You may feel confused with all the changes in the health care system and wonder how to get pregnancy insurance. The good news is that pregnancy insurance is much more accessible now. Previously, only a handful of insurance plans offered maternity and childbirth benefits. However, now all qualified health plans under the Affordable Care Act offer this coverage. For information on finding a health insurance plan through the Marketplace, visit www.healthcare.gov.
If you already have an insurance plan that you purchased yourself, you will want to determine if the plan is grandfathered. Grandfathered plans are insurance plans that were in place on March 23, 2010 and have not been significantly changed. Not all grandfathered plans are required to offer maternity and childbirth benefits, so if you have a grandfathered plan, make sure to contact your insurance company to find out your benefits.
If you do not have insurance through the Marketplace or an employer, you may consider applying for Medicaid or CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program). These programs offer maternity and childbirth benefits. Income qualifications vary by state. Visit www.healthcare.gov/medicaid-chip/eligibility/ for more information on Medicaid and to see if you qualify.
Health Care Discount Programs for Maternity Coverage
There are alternatives to traditional health insurance and Medicaid, such as finding ways to negotiate discounts on your health care. Be sure to contact your health care provider to find out how much of a discount you would receive if you paid cash for their services. In deciding your course of action, consider any monthly fees, deductibles, and premiums that may be involved.
One discount service is AmeriPlan. This discount plan is currently available in every state except Alaska, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. AmeriPlan can reduce the cost of health care services by up to 50% or even more in some cases. Benefits include physician, hospital, and ancillary services (i.e., lab work, tests, x-rays). Because AmeriPlan is not an insurance plan, all pre-existing conditions are covered (except orthodontic treatment in progress). There are no deductibles, no waiting periods, no claim forms, and no annual limits. For more information you can go to AmeriPlanUSA or call them toll-free at (800) 647-8421.
Options for Managing costs with no maternity insurance
Some additional ways to help you manage costs related to prenatal care and labor include:
- If you are delivering at a hospital, you can contact their accounting office to see if you can set up a payment plan or to find out if they offer a sliding scale. Though many hospitals offer these options, they are often overlooked by those who would benefit from knowing about them.
- If you do not have a high risk pregnancy, consider giving birth at a birthing center. The estimated cost of delivery and prenatal care at a birthing center is about $3,000 – $4,000, which is half of what it would cost at a hospital. Many birthing centers also provide sliding scales, payment plans, and are willing to accept Medicaid.
- If you are a single parent, you can go to Single Parenting: Making It Work and Doing It Alone for additional ways to save money.
Remember to try to enjoy your pregnancy without allowing financial concerns to rob you of your excitement.
Last Updated 03/2015
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