We're pregnant and don't have maternity coverage! What do we do?

All too often people wait until it is too late to get health insurance or to add maternity coverage. Once you (or your spouse) become pregnant, you will be unable to get maternity coverage on an individual plan. If you have individual coverage already, but do not have maternity coverage, it is too late to add it. Unlike group coverage, individual plans do not include maternity – it is an optional add-on with some carriers, and often there is some kind of waiting period involved. So if there is a chance you’ll be pregnant, you’ll want to let your insurance broker know that when you’re getting coverage.

But the question remains: What do you do if you’re already pregnant and don’t have maternity coverage?
Here are a few things to consider:

* If you have the opportunity to get on a group plan through your employer (or your spouse’s employer), then do it. In most states a current pregnancy will be covered immediately. If you’re self employed, it might be time to think about setting up a group plan if you can.

* Shop around. You may well be looking at a 5-digit expense here. For most major purchases (think car, appliance, computer, etc.) you probably do some homework to shop around and compare prices to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Treat this pregnancy the same way (and healthcare in general, for that matter). The baby business is big business to hospitals and they want you to deliver your baby at their place (that’s why they advertise). Call them and explain that you don’t have maternity coverage through your insurance plan and ask them if they will give you a discounted rate. (“Will you give me the Blue Cross rate?”) Obviously, you’ll need to get that in writing – and you’ll need to do it way ahead of time (not between contractions!).

If you have a good individual health insurance plan, rest assured that any complications from the pregnancy will be covered by your plan.

For more information, contact AC Forrest Insurance Group