Health Insurance and Pregnancy
Each year, about 13% of pregnant women do not have health insurance, according to the American Pregnancy Association. And since women who do not have a health insurance policy in place prior to becoming pregnant frequently find it difficult to obtain affordable health insurance to curb the medical costs they may incur during their pregnancies, many women either receive inadequate pre-natal care or pay for their entire pregnancy out of pocket.
The reason most women find it difficult to obtain health insurance after they become pregnant is this: pregnancy is considered a pre-existing health condition. People with pre-existing health conditions, whether it be heart disease, cancer, or pregnancy, find it difficult to purchase health care insurance because health insurance companies view them as high risk candidates. Basically, they know that a high risk candidate will need more assistance with the costs of their health care, and since law allows health insurance companies to reject high risk candidates, many do.
Health Insurance Options for Pregnant Women
If you are pregnant and do not have maternity coverage in your health insurance plan, or simply don’t have a health insurance plan at all, there are still options that are available to you.
AmeriPlan is a discount program that can help you save up to 50% of the costs of your pregnancy. Since AmeriPlan is not a health insurance policy, pregnant women and other people with pre-existing conditions may apply. AmeriPlan is offered in all states except Alaska.
Another option that some pregnant women find useful when looking for health insurance options is Medicaid. If you fit into the income qualification bracket, Medicaid will help pay for your pregnancy costs, even if you are already pregnant when you apply for coverage. Programs vary by state, so check to see what exact programs your state offers.
Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) is also a popular government sponsored option for pregnant, uninsured women. They serve women, infants, and children under five.
If none of the above mentioned maternity health insurance options work for you, consider the following ideas. If you are expecting an un-complicated birthing process, consider using a birthing center instead of a hospital. The costs will range from about $3,000-$4,000, which is about half of what a hospital birth would cost. Or, contact the financing department of the hospital you have chosen to give birth in and see if you can set up a payment plan.
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