If you haven’t already got a health plan and you fall pregnant, you can still take out a pregnancy insurance plan and the Company cannot refuse you, or ask you to pay increased premiums. Otherwise you can take out a plan when you decide you want to start a family, before pregnancy occurs.
The first place you should go to, to find out about your health insurance is your employer, or your partner’s employer. They may well offer pregnancy plans through work and they may be cheaper than private plans. If they don’t offer a pregnancy plan, then you can search for one yourself. You can find insurance providers at the Marketplace. See how to enrol on Helathcare.gov.
Pregnancy coverage will vary, depending where you live, because policies to change from State to State. However, by law they must provide ten basic health care benefits and this includes care before and after you baby is born and any prescriptions drugs you might need, although not all plans will cover the brand of medication you might be used to. Check with the provider.
Take care to look at any insurance plan you already have to make sure that it was not in existence before March 23, 2010. These policies are now ‘grandfathered’ and they do not have to adhere to the new laws regarding some care benefits. If you have a policy which is ‘grandfathered’ you may want to change it.
All new health plans must cover the following:
- Blood tests for Rh- incompatibility – This test checks that your blood group is or isn’t Rh- because if it is you may need treatment to stop your blood cells from attacking those of your unborn baby and destroying its red blood cells. This causes a condition called Bilirubin, but medication prevents it.
- Blood tests for sexually transmitted diseases. This will include an HIV test.
- Pre-Natal tests.
- Diabetes Test – Sometimes pregnancy can make your blood glucose levels rise and then you get diabetes, which appears at about the 24th week of your pregnancy If you have it then you will have to be treated for the condition with a diet plan, regular blood glucose tests and sometimes injections of insulin. Once you have had your baby your blood glucose levels should return to normal.
- Breastfeeding advice.
- Supplements on prescription such as Folic Acid, which helps to prevent Spina Bifida.
- Help, if you need it, to stop smoking.
If you are on a low income, you may qualify for Medicaid cover. Rules about eligibility do change from State to State, so you will need check yours. Many states have increased the basic Medicaid cover, so that if you are over the Medicaid threshold, but your expenses are high, you can spend down to make yourself eligible for cover. Once you have been made eligible for Medicaid, you are covered up to the 60th after the end of your pregnancy, even if during this time your income improves.
The benefits provided by Medicaid include all care that a pregnancy requires, including the birth (labor and delivery) and 60 days’ post-partum care. Depending on where you live, some States provide full Medicaid care and others have a limited pregnancy service.
Once you have had your child you may want to keep the health care plan you already have and add your child to it. Or, you may want to look for another health plan. You can read more about it here.