The good news is that maternity insurance for pregnant women 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 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.
Check out the other financial sources that benefit pregnant women.
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 healthcare 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 healthcare 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.
Options for College Students
Staying on your parents’ plan: Until you are 26 years old, you are eligible to stay on your parents’ plan. If you are going to college in a different state, look into whether your parents’ insurance will have in-network providers in that state.
- On your parents’ plan you will have the chance to stay with familiar doctors. Of course, your parents will pay the bill, so they will be seeing what services you are using if privacy is a concern and your plan is left vulnerable if your parents can no longer pay for it.
Enrolling in a Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP): Student plans are most often either set up through an exterior insurance company or set up by the school’s own self-insurance.
- Advantages of this option may include the chance to use financial aid to pay for insurance, and the accessibility of medical services on campus. The cost may be higher than similar coverage found independently and tax credits may not be applicable. Plans may also depend on full-time student status. If the school plan is self-insured, it may not cover all the services required by the Affordable Care Act.
It is overwhelming, but doing a little extra research to find the right plan will pay off in the long run. Your future self (and your family) will thank you.
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. AmeriPlan. (n.d.) Welcome to AmeriPlan.
2. Childbirth Connection. (n.d.). Average U.S. facility charges for giving birth.
3. eHealthInsurance Services, Inc. (n.d). Maternity insurance coverage.
4. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). A one-page guide to the health insurance Marketplace.
5. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Grandfathered health insurance plans.
6. U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (n.d.). Pregnant women.