Health Insurance and Pregnant Women

The time to think about how to pay for maternity expenses is before you begin planning for pregnancy, according to health insurance experts.

The very idea of health insurance coverage is a concept for “planning ahead” for unforeseen medical consequences. Pregnancy should not be treated any differently. While it is still possible to obtain affordable health insurance coverage once you become pregnant, it can be more challenging. There are health insurance companies that consider pregnancy to be a “preexisting condition” and may not cover maternity expenses if you are with child when you apply for medical coverage. Also, maternity riders cost more on existing health insurance policies after you become pregnant. Other things being equal, if you obtain a maternity rider after you become pregnant, you will face a larger increase in monthly premium for such rider than if you had requested it at the time the original policy was written prior.

With planning and forethought, there are many methods to obtain affordable healthcare insurance for maternity expenses and pregnancy. If you have a job, your employer’s group health insurance plan will be the best place to start. However, not all firms offer medical benefits, and even those that do may not have maternity coverage or provides limited coverage. Check with your company’s benefits advisor, or human resource department for details of your health insurance plan. If it turns out that your company provides minimal or no coverage for maternity expenses and you are married, check with your spouse’s health insurance plan if he has one.

If neither you nor your spouse’s healthcare insurance plan offers pregnancy coverage as part of the plan, the next step is to see if you can purchase a maternity rider on either of the health insurance policies. In health insurance lexicon, a rider is an add-on to an existing health insurance policy that details supplemental benefits. With a maternity rider coverage will be provided for most or all of the expenses related to a routine childbirth, and routine neonatal care. Should you become ill or injured as a result of complications from pregnancy or giving birth, the medical expenses associated with treatment would be covered by your basic health insurance.

If you are otherwise without health insurance and are even contemplating starting a family, you should strongly consider entering into a private health insurance plan. In doing so, when you are looking for a quote on low-cost private health insurance, you should understand that most individual health insurance plans do not include maternity coverage as part of the basic plan. As such, you are likely to require a maternity rider, while verifying the details carefully. Many individual health insurance policies with a maternity rider include a period of time before which you cannot conceive, and it could be as much as one year from the issuance of the rider.

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