Maternity benefits used to be automatically included with every new policy issued. If you get benefits from an employer, maternity benefits are still going to be automatically covered. However the individual and family market has changed over the last ten years to better serve the market place. Now many individual and family medical insurance plans do not include maternity benefits at all. You will not be able to get those benefits at all with most plans. If you do want maternity coverage there may be some few plans available that will offer an option for coverage at an extra cost.
The problem is in the expense for the benefit. This benefit is only important for women of child-bearing age. When the benefit was included automatically on everyone's policy, the costs were also included in everyone's premium whether or not they needed the benefit. The few plans that started offering maternity benefits as an option rider to a medical insurance plan cost much less for people who did not want the extra coverage that they did not need. As a result, everyone bought the plans without the benefits to save money each month. That caused the plans with automatic coverage to go out of business. By the time the other plans came back into the market they stopped offering the maternity benefit altogether and the cost was much lower.
Even without the benefits for pre natal and giving birth, any complications for the mother will be covered under the regular insurance plan. The only thing that will not be covered is the regular delivery costs and pre natal care like ultra sonic imaging. It is not as though the expecting mother will not have coverage during her pregnancy. If she gets injured or sick during the pregnancy, she will get all those expenses covered just like she always would.
Another thing people need to be aware of concerning getting coverage once you are pregnant is that typically you will be declined new coverage once you are already pregnant. Coverage will be available as soon as the child is delivered, but neither the expectant husband or wife will be eligible for new coverage until after the baby is born. This does not mean that you are sick, it is just a rule that most all insurance companies follow.
Most of the information provided here is for the individual and family market. If you or your spouse has a job that provides benefits, maternity will be covered even if you are already pregnant when you get the new policy. Benefits for pregnancy are very important and you need to be aware of how the insurance plans cover the different situations. Call your local insurance agent to determine if there are solutions for you, or work with your physician to make payment plans that are affordable to you.