The excitement of a new pregnancy can be significantly dimmed by an itemized list from your obstetrician. Despite an increase in insurance coverage in the United States, not all policies are as effective as you might hope. Many policies cover two primary care physicians for women—a family care doctor and a gynecologist.
Unfortunately, even if your obstetrician is your gynecologist, your insurance policy might cover them—insurance companies usually consider this specialist care. Here’s a look at insurance benefits in regards to pregnancy and other options for low-income mothers.
The specific benefits you receive—and how much they cost you—depends on your policy. Your job may cover your insurance in the office, but not at the hospital. Very few policies pay for midwifery, and it may be difficult to get help covering birthing center costs. Other benefits you may receive from your insurance plan include smoking cessation counseling and postpartum depression counseling.
Although laws were passed to prevent pregnancy from being labeled as a pre-existing condition, healthcare laws are in flux. If you’re planning on having a child, make sure to do some insurance shopping before you actually conceive. If you’re uninsured and your pregnancy was a surprise, find a good insurance plan as soon as possible. If you already have insurance, find out exactly what your provider will cover in regards to your pregnancy and delivery, and how long your newborn will be covered under your policy until you can get them a separate one.
For women in low-income situations, it’s often possible to add a supplementary Pregnancy Medicaid policy to your insurance. Medicaid covers significantly more pregnancy-related medical expenses than many policies. The most important part is making sure your obstetrician accepts Medicaid.
Other options include programs like AmeriPlan, which provide significant discounts to pre- and/or postnatal medical care, generally, require a signup fee. Depending on your geographic location, other programs may be available.
Federal and state programs, through the Department of Human Services, can be great ways to receive prenatal care in lieu of an actual obstetric office if you don’t have insurance or your policy doesn’t cover as much of the care as you expected it to. Prenatal care is one of the best things you can do for your child, however, you get it.