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- The average cost of an uncomplicated childbirth is $10,000
- Cesarean sections can cost upwards of $15,000 or more
- Pregnancy may be considered a pre-existing condition
Having a child is one of the most important events many will experience in their lifetime, but it is also a significant medical occurrence that comes with a cost.
Maternity insurance is usually an add-on or rider to an existing policy that offers more extensive coverage to cover the costs of care during pregnancy, as well as those associated with labor and delivery.
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Do all health insurance companies offer maternity insurance?
Most major health insurance companies have this type of insurance available if you ask for it.
Some maternity insurance is available as a stand-alone policy, but this is more commonly available for people who have no health insurance and/or qualify for special assistance through state run insurance programs for low-income individuals and families.
Why think about insurance when you’re pregnant?
The average cost of delivering a baby in a hospital under normal circumstances is around $10,000 these days if there are no complications and it’s a normal vaginal delivery.
So anyone thinking of becoming pregnant should be thinking about insurance. Maternity insurance will cover some or most of the costs associated with bringing a new life into this world. This gives new parents one less thing to worry about.
Here’s the tricky part; pregnancy is a medical condition, and most health insurance policies, including maternity insurance consider pregnancy to be a pre-existing medical condition.
This means that you would be well-advised to have your medical insurance and your maternity insurance in place before becoming pregnant.
Some companies require a client to have been with a company for six months to a year before maternity coverage activates.
It’s always a good idea to check with the specific companies you are considering and plan accordingly when the time comes for you to start a family.
Will health insurance alone cover pregnancy and delivery costs?
Health insurance will usually cover a good portion of wellness visits, tests, and labor and delivery costs, but there are co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses along the way.
The visits to the OB/GYN usually start around eight to ten weeks into the pregnancy and increase in frequency as the due date gets closer.
As with most medical insurance, each of those visits comes with a co-pay, but many doctors will mercifully combine all of their wellness visit costs into a single fee that covers the whole pregnancy.
It’s usually more than the cost of one co-pay, but it’s much less than the total of all of the co-pays would be.
Tests will be done during pregnancy, starting with a pap smear, and including:
Most normal health insurance will cover these at somewhere between 50 and 90 percent after the deductible is met.
Finally, when the actual delivery takes place, there is the cost of the epidural or another form of anesthesia.
There are also the hospital charges, doctors, specialists and a number of other ancillary charges, most of which will be covered by regular medical insurance, but again that coverage is usually only 50 to 80 percent of the total bill after the deductible is met.
What will maternity insurance cover?
Maternity insurance generally covers most medical expenses related to pregnancy and birth. Some plans will lump all of the prenatal doctor visits together and sometimes the tests as well.
You are then charged a single co-pay on the first visit and then nothing after that until the delivery.
Other plans offer slightly better coverage. For example, tests that are billed are often covered at a higher percentage than they would be under basic medical insurance, as are the normal hospital costs associated with giving birth.
Maternity insurance usually covers pediatric care for the baby while it is still in the hospital. In some cases, this will include the cost of a male child’s circumcision if it’s performed while mother and baby are still in the hospital.
The greatest value of maternity insurance kicks in if there are unforeseen complications during the pregnancy.
A cesarean section (C-section) birth can be considerably more expensive than a vaginal birth. The expense could be crippling for a young mother or couple.
A premature birth can sometimes lead to the baby being in an incubator for several days. Other complications could lead to a long hospital stay for mother and baby.
If that occurs, the last thing you or your family needs to worry about is the last is a potentially catastrophic financial problem due to unforeseen medical bills.
Raising a child is expensive and the costs begin to accrue early in pregnancy. It’s important to have some type of insurance in place to ensure that both mother and baby get the care they need without causing financial hardship.
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