Motherhood is a very special phase in a woman’s life. But you cannot enjoy being a mother if you have financial worries related to your pregnancy and childbirth hanging over you. Thus, it is important to avail of maternity insurance, which will keep both you and your baby secured and in good health without burning a hole in your pocket. Several types of maternity insurance during pregnancy are available in the US under the Affordable Care Act.
How has the Affordable Care Act impacted maternity coverage?
Most healthcare plans before 2014 didn’t offer maternity insurance policy coverage. Often, it had to be added as a special bonus. But with the Affordable Care Act, all women who plan to become pregnant or who are pregnant can easily avail of maternity coverage.
Choosing a plan
Wondering how to get a maternity insurance? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- If you don’t have medical coverage through CHIP, your employer or Medicaid, you can apply for a Marketplace insurance plan.
– Marketplace plans cover both childbirth and pregnancy, even if the plan comes in effect after your pregnancy starts.
– After you give birth, you can change your Marketplace coverage or enroll in a new plan even if you are outside the Open Enrollment Period. Your coverage will be effective from the date of your baby’s birth.
– In case you already have a Marketplace plan, add your baby to the existing plan or get a different plan.
- Medicaid and CHIP maternity care programs – These are state-funded programs meant to cover mothers and children who are below a certain income level. The benefits of these programs and the eligibility criteria will differ in each state.
- Private health plans – All qualified private health plans must provide maternity insurance to cover both prenatal and postnatal services. This holds true whether they are inside or outside the marketplace. You should have access to a detailed summary of benefits you are entitled to.
Check if you have a grandfathered plan or not
Do you already have health insurance? Then find out if it is grandfathered or not. These refer to plans that were in effect on March 23, 2010 and have not been modified to accommodate maternity insurance. This can happen if you bought the plan yourself and if it is not job-based. In that case, make sure you call your insurance company to find out what kind of coverage you have.
Maternity insurance benefits
Maternity insurance covers a whole host of essential services, and alleviates your money worries too. Here’s how:
- Prenatal and postnatal doctor visits, lab studies, medicines, outpatient services and diabetes screenings are covered.
- Hospitalization, doctor’s fees and inpatient services are covered.
- Care of newborn is covered.
- Renting of breast pumps and lactation counseling is covered.
- Your childbirth expenses are minimized significantly, especially if you are having an emergency or scheduled C-section.
- The money that you would have otherwise spent on birth expenditures and prenatal care can now be invested in other requirements that you and your baby may have.
Besides availing of maternity insurance, you can also consider giving birth at a birth center or hiring a midwife. Labor and delivery charges can be reduced this way as well. So, choose the right health plan and prepare for a happy and stress-free motherhood today.