How to Have a Baby Without Health Insurance
“To sum it up…”
- The average birth today costs between $6,000 and $8,000. This does not include costs associated with having a C-section or treatment of other medical complications
- Pregnancy used to be considered a pre-existing condition, resulting in denial of coverage by some new insurance companies
- The Affordable Care Act now requires private insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions, and this includes pregnancy
- If you do not currently have medical insurance through an employer or spouse, you may still be able to apply for coverage via the Health Insurance Marketplace, providing you are within the open enrollment period
Having a baby is life-changing in every way imaginable, but this wonderful time in prospective parents’ lives can also be one of tremendous stress. Without health insurance, how can you take care of your newborn and give him or her the brightest, healthiest start to their lives without going into crippling medical debt?
Find out your options for getting health insurance while pregnant and having a baby with no health insurance below, then enter your zip code on this page to compare free quotes from your state’s most affordable, preferred providers.
Check For Medicaid Eligibility
While you might not have qualified for Medicare programs in the past, you will want to check again to see if you are now eligible. This is because many states in America have increased the insurance threshold require to gain coverage in order to afford more pregnant women the opportunity to have benefits.
The best way to determine if this applies is to you is to go to your state website for Medicaid and look at the income limits. Another option is to contact your area’s Health Insurance Marketplace representative and ask his or her if you might qualify.
This could be a great way to obtain coverage throughout your pregnancy without having a private health insurance policy.
Consider a Preexisting Condition Health Insurance Policy
There is a federally funded health program that many pregnant mothers without insurance might not be aware of. There are quite a few benefits that, if qualified for, can be most helpful. These include:
- The Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan provides coverage to Americans who have not been insured for six months or more and are known to have a preexisting condition. This includes pregnancy.
- There is a premium, but it is a most reasonable rate compared to private insurance plans available on the market today.
This program is beginning to become outdated given the reality that private insurance companies now must accept those with a preexisting condition, but some states still offer them.
Consider Your COBRA Eligibility
Perhaps you left a job just a bit ago, giving up your insurance, only to discover you are pregnant. If either you or your spouse recently became unemployed and lost your health insurance as a result, it is possible to obtain coverage for up to three years after the fact. This is made possible via the COBRA program.
The unfortunate component of this is that the premiums are usually quite high as they would not have any employer contribution to take into account. The savings over paying out of pocket for your pregnancy can still be substantial, however, so it is something to consider if you find yourself pregnant without health insurance.
Don’t Forget About Your Parents
You might have moved out from your parent’s home years ago, but the healthcare reform mandates that your parents be able to keep you as a dependent on their policy until you are 26 years old. If this applies to you, keep reading.
You do not have to live with your parents to remain on their coverage. You can even be married yourself. In fact, your parents do not even have to declare you as a dependent in order for them to keep you on their health insurance policy until your 26th birthday.
The only catch here is that you will probably need to wait until the next open enrollment period in order to be added to the policy if you are not already on it. In addition, there are some health insurance plans that do not cover maternity benefits from a dependent, so this is something that you will want to consider as you begin looking into the possibility.
Don’t Be Afraid To Look for Discounts
If there is really no other firm possibility for you to obtain health insurance during your pregnancy, you will need to pay out of pocket for the majority of your medical expenses. While this is certainly not ideal, you can begin to lessen the pain by calling your health care providers.
Many insurance providers will offer to help you in the way of discounts that can reach as high as 30 percent if youre are willing to pay cash.
Many will also offer you a payment plan that will enable to pay the cost of your care over time. There are also certain healthcare discount services and discount cards that can be used to negotiate a variety of price cuts on medical services for one low monthly fee.
Make sure that you review all of the details to ensure that there are no hidden fees that can come back to haunt you down the road.
Birthing Centers and Midwives are a Possibility
If you are healthy and have a low-risk pregnancy, there are alternatives to major hospitals when giving birth. You can have a natural childbirth at a birthing center and save a few thousand dollars.
Having a registered midwife deliver your baby instead of a doctor is another way to cut your expenses further. You will just want to keep in mind that hospitals can be more comfortable and are equipped to handle your every need.
If you have your heart set on a low-stress delivery, you might want to go with a hospital birth and just work hard to figure out how to realistically pay for it.
There are options available to pregnant women who do not currently have insurance. The first step is to consider the possibility of obtaining insurance via a government-sponsored program, a private insurance plan that covers maternity benefits or joining in with a parent’s policy.
If those options are simply not available, then you will want to begin negotiating the cost of the pregnancy and look for any associated discounts that are offered to you.
In the end, this should be a time for joy and not stress.Enjoy the process and begin to get yourself ready to welcome a healthy baby into the world. Everything else will take care of itself in the end.
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