According to a recent NPR piece, the typical uncomplicated pregnancy, including prenatal and postpartum care, cost $10,652 in 2007. Costs...
According to a recent NPR piece, the typical uncomplicated pregnancy, including prenatal and postpartum care, cost $10,652 in 2007. Costs have only gone up since then, and sadly, many insurance plans fail to cover basic maternity care or insurance costs rise so much that the average individual can't afford maternity insurance. A recent investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee found that, "Pregnant women, expectant fathers, and families in the process of adoption are unable to obtain health insurance in the individual market; (2) many health insurance plans in the individual market do not provide insurance coverage for medical costs related to pregnancy; and (3) health insurance companies have business plans to reduce the coverage of maternity expenses." Basically, it's tough to afford proper maternity care. That's likely one reason why women are at risk during pregnancy and birth. Other abysmal findings from the investigation found that the four largest for-profit health insurance companies, Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group, and WellPoint, each list pregnancy as a medical condition that would result in an automatic denial of individual health insurance coverage. Additionally, health insurance companies often exclude maternity care from coverage in the individual market. Meaning, these companies deny coverage to expectant parents AND exclude maternity care coverage from plans entirely, so if you get pregnant you still won't be covered. Can you say insane? In any case, eventually women won't have to worry as much. Once the federal health overhaul happens, maternity care, care that's actually considered a very real and essential health benefit, will be covered. Under the new plan, insurance companies will have to provide maternity care coverage. Even if they don't want to. For now, if you're planning on a baby soon, you should make sure your financial plans are in order. Save money up in case you end up needing it or look into health care options for low income situations. You'd be surprised who qualifies for low-income plans.

Tags: family leave laws health insurance for pregnancy maternity care paternity leave prenatal care work benefits working mother

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