Pregnancy brings the excitement of a new life and the love of a new baby. But if you don’t have medical insurance, pregnancy can surely be very stressful. There’s prenatal care and the cost of the birth to worry about; and if you don’t have insurance, they can be quite costly.
Luckily, there are some ways you can reduce the cost of your pregnancy. Here is a list of options to look into if you find yourself pregnant with no medical insurance.
If your doctor participates with Medicaid, he or she can help you fill out the necessary paperwork so that you can apply for assistance. Even if you can’t qualify for complete Medicaid coverage, you may still be able to qualify for prenatal and post-delivery care given by certain state or federal programs that are in place to assist women give birth to healthy babies.
Many local hospitals provide some sort of assistance to those who qualify due to lower income levels. These non-profit programs seek to help those who do not have adequate health insurance, and do not qualify for state or federal assistance programs. The amounts given are determined by your situation and income, but they can help to significantly reduce the cost of the birth of the baby. Speak with the billing and finance department at your doctor’s office or at your chosen health center to see what you can qualify for.
State-run Health Care
Check with your doctor or state offices if there are any state-provided healthcare options for expectant mothers. Some states do have plans that cover children and women who are pregnant. Since these are state funded, they typically cover a big portion of the prenatal and birthing bills. You will most likely need to qualify for it and show proof of low-income, but if you do qualify you could be fully covered and pay very little.
Preexisting Coverage Plans
These types of plan are given through the government. They help bridge the gap for pregnant women until new coverage laws go into effect. In order to qualify for a preexisting coverage plan, you must not have had medical coverage in the last 6 months.
If you don’t qualify for any assistance, you can possibly lower your bill if you are able to pay your bill ahead of time. Of course pregnancy and even the actual birth can through a wrench in your plan, but for the most part doctors tend to follow a standard schedule when it comes to prenatal care. They may also be able to provide a pricing tier for your prenatal care and tests. With prepaid plans, if you can pay a little each time you visit the doctor, or even pay in full before you actually give birth, you could see a huge discount in your total expenses.
Similar to, but a little different from pre-paying, ask your attending doctor or hospital if they will allow you to do a payment plan. Some health care facilities may even provide you with financing since the birth will most likely be a large amount. You will still have to pay for the costs out of pocket, but it will be spread out over a period of time making the hit to your wallet a little easier.
This option is gaining popularity with new mothers and gaining respect in the healthcare community. The cost for a midwife can vary from state to state, but in most cases it can save you some money over traditional prenatal care. Also, if you decide to deliver your baby at home or at a birthing center, you can save even more since you are skipping the costly hospital service. While you will still have to shell out a few thousand for the entire pregnancy and birth, it is still considerable less when compared to the average cost of a doctor-assisted pregnancy birth, which can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $12,000.
Search around to see if there are any clinics in your area that assist expectant mothers. You may also be able to find reduced prenatal care at a different doctor or hospital, so do some research before settling on a healthcare provider.
Maternity Discount Card
This is not the same as health insurance, but it can help save on dough on the medical expenses. A discount plan can help prevent you from having to pay the full amount of your prenatal expenses out of pocket. Check with your doctor about any discount plans that may be available in your area.
Opt-out of Select Diagnostics
While some tests and services are a must, more and more moms are deciding to opt-out of certain diagnostics that they deem unnecessary for the prenatal care of their baby. For example, extra screenings, extra ultrasounds and blood tests are informative but if your first set came out with positive results you may opt to skip the follow-up ones. However, opting-out of such tests is a personal decision and should not be taken lightly. Talk with your doctor and partner about which tests are absolutely vital to the health of you and your baby before deciding to decline any of them. Make sure you discuss your wishes before your appointment starts: many nurses follow a protocol and assume you will be having the standards tests done and will go ahead and with them without talking to you about it first.
Pregnancy is a wonderful time, so don’t ruin it by stressing out if you don’t have medical insurance. Look into free or discounted programs provided by the federal government, state or even local hospitals. Ask around about different coverage plans and options, and figure out what is best for you and your baby. You can have a happy and healthy pregnancy even if you don’t have insurance.