Over 41 million Americans are uninsured and many of those who are insured are underinsured. As a result, there are approximately 13% of women who become pregnant each year who are not insured, which often results in inadequate prenatal care.
Another challenge uninsured pregnant women face is the notion from many insurance plans that pregnancy is a pre-existing condition. Medicaid, a federal funded program for low income persons, will accept women who are already pregnant. However, if you are not eligible to receive Medicaid it can still be a challenge to pay for all the prenatal visits and delivery. The estimated cost of delivery alone is $6,000 – $8,000 for a normal pregnancy and the cost increases if it is a high risk pregnancy.
This is the crisis that many pregnant women find themselves facing when they learn that they are pregnant. The excitement of being pregnant is quickly dissolved by the worry and anxiety of financial burden.
GOVERNMENT FUNDED PROGRAMS
Medicaid is a state run program that is federally funded. Medicaid provides medical assistance for low-income families and individuals. To locate an office near you go to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
You may find that there are other options, depending on your state, which provide additional programs for women who are pregnant such as Medi-cal from the state of California. You can check with your local department of health at Health Departments by State for information on local programs that may further assist you.
WIC is a federal agency that serves to safeguard the health of low-income women, infants and children under the age of 5. WIC provides nutritious foods to supplement diets, information on healthy eating and referrals to health care. To get more information you can go to Women, Infants and Children.
HEALTHCARE DISCOUNT PROGRAMS
There are many alternatives to traditional health insurance and Medicaid. These alternatives offer a discount on your healthcare and may help you out. Make sure to check with your health care provider to find out what discount you would receive if you paid cash. Take monthly fee’s, deductibles and premiums into account. Here are a few examples of discount programs.
Maternity Advantage™ is a discount health program that can save you up to 60% on doctor’s visits, lab work, sonograms, your hospital stay and much more. Maternity Advantage is not insurance but it works with a National Preferred Provider Maternity Network. For a low monthly fee, Maternity Advantage can provide you with a comprehensive maternity plan. You can receive these benefits even after you have found out that you are pregnant. You can request FREE information by filling out this form: You can call them toll-free at (800) 570-4873.
AmeriPlan is a discount plan that is currently available in all states except Alaska. AmeriPlan saves people up to 50% and more on their health care services. Benefits include physician, hospital, and ancillary services (i.e. lab work, tests, x-rays). Since AmeriPlan is not insurance, all pre-existing conditions are covered (except orthodontic treatment in progress), there are no deductibles, no waiting period, no claim forms and no annual limits. For more information on this discount program you can go to AmeriPlan. Or you can call them toll-free at (800) 647-8421.
OTHER OPTIONS FOR MANAGING HEALTHCARE COSTS
Here are some additional ideas for helping you manage the costs related to prenatal care and birth:
If you are delivering at a hospital you can contact the account office and talk to someone about setting up a payment plan or ask if they offer a sliding scale. Many hospitals do offer these, but they are not utilized because people do not know what is available to them.
If you are having an uncomplicated pregnancy you may want to consider giving birth at a birthing center. The estimated cost of a delivery and prenatal care at a birthing center is about $3,000 – $4,000. This is half of what it would be for a delivery at a hospital. Many birth centers also provide sliding scales, payment plans and accept Medicaid.
Remember to enjoy this time and don’t allow the financial burden to take away your excitement.
Access your states Medicaid info and applications here:
Alabama Medicaid, Alaska Medicaid, Arizona Medicaid, Arkansas Medicaid, California Medical, Colorado Medicaid, Connecticut Medicaid, Delaware Medicaid, Florida Medicaid, Georgia Medicaid, Hawaii Medicaid, Idaho Medicaid, Illinois Medicaid, Indiana Medicaid, Iowa Medicaid, Kansas Medicaid, Kentucky Medicaid, Louisiana Medicaid, Maine Medicaid, Maryland Medicaid, Massachusetts Medicaid, Michigan Medicaid, Minnesota Medicaid, Mississippi Medicaid, Missouri Medicaid, Montana Medicaid, Nebraska Medicaid, Nevada Medicaid, New Hampshire Medicaid, New Jersey Medicaid, New Mexico Medicaid, New York Medicaid, North Carolina Medicaid, North Dakota Medicaid, Ohio Medicaid, Oklahoma Medicaid, Oregon Medicaid, Pennsylvania Medicaid, Rhode Island Medicaid, South Carolina Medicaid, South Dakota Medicaid, Tennessee Medicaid, Texas Medicaid, Utah Medicaid, Vermont Medicaid, Virginia Medicaid, Washington Medicaid, West Virginia Medicaid, Wisconsin Medicaid, Wyoming Medicaid
Last Updated: 04/2007