Health Insurance While Expecting A New Baby
Have health insurance before you get pregnant. You must really consider being prepared to have a policy in place before you become pregnant.
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In Nevada, a normal birth without complications costs nearly $22,000 on average, and a C-section can cost more! For those who do not have health insurance, you will have medical bills for years, unless you are wealthy with a bunch of money in your savings account. Once you factor in prenatal and postnatal care, out-of-pocket costs soar to $30,000 or higher with complications. Nevada costs more than 40% of the national average, so we aren’t a bargain state. Be prepared to pay a lot for a non-complicated natural birth, and much more for anything complicated.
For many women, pregnancy and childbirth are among the most expensive health care costs that they will face in their lifetimes, and without adequate health insurance coverage, they can end up with tens of thousands and years and years paying off medical debt. Fortunately, if you are pregnant and you do not have health insurance, there may be ways that you can get the coverage that you need.
Pregnancy and the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act guarantees 10 essential health benefits to individuals with major medical insurance. Among these benefits is maternity care, meaning that all health insurance plans purchased through employers or on the Marketplace cover medical care during pregnancy, childbirth and postnatal care.
Prior to ACA, many plans in the individual marketplace did not cover pregnancy for new enrollees. Also health insurance company’s would deny coverage to women who were already pregnant by a method called “underwriting”. If a woman became pregnant, many plans did not cover anything maternity. Underwriting is now mostly a thing of the past for health insurance. Underwriting is where a person would look at your height and weight and medications and health pre-existing conditions, and if you were too high of a “risk”, you would be denied insurance coverage. Sometimes they would “exclude” your preexisting medical condition for a year, sometimes for a lifetime, it just depended on the insurance company.
Under ACA, pregnancy is no longer considered to be a pre-existing condition. Health insurance companies cannot deny coverage to pregnant women or charge them more for coverage. However, in most states, pregnancy is not a life event that opens a Special Enrollment Period. This means that it does not qualify you to sign up for health insurance or make changes to your policy outside of the yearly Open Enrollment Period. You must do this during “Open Enrollment”. The birth of a baby is a Life Event, so you can add the baby to your plan or buy them a plan for themselves, but pregnancy is not a “life event” to get health coverage. Get covered BEFORE you become pregnant. Otherwise you most likely will not have coverage until you can add it in November for a January 1st effective date.
Getting Health Insurance While Pregnant
Pregnant women may have avenues through which they may be able to sign up for health insurance or receive affordable care.
In Nevada, pregnancy is covered under Medicaid and Nevada Check Up for women and children who meet income guidelines.
- Community Health Centers
Community health centers receive federal funding to provide free or low-cost services to area residents. Some community health centers only serve uninsured patients or those who meet income restrictions, while others offer services to everyone regardless of income or health insurance status.
- Local Charities
Some charities and religious organizations have free or low-cost clinics that provide free medical care for pregnant women.
- Self-Pay Option
Some hospitals may have special programs or sliding fee schedules for uninsured pregnant women who are paying for their care out of pocket. While this is still an expensive risky option compared to having care covered by health insurance, it may help you potentially.
Finding Health Insurance for Pregnancy with Nevada Insurance Enrollment
At Nevada Insurance Enrollment, our health insurance agents provide unbiased advice to help you understand your health insurance options and find the right coverage for your needs, even if you are pregnant.
Read More: Health Insurance in Las Vegas, Nevada
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