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Health Insurance for Pregnant Women – You Have Options

Alvin Nelson
June 9, 2021
Alvin Nelson

When searching online for health insurance for pregnant women, you'll come across several different options. If you already receive health coverage through your employer's group insurance plan, childbirth costs, including prenatal care and maternity care, should be covered.

According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health insurance plans must include maternity coverage by law, and the good news is that the vast majority of insurance policies comply.

Along those lines, insurance companies also can't charge pregnant women higher premiums since pregnancy no longer qualifies as a pre-existing condition; insurance companies also can't drop a pregnant woman simply because she's pregnant.

Additionally, the ACA specifies that an insurance company can't deny you coverage if you're a high-risk patient, especially if you're pregnant and will endure a high-risk pregnancy.

In fact, you can never be denied health insurance due to a pre-existing condition like pregnancy now that the ACA is in full effect. Still, pregnant women have many options at their disposal, even those who don't already have an insurance policy when they get pregnant.

health insurance for pregnant women

Finding the best health insurance for pregnant women

Before the passing of the ACA, pregnant women were forced to purchase a separate rider on their health insurance plan to pay for prenatal care and maternity care.

Interestingly, insurance companies still made women purchase the riders even if they didn't plan on getting pregnant in the near future. Thankfully, times have changed, and women no longer pay more for the same health insurance benefits whether or not they get pregnant.

Nowadays, most women in the U.S. find it easiest to simply use their private insurance plan or their employer-sponsored health insurance to pay for the pregnancy's medical costs before, during, and after the baby is born.

Maternity care and private insurance

Without a doubt, it's now mandatory for health insurance plans in the U.S. to include maternity coverage for services like newborn health care, outpatient care, and inpatient care.

So, no matter which private insurance plan you choose, it should cover the cost of your pregnancy. It's the law!

What goes into the cost of health insurance for pregnant women?

Typically, the cost of insurance for pregnancy is reasonable considering the range of services you'll need over several months. Hence, it's easy to see if you can or can't afford it.

When you find a policy you like, you'll have to pay the insurance policy's premium to be active on the insurance and keep up with all deductibles and copays each time you visit a doctor or see a specialist.

When shopping for health coverage, the general rule of thumb is that a plan with a low premium will include a higher deductible and most likely higher out-of-pocket costs.

If you want the best value and the most peace of mind, you may do better paying for an insurance plan with an above-average premium but far less expensive deductible and out-of-pocket costs.

It all depends on your unique financial needs and how much you plan to actually use the insurance over the next year or two.

But what happens if you become pregnant and don't have health insurance? That's when Medicaid and CHIP come into play.

Medicaid and CHIP

You shouldn't worry too much if you don't have health insurance and become pregnant because you can still secure health care for your unborn child through Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Both of these federal government programs will cover the cost of prenatal visits and maternity expenses, but the catch is that each state has its own set of qualifications. So, it's wise to look into what the unique criteria in your home state are.

Typically, only low-income households will be eligible to receive Medicaid and CHIP, and the insurance only lasts for two months after the child is born.

Another catch-22 is when your home state makes you reapply for benefits every three months, or you may have to wait for several months to start using the coverage.

If you can afford a private health plan, you may forego Medicaid and CHIP altogether, so where's the best place to look online for health coverage?

Where to look online for health insurance for pregnant women

By streamlining the search for health insurance all around, is a helpful resource when you need to compare premiums, deductibles, and other benefits side-by-side.

Usually, shopping online for the best rates takes time, but makes it easy to see what insurance is available in your home state or through the federal health insurance marketplace if you want to take advantage of subsidized premiums.

To look for the best health insurance plans, you simply begin by completing a short questionnaire that determines your qualifications. You'll also need to input your basic demographic information like:

  • Date of birth
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Tobacco
  • Pre-existing health problems
  • Major life events (e.g., losing a job)

Depending on how you answer, you'll see how many options are at your disposal.

Without a doubt, the most significant benefit of searching for health insurance on is that you can use the platform to sort through dozens of insurers to find the best option for you.

Visit our homepage to start comparing health insurance rates today!

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The advertised price may not be typical. It was generated using the Kaiser Family Foundation's subsidy calculator that was accessed on September 16, 2020. The following parameters were used: 21 year old adult, non-tobacco user, annual income of $24,700 in 2020, no children, and no available coverage through a spouse's employer. The resulting monthly premium was $30 per month (or $360 per year after $2,751 in subsidies) for a Bronze Plan. Even when using the same parameters, the resulting premium and subsidy calculations may be subject to change.