How To Baby-Proof Your Health Insurance Checklist
Written by: Aaron Garcia
Health insurance may cover some or all maternal and paternal services, but the amount is not standard across all policies.
Having a child qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period , where you can enroll in a new plan for 60 days after your child is born.
Several factors cause more out-of-pocket costs during your pregnancy. You should review your coverage and costs with your carrier or provider.
Welcoming a new child is always exciting, but it also means there’s work to be done. Getting ready before they arrive can mean the difference between settling in or losing sleep (OK, that’ll probably happen either way).
The same goes for your health insurance. Here’s an easy checklist to baby-proof your coverage and help you sleep easy–while you still can.
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1. Know What's Covered
As an expecting mother, there are many services available to you — some even with no out-of-pocket cost. All health insurance plans must cover maternal [i] and newborn [i] care. The ACA includes services before and after birth. Covered services include:
Covered Services under the ACA
- Gestational diabetes screenings
- Preeclampsia prevention
- Folic acid supplements
- Breast pumps
- Breastfeeding consultations
- and many more
- Blood screening
- Hearing screening
- Hypothyroidism screening
- and many more
2. Choose your OB-GYN Carefully
Always make sure your OB-GYN is in your health insurance company’s provider network. Also, check that your insurance covers the hospital your OB-GYN uses for deliveries. You can be stuck with the entire bill if you deliver at a hospital that isn’t in your network.
Are you eligible for cost-saving Medicare subsidies?
3. Tell Your Insurance Company the Good News
Let your insurance company know you’re having a baby, and review your benefits so you take advantage of what is available to you. You may be unaware of available options in your policy. For example, your plan may let you use a midwife for your child’s birth. Your health insurance company can confirm that your doctors and delivery site are in-network. They’ll be your go-to source for info about how your pregnancy is covered. And getting the most out of your policy means receiving invaluable prenatal and maternal care.
4. Figure Out Your Out-of-Pocket Costs
While many maternity services are covered, don’t assume everything is. Review which services you’ll need to pay out of your pocket. Know how much you need to spend to meet your deductible and begin cost-sharing. Know what you’ll be required to pay, including:
What extra benefits and savings do you qualify for?
5. Keep Up With Your Prenatal Care
Staying on top of your prenatal health will help you and your baby stay healthy during pregnancy. All health insurance policies cover a list of services you can receive at no cost. Folic acid supplements, fetal heartbeat monitoring, and specific blood tests are all examples of covered maternal and prenatal services.
6. Reevaluate Your Health Insurance Plan Options Following the Birth
Having a baby is a Qualifying Life Event (QLE) that makes you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period. Your QLE enrollment window starts when your baby is born and remains open for 60 days. If you think you’ll be seeing the doctor more often with a young one, you might consider a plan with the lower deductible and out-of-pocket maximum.
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