When it comes to getting maternity coverage in Pennsylvania's individual health insurance market it is tough to beat Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Although most plans offered through your employer will pay for the costs associated with having a baby, things change when you have to purchase a policy as an individual. Many times insurance carriers will not cover maternity expenses outright or if they do they offer limited coverage for an additional premium.
As far as the different types of policies which will pay maternity expenses there are basically two kinds: PPO's and HMO's.
Most HMO's require you to go to a primary care physician first who will then refer you to a specialist. Allot of people chafe at this idea as they like the freedom of choosing their own doctor without having to get a referral. PPO's on the other hand will let you visit any physician in their network without the need of a referral.
This brings us to Highmark Blue Cross. Their PPO insurance plans (Direct Blue and PPO Blue) offer maternity at NO EXTRA COST and no limits on coverage. Unlike many other companies who might limit expenses to a few thousand dollars a year, Highmark will pay up to the yearly limit which, on most plans, is one million dollars. The rates are also very affordable and available throughout much of the state.
As always, it's a good idea to consult with a licensed broker before applying for insurance so you can compare your options and pick the plan that best fits your needs.