Do You Have Your Pregnancy Covered?
Many Americans are concerned about the high cost of maternity benefits if they lack health insurance, of if their health insurance does not cover routine prenatal care. Almost 50 million people in the US have no health plan at all. Others are covered, but the coverage does not include the normal costs of having a baby. This can be a big strain on many growing families.
This is no time to panic. It is the time to research your alternatives. The important thing is to take care of the health of the mother and baby!
How much does maternity care cost?
You have to figure in all of the doctor's visits and tests before the baby is born. Then there will be a hospital bill for the mother and the baby. You can figure that a normal pregnancy will cost, at least, $10,000 in some areas. Any complications could double or triple that figure.
Get Help With Maternity Costs
However, there are ways to get help with those costs! Let us look at some ways you can manage the costs of maternity care.
Low Income Help
If you have a low to moderate income, public health programs may be your best bet.
CHIPS (Children's Health Insurance Program) is a state and federal health insurance plan that covers the children or low to moderate income families. It also provides that help before a baby is born, so qualifying mothers can get prenatal care.
This program is different in different states. You can find information and applications by searching on the web for CHIPS in your state.
Medicaid is the state and federal health insurance plan for people with low incomes. This may also cover pregnant women, so you can search for Medicaid information and applications for the state you live in.
Prenatal Help For Middle to Higher Income Families
Even if your family makes too much money to qualify for CHIPS or Medicaid, you may still be able to qualify for some help. Even if your family income is $50,000, a $10,000 to $20,000 bill can strain your resources. This is especially true for young families that have not had time to save money.
Many counties have hospital districts that provide services on a sliding fee scale. You can also search for local charities, foundations, or faith based organizations. The help may come in the form of reduced fees, low or no interest loans, or even grants.
Maternity Payment Plans can be arranged with some doctors and hospitals. They know that not everybody has health insurance to cover the bulk of expenses, and they have systems in place to help families pay for maternity care. Call local doctors and hospitals to get more information about payment plans.
Get Employment Health Benefits
Even if you, or your spouse, is already pregnant, it may still be possible to get a job with health benefits that will cover the costs. This may not be easy, and even if you can secure a job right away, some employers have a waiting period before health insurance goes into affect. However, group health plans cannot consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition. Note that this is not true of individual health insurance, and you will not get accepted if you are already pregnant.
High Risk Health Pools
The state high risk health pool may or may not help. Under some circumstances, it could cover your pregnancy, but under others it could consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition and enforce long waiting period. You will have to look for information on the high risk health pool in your state. There is also a new federal high risk health pool.
Have A Healthy Pregnancy
Having a baby can be very expensive today. However, you can find local, state, and federal resources to help you with the costs. Concentrate on find help you can so you can take good care of the mother and unborn child.