Expecting a baby can be an exciting time; however, the excitement can quickly be dissolved by the worry and anxiety of a potential financial issue if the mother is uninsured. It is estimated that 13% of women who become pregnant each year do not have insurance. Because of this, many women do not seek the medical care they need throughout their pregnancy. This can result in inadequate prenatal care for the baby, as well as numerous possible health risks to the mother.
When pregnant, most women visit the doctor often – sometimes twice per month or more throughout the entire nine months.
The costs of these doctor visits can add up. And, when coupled with the average $6,000-to-$8,000 cost of delivery – more for high-risk pregnancies – the expense can create a financial disaster.
The good news is that many private insurance companies offer maternity insurance. These plans are designed to cover most or all of the medical expenses related to pregnancy and birth procedures.
The best time to purchase maternity insurance is before pregnancy occurs, although some companies offer maternity insurance to women who are already pregnant.
It is important to look for a plan that has few restrictions on the treatment that is covered. And, since maternity insurance only covers the expenses related to pregnancy, the mother should have a regular medical insurance plan in place to cover any other health problems that she may have.
If one is unable to qualify for a maternity insurance plan, another option is to go with a Health Savings Account. This tax-deferred account allows the account holder to deposit and withdraw money for medical expenses. This, in conjunction with a high-deductible health insurance policy, can help to pay some or all of the costs associated with pregnancy.
Early and ongoing prenatal care is the best way to avoid problems.
Maternity insurance can help ensure that expenses are covered, allowing both the mother and baby a better chance for a healthy delivery without devastating financial consequences.