In the United States, there are currently approximately 41 million people who are uninsured. Throughout the health care debate, you have likely heard the statistics. Of this group, roughly 13 percent are women who are pregnant and due to either not having insurance or being under-insured, even, many will not get adequate prenatal care. Many insurance plans consider being pregnant a Prue-existing condition, and Medicaid only excepts pregnant women who meet certain income criteria, and this causes a great number to fall through the cracks. These women may make over the income guidelines and this causes a problem because pregnancy care is expensive- the average birth free of complications usually will cost around six to eight thousand dollars, alone. That’s to say nothing of the extremely high cost of a high risk situation. A cesarean birth usually runs around $10,638. Though under Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, it is not technically a pre-existing condition, there may be some exceptions that cause a pregnant woman to be declined coverage. This is also only if the plan already includes maternity care, so, make sure that you’re clear on exactly where you stand with your insurer or with a prospective insurer.
If you are a pregnant woman who is uninsured, there may be options available to you. Firstly, make sure that you are ineligible for Medicaid- some people believe that they may not be eligible, when they actually are. Also, on a state by state basis you may find that there are other options available to you by checking with your state’s health department. There are also many health care discount programs out there that can help- doing some research on line and with your health care provider may help you to find those programs which can help you.
Another thing to consider as an option is a birthing center rather than a hospital. Many birthing centers will accept a non-complicated pregnancy on a sliding scale at a much lower cost than a hospital. Check around in your area to find out where the birthing centers closest to you are, and find out if perhaps you are able to utilize that option. Some hospitals actually also have a sliding scale program and if you speak to someone in the account office, and are willing to work out a payment plan for self pay patients.
These are just a few of the options you may be able to find if you are pregnant and uninsured. However, you may want to check with a few insurance providers before you decide that you cannot get coverage- not all insurance providers will consider you completely insurable, and some may offer insurance at perhaps a higher premium with some stipulations. You may also wish to ask about stand alone plans for pregnancy- some offer this and not too many people are aware that such options exist, so, when in doubt, make sure that you are asking about the coverage you need before you decide that you won’t get it.