Maternity Insurance

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First and foremost, if you are planning on becoming pregnant, you need to make sure you have health coverage that includes maternity insurance. If your bundle of joy is unexpected and you find yourself without insurance, you are not alone.

 

Approximately 13% of women who become pregnant each year are not insured. The sheer joy of being pregnant can quickly turn to feelings of anxiety and financial burden unless you have maternity health insurance to help defray costs and keep nerves from fraying.

 

Fortunately, we can help. If you’re thinking about having a baby, insurance may be the last thing on your mind. But you can save yourself a lot of money, and buy yourself some peace of mind if you take a few minutes to investigate whether you should buy maternity insurance. Even if you already have health insurance, it may not cover some of the expenses associated with pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you will probably make many visits to your doctor, maybe as often as twice a month for the whole nine months of your pregnancy. Check to see if your current health insurance covers this many visits. Women whose insurance does not pay for multiple doctors’ visits during pregnancy sometimes skip visits to save money. But this can create problems for both you and your baby. Health Insurance and Prenatal Care Many women who do not have pregnancy coverage put off going to the doctor for prenatal care, an essential step in having a safe and health pregnancy. Uninsured pregnant women wait until the second trimester or later to begin prenatal care. To protect your health and the health of your baby, you should see your doctor as soon as you learn you are pregnant. Early, consistent prenatal care is the best way to avoid any problems that may come up with your pregnancy.

 

Maternity insurance covers this type of attention. Of course, you will also have a large hospital bill when you have your baby, and you may need to make several visits to your doctor after your child is born. Some health insurance plans cover all or most of these expenses, but others do not. It pays to find out just how much is covered as soon as you learn you’re pregnant. Unfortunately, not every pregnancy goes smoothly. Complications for the mother or the baby can run up huge hospital bills. If you or baby needs special care, you don’t want to be thinking about how to pay for it. In these situations, maternity insurance can put your mind at ease.

 

Look for a plan that places few restrictions on the treatments it covers. Remember, though, that maternity insurance covers only expenses related to your pregnancy. It does not cover other health problems you may have. The best time to buy maternity insurance is before you are pregnant. Some companies offer maternity insurance to women who are already pregnant, but some do not. To keep your options open, look into getting maternity insurance as soon as you start to consider becoming pregnant.

 

If you cannot afford private maternity insurance, you can apply to a public program for help with the cost of your pregnancy. All states offer some type of maternity health care assistance, either through Medicaid or through some other plan designed specifically for pregnant women. Be sure to take advantage of all the services you are entitled to. Your state may offer nutrition assistance and educational services in addition to paying for medical care.

 

Society has a vested interest in healthy babies and mothers. And that’s all society, because unhealthy babies and mothers impose a cost on everybody — in the expense of caring for them as wards of the public, and in the waste of social resources that comes from children unable to reach their full potential as members of society because of injuries or illnesses caused by poor prenatal and postnatal health. Child mortality rates are among the most important indicators of a nation’s overall health profile, and the U.S. rate stinks compared with the rest of the industrialized world’s — at 7 deaths of children under age 5 per 1,000 live births, it’s worse than Israel’s, South Korea’s, Japan’s and every Western European nation’s. That’s why maternity and newborn care and pediatric services are among the 10 health benefits that Obamacare requires to be part of every health plan. Some of these benefits are so important, they’re required to be among the free benefits of catastrophic health plans that may be sold to individuals under the age of 30. They include anemia screening for pregnant women and folic acid supplements for women of childbearing age.

 

 

Society has a vested interest in healthy babies and mothers. And that’s all society, because unhealthy babies and mothers impose a cost on everybody — in the expense of caring for them as wards of the public, and in the waste of social resources that comes from children unable to reach their full potential as members of society because of injuries or illnesses caused by poor prenatal and postnatal health.Child mortality rates are among the most important indicators of a nation’s overall health profile, and the U.S. rate stinks compared with the rest of the industrialized world’s — at 7 deaths of children under age 5 per 1,000 live births, it’s worse than Israel’s, South Korea’s, Japan’s and every Western European nation’s. That’s why maternity and newborn care and pediatric services are among the 10 health benefits that Obamacare requires to be part of every health plan. Some of these benefits are so important, they’re required to be among the free benefits of catastrophic health plans that may be sold to individuals under the age of 30. They include anemia screening for pregnant women and folic acid supplements for women of childbearing age.

 

Universal coverage is the only way to make maternity coverage affordable. Up to now only 12% of policies in the individual insurance market offered maternity coverage. Those that offered the coverage often did so as separate riders imposing huge deductibles for maternity care alone — $5,000 for maternity services, according to a 2010 survey by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, and limits on benefits of only a few thousand dollars. The cost of maternity and newborn care is the principal reason that, pre-Obamacare, women were systematically charged more for health insurance than men.Because insurers pitched maternity coverage in the individual market only to buyers of childbearing age, the premiums were high and they still made almost no money on them. One company internal memo reviewed by the committee stated that its loss on maternity riders came to 90% of income, a money-losing ratio,” the memo said.But that’s what happens when you sell an insurance benefit to a narrowly defined market. Without the cross-subsidies inherent in a large pool of insured people, no single coverage is affordable to those who specifically need it.

 

Bibliography

“Maternity Insurance Coverage, Affordable Maternity Health Benefits” . n.p., 1 Jan. 1970.Web. 21 Feb. 2016.