The idea of going through the birth of your child can be nerve-wracking, to say the least! Add in all the medical bills you’ll be racking up along the way and the stress can become overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to have good maternity health insurance that will help pay at least some of your expenses, whether they come from routine checkups or complications during pregnancy and delivery.
To learn more about what maternity health insurance will cover, keep reading! Here are five things you should know about maternity health insurance.
1. What is Maternity Health Insurance?
A type of short-term health insurance plan, maternity coverage pays benefits for labor and delivery services if you have a baby. These plans often have fewer benefits than other types of health insurance policies. For example, these plans might not pay for prenatal care or routine checkups with your doctor.
However, they may cover some expenses that typical employer health insurance plans don’t cover, such as breast-feeding supplies or in vitro fertilization (IVF). Some states require employers to offer maternity health coverage to employees. If your state requires it and your employer doesn’t offer it through its main health plan, you can get a policy on your own through an exchange created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or outside one through a private insurer.
2. Why should I get maternity health insurance?
If you’re pregnant, having a child is your top priority. Beyond that, you also want to make sure that you and your baby are protected and provided for—and maternity health insurance can help. It’s more affordable than ever before, so it won’t put too much of a dent in your monthly budget.
All you have to do is figure out what kind of policy will work best for you, whether it’s through an employer or directly through an insurance provider. In most cases, you only need a short-term plan since your coverage lasts only until your maternity leave ends (not permanently).
Even better? The Affordable Care Act requires that private insurance companies offer coverage for all approved conditions related to pregnancy. Check with your state department of insurance to find out if they require additional coverage above and beyond ACA requirements.
3. What are my options?
Maternity health insurance is one of those topics that doesn’t exactly hit close to home for a lot of women. So, it’s easy to ignore and put off planning for it. But when you do have a baby, you want your situation to be as great as possible. If you find yourself pregnant, don’t wait until your pregnancy is almost over before thinking about maternity health insurance.
Starts looking into it well before you even think about trying to conceive. The more time you have to shop around and research what type of policy will work best for your life, the better off you’ll be in the long run.
4. Do I qualify for any assistance?
If you’re employed, but don’t have health insurance through your job, it is possible that you could qualify for government assistance in paying for maternity care. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administers a variety of programs which can help pregnant women with their expenses related to childbearing, including Medicaid and its special pregnancy-related extension known as Pregnancy Assistance Program (PAP).
It is also possible that you are eligible for private coverage options through your state’s health insurance exchange program. There are many factors involved in determining eligibility for these programs, so make sure to contact your local department of health or social services office if you believe you might qualify.
5. What does Maternity health Insurance cover?
The benefits of most health insurance plans are determined by whether a medical procedure or treatment is considered medically necessary. And while your insurance plan may cover pregnancy, it may not provide coverage for all prenatal care—particularly if your pregnancy is considered high-risk.
Many companies have a limited number of in-network healthcare providers and hospitals; so, if you’re looking to go out of network to receive maternity services, there’s no guarantee that they will be covered. To make sure that you have full coverage during and after your pregnancy, contact an independent insurance broker. They can evaluate your current policy as well as other options to determine which plans are best suited for you.
There is also little assurance that doctors and midwives who prescribe drugs, even when used as directed, will be financially protected if a lawsuit arises from mismanaged medication use—which puts them at risk of going out of business altogether. Pharmacies do carry liability insurance against claims due to product errors; however, their policy doesn’t cover damage caused by faulty prescriptions written by doctors or midwives outside their network.
If you choose to work with an obstetrician throughout your pregnancy, make sure he or she has professional liability insurance before accepting any prescriptions on their behalf. Do NOT accept drugs from pharmacies without proof that adequate protection exists.