case, it may make more sense to choose a different plan.
Unpaid Leave: Pregnancy Bonding Benefits & Fmla
Expecting moms do their best to save and prepare for their little ones arrival. Short-term disability following pregnancy extends your financial wellness by postponing the need to use savings until after STD benefits are exhausted. This means you are better prepared to take additional time, which is potentially unpaid, to recover mentally and physically.
Family bonding policies through an employer are sometimes paid at the employers expense but are more commonly an unpaid benefit that gives employees extra time to redefine their family structure and settle into new routines.
Protections under FMLA ensure that your job, or a similar role if your job is eliminated while on leave, is secure. FMLA provides up to 3 months of unpaid leave provided you have worked a minimum number of hours in a 12-month span. Spouses or partners may also qualify to take FMLA after the birth of a baby or the addition of a new family member via adoption.
What Obamacare Says About Maternity Coverage
Former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law mandates 10 essential benefits are provided by all plans sold on the federal and state health insurance marketplaces, including maternity care before and after your baby is born. Obamacare health care plans must also cover checkups, routine and emergency care, and hospital care/procedures.
Obamacare also guarantees what a health insurance provider canât do. They canât impose a cap on in-network coverage or cancel your insurance policy after theyâve reached a certain limit. You canât be denied care or charged more money if youâre sick or have a pre-existing medical condition. And since pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition, insurers canât deny you coverage. They also canât force you to pay endless out-of-pocket costs. Thatâs what having a deductible and a maximum out-of-pocket limit is for.
Note: These rules and regulations do not apply to short term health plans, which, based on rules passed during the Trump administration, can last up to three years. In fact, short term health insurance generally does not cover maternity care. If you’re pregnant and in need of health insurance, shop your state marketplace. Federal open enrollment for 2022 starts Nov. 1. Find out how to enroll in your state. Many low-income-to-middle American families qualify for Obamacare subsidies or Medicaid.
With all this in mind, here’s how to find the right health insurance policy when pregnant.
Read Also: Is It Okay To Use Vagisil While Pregnant
Covered Services By Health Insurance During Pregnancy
Here we have mentioned some of the services often included in all Marketplace plans covering medical care during pregnancy, childbirth, or even after childbirth.
Outpatient services for prenatal and postnatal visits to the hospital to see doctors, lab tests, and medications. This also includes different kinds of screenings such as anemia, hepatitis B, STDs, gestational diabetes, and more are covered.
There are some special medical services offered by coverage plans like tobacco intervention and counseling for pregnant women who are tobacco users and smokers. The other health services included are hospitalization, physician fees, emergency services in labor and delivery, newborn care, and providing breastfeeding equipment such as breast pumps.
Can Uninsured Immigrant Women Receive Medicaid Or Chip Services
Maybe. Immigrants with qualified non-citizen status are eligible to enroll in Medicaid if they otherwise meet state Medicaid eligibility requirements, but are subject to a five-year waiting period from the time they receive their qualifying immigration status before becoming eligible. Some categories of qualified non-citizens are exempt from the five-year ban because they are considered lawfully residing immigrants. For lawfully residing immigrants, the five-year waiting period was waived in 2010, giving states the option to provide lawfully residing immigrant women with pregnancy-related Medicaid regardless of the length of time they have been in the U.S. Twenty-three states provide pregnancy-related Medicaid to lawfully residing immigrants without waiting periods. For undocumented and DACA-eligible immigrants, states may provide undocumented immigrant women with federally funded prenatal services through CHIP. Some states may also provide prenatal care entirely using state funds.
Don’t Miss: Is Kinesio Tape Safe For Pregnancy
Is Charity Care A Good Option
Charity care is a lifeline for that woman who does not carry legal immigration or is a non-citizen of the US. If they do not get an emergency Medicaid service, the final option they have is to go for Charity Care. These types of women can avail the service from a local hospital.
Pregnant No Insurance Dont Qualify For Medicaid
As per the law, local hospitals and other healthcare centers cant deny providing their services to the needy even if they do not carry legal citizenship or immigration. They can also receive financial aid from Charity Care to look after their newborns.
How To Get Health Insurance From An Employer
It wasn’t so long ago that job-based plans were the best bet for anyone, pregnant or not, looking for health insurance. Employers usually paid a portion, and sometimes even all, of the premium. They often covered spouses and children at a reasonable cost as well. On top of that, employer-sponsored health insurance plans typically provided an ample amount of coverage.
Many of those things are no longer true for this kind of health plan. Thanks to rising costs and other economic realities, more and more employers have stopped being so generous with their insurance offerings. Some pay a smaller percentage of their employees’ premiums. Some have stopped contributing anything at all in that area. Some continue to cover their employees’ premiums but no longer assist with covering spouses or children.
Still, if a job-based health insurance plan is an option for you, seriously consider it before enrolling in another type of plan. If your employer’s offering seems prohibitively expensive, though, or if you think the coverage is lacking, look elsewhere.
Just know that you’ll probably have to wait for the next open enrollment period to come around if you want to buy a plan through your state’s Obamacare marketplace or directly from an insurance company. You can qualify for Medicaid or Childrens Health Insurance Program coverage at any time of the year, though, so don’t drag your feet in contacting your local agency if you think it’s any kind of possibility.
Also Check: Lasik While Pregnant
What Pregnancy Benefits Should You Consider When Looking At Plans
Ifyou are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, some important things to considerabout your current or any potential health insurance plan are:
- Ifyou need a referral to see a specialist/OBGYN from your primary care physician
- Thecovered cost of labor and delivery
- Yourcopay, coinsurance, and deductible amounts
- Ifprenatal testing is covered ultrasounds, amniocentesis, and genetic testing
- Ifyou need to be preauthorized to receive prenatal care
- Ifnon-traditional deliveries covered midwives and home-births .
- Ifprivate rooms are covered or if you will need to share a room during hospitaldelivery.
Long Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care insurance pays for a variety of services for people who are unable to care for themselves due to an injury such as a paralysis from a car accident, a chronic illness such as arthritis, an acute episode such as a stroke, or a cognitive impairment like Alzheimers disease. Long term care services may include assistance in a home, adult day care center, an assisted living facility, or nursing home.
New enrollments into LTCi are no longer available as of February 1, 2016.
Employees who had enrolled in LTCi may continue the coverage currently in place. Employees enrolled in this coverage must pay CNA directly for their LTCi premiums.
Also Check: Donating Plasma While Breastfeeding
Negotiate For Some Discounts
If you do some research on different health insurance plans and still find that you still have to pay out of pocket, consider talking to your health care provider. Your provider will be able to help you negotiate for discounts with hospitals and doctors. You can even get a discount of as much as 30 percent, as long as you are paying in cash. Some hospitals even offer payment plans that allow parents to pay their bills over time. Other excellent options for pregnant women include discount cards and discount services, which, for a monthly fee, will negotiate discounts on health care services. However, you need to read the fine print before you commit to any of these options.
If you are pregnant without health insurance, you do not need to lose hope. If you have to, consider using the services of a midwife or birthing centre, as long as you are healthy and at low risk of experiencing pregnancy and/or delivery complications. You should also consider Planned Parenthood, which is not just for abortions and birth control. Some Planned Parenthood centres offer prenatal care as well.
How To Get Health Insurance Coverage Through A Spouse
Getting health insurance through a spouse is another great option if you’re pregnant, or you’re planning to become pregnant, and they have an employer-sponsored plan that’ll cover you.
The questions you should answer before getting health coverage through a spouse, though, include:
- How much will you have to pay per month to be added to your spouse’s plan?
- Will it provide all the coverage you’ll need during your pregnancy?
- What about copays and co-insurance? How much could they cost you throughout your pregnancy?
- How will this plan cover your newborn? And how much might that cost you and your spouse?
If you’re happy with the answers you receive to those questions, go ahead and join your spouse’s health insurance plan. If you’re not happy with those answers, though, weigh your options. A plan bought through your state’s ACA or Obamacare marketplace may be a better bet. Or you might find that buying a plan directly from an insurance company provides the best coverage for the best price.
And, again, don’t forget about Medicaid. Should you qualify for it, it could provide you with the best coverage for the best price of all the options discussed here.
To learn more about this topic, check out our article about picking the right plan when both spouses have employer-sponsored health insurance.
Recommended Reading: Braces While Pregnant
Pay Into Your Health Savings Account Or Flexible Spending Account
What are HSAs and FSAs? Theyre special accounts you fund with pre-tax money that you can use to pay for out-of-pocket health care costs . These can help you save on taxes while helping to pay for maternity expenses such as breastfeeding supplies , prenatal vitamins, and so on. Note that there is one key difference between HSAs and FSAs: You can roll over unused HSA money to the next year, but unused FSA money is lost. So, you shouldnt fund an FSA with more than you think youll need that year, but you dont have to worry about overfunding an HSA.
Theres nothing more important than bringing a new child into the world. With a little financial planning ahead of time, youll be able to focus more on your baby and make the most of a special time in your life.
You May Like: Best Car Home Insurance
What Services Can I Expect To Be Covered
Maternityservices covered by health plans include:
- Outpatient services These services include prenatal and postnatal doctor visits, gestational diabetes screenings, lab studies, medications, etc.
- Inpatient services such as hospitalization, physician fees, etc.
- Newborn baby care
- Lactation counseling and devices
Its important to keep in mind that your coverage may vary depending on what plan you have since insurers can choose how they cover these benefits. Additionally, out-of-pocket costs are dependent on several factors, such as the metallic tier of coverage you have, deductibles, copayments, and which providers you choose.
Also Check: Can Take Tums While Pregnant
Other Waiting Periods In Health Insurance Plans For Pregnancy
Apart from the maternity waiting period, there are the following waiting periods under health insurance plans for pregnancy:
Can An Uninsured Woman Enroll In Marketplace Coverage Upon Giving Birth
Maybe. If the baby is eligible for Marketplace coverage, then the baby qualifies for an SEP as a new dependent. In such instances, the regulations will also permit an SEP for the new mother, as someone who has gained a dependent through birth.
WOMEN ALREADY ENROLLED IN FULL-SCOPE OR EXPANSION MEDICAID
You May Like: Can U Donate Plasma While Pregnant
Can A Health Plan Refuse To Let Me Enroll Because I’m Pregnant
No.* In the past, insurance companies could turn you down if you applied for coverage while you were pregnant. At that time, many health plans considered pregnancy a pre-existing condition.
Health plans can no longer deny you coverage if you are pregnant. That’s true whether you get insurance through your employer or buy it on your own.
What’s more, health plans cannot charge you more to have a policy because you are pregnant. An insurance company can’t increase your premium based on your sex or health condition. A premium is the amount you pay each month to have insurance.
Private Health Insurance Plans
Believe it or not, there are private health insurance companies that offer affordable and comprehensive coverage for expecting mothers. Exploring options in your area, and talking to experienced health agents and brokers will undoubtedly help you find a plan that fits your exact needs.
A good place to start your search is right here. FirstQuote Health specializes in helping individuals and families shop for and compare health quotes in their area, saving both time and money. To get started, enter your zip code, and find coverage within minutes.
Recommended Reading: Life Insurance License Requirements
Recommended Reading: Is It Safe To Donate Plasma While Pregnant