Health Care During Pregnancy

Photo use thanks to user 'Daquella manera' on Flickr.

Many pregnant women find themselves in the unfortunate position of being without health insurance during their pregnancy. The cost of an uncomplicated delivery alone can run up to $8,000.00. Add in prenatal care and testing, and in the event of complications during delivery and having a baby suddenly becomes very expensive.

In addition, many insurance companies consider being pregnant a ‘pre-existing condition.’ This means that they either won’t cover you at all or won’t cover you for anything related to your pregnancy, so purchasing a new plan likely won’t help.

There are a few government and discount programs that are available to women in this situation; read on for more information.

Medicaid
Medicaid is a program run by the federal government that provides health care coverage for low-income people and families. There are income requirements, but if eligible, the plan may cover all or most of your prenatal and postnatal care. Check with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (https://www.cms.gov/home/medicaid.asp) to see if you qualify.

WIC
WIC, or Women, Infants and Children, is a federal program that is administered by the state and serves low-income, nutritionally at risk women and children. Eligible participants receive nutritious food, counseling and referral for immunizations or other health services. There are income requirements, and the applicant must be found to be at nutrition risk. The risk assessment can be done at a WIC clinic at no cost to the applicant. While not a health insurance program, it is a way for low-income families to save money on food purchases. That money can instead go towards paying for healthcare.

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