Why You Need Maternity Insurance If You're Pregnant in 2022

Writing your name on the dotted line of an insurance policy can be difficult if you’re already pregnant, especially since the coverage that’s available to you depends on where you live and what kind of job you have if any. Fortunately, even if your pregnancy has taken you by surprise, there are still options out there that may be able to provide you with protection from medical bills while also ensuring that your future child will receive proper care as well. Here’s why you need maternity insurance if you’re pregnant in 2022

What is maternity insurance?

What Is a Maternity Leave? The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) requires companies with more than 50 employees to give 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for birth, adoption or serious illness. And employers that don't offer paid maternity leave must allow parents to take unpaid time off to care for their newborns if they've worked at least a year for their company. Read on to find out how long you'll be eligible for unemployment benefits during your pregnancy—and why insurance is still worth considering. Many states also have temporary disability programs that can help replace some income while you’re away from work. They vary by state, but most provide weekly payments based on your earnings and average weekly wage during your highest earning quarter within a year before leaving work. Temporary disability will typically cover about half of what you were making before going on leave, so it's wise to save up money for living expenses while you're away from work as well as any unpaid bills or debt payments that might pile up while you’re taking time off. You may even want to explore short-term disability options through an employer before becoming pregnant just in case something goes wrong.

What are my options for maternity insurance?

Depending on where you live, your options for maternity insurance will vary. For example, if you live in California, then you might be eligible for coverage through Medi-Cal—Medicaid's sister program—and if you live in Texas or Alabama, then your options will revolve around private insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Blue Advantage. In either case, it’s important to review your plan options to make sure they'll fit into your budget and also offer all of the benefits that matter most to you. According to recent research from eHealth (which is available here), a total of 91 percent of women enrolling in a health plan during their pregnancy visited eHealth's site at least once prior to their enrollment date.

How do I choose a good plan?

In all states, Medicaid is an option if you are pregnant and have a low income. In some states, like New York, anyone who makes less than $16,000 per year can qualify. When you apply for Medicaid, expect to give personal information and also undergo a physical exam. The government will also perform a financial assessment on your household to determine if you qualify based on your income level. As part of that assessment, they'll be checking to see if any relatives can help pay for expenses such as food or housing. It's hard enough to prepare for one baby—let alone two—so it's crucial that expectant parents have a plan in place to get ready before their bundle of joy arrives!

Things to know before you buy.

Your options will depend on your income, but you can use a state marketplace to help you decide on a plan that's best for you. With prices varying widely between states and plans, it's important to know what kind of coverage is right for you. All insurance plans are required to cover certain benefits—such as hospitalization, emergency services, and lab tests—but most states give consumers more options by allowing them to choose either an HMO or a PPO as their primary health insurer. Here are some things to consider before buying

How long does it take to get maternity insurance?

Many people assume they’ll get pregnant sometime down the road and think about how to apply for emergency Medicaid for pregnancy. In reality, it’s more likely that someone who is married or has a long-term partner will get pregnant unexpectedly. Even with careful planning, it takes some time to apply for blue cross blue shield pregnancy coverage. Women who are overweight or obese may face additional challenges when trying to find affordable pregnancy insurance. Since obesity is considered a preexisting condition, you may have to look hard to find affordable coverage that offers maternity benefits. Overall, Blue Cross Blue Shield plans are decent maternity insurance options if you're uninsured before getting pregnant and you live in one of their service areas.

When can I start using my policy?

While not all plans will require you to wait until you've reached a certain point in your pregnancy, check with your insurer about waiting periods. In some cases, for example, you may have to wait until 12 weeks into your pregnancy before being able to apply for maternity insurance; other insurers may allow you to sign up immediately after conception. Reviewing plan specifics—such as what's covered and what isn't—is an important part of buying pregnancy insurance. Many common health services aren't included with some plans, so it's vital that women know exactly what's covered under their policy and what isn't before committing to purchasing coverage.

Am I protected if something goes wrong?

If you’re pregnant and living in a state that expanded Medicaid, you may be eligible for prenatal care coverage. But what about if something goes wrong? For example, if your doctor prescribes bed rest but you don’t have maternity insurance, who will pay for it? If an unplanned pregnancy is just not an option for you, then think seriously about how much maternity insurance to purchase. Most health insurance plans cover at least part of your pregnancy-related medical costs; make sure you look into what your plan covers before going without.

How much does maternity insurance cost?

Depending on where you live, maternity insurance can be as cheap as $250 a month or as expensive as $1,400. Cost depends largely on your state’s laws. For example, maternity coverage is mandatory in California while it’s optional in Wyoming and Vermont. Some plans come with an out-of-pocket limit of $5,000; others have no limit at all. In states where coverage is optional or nonexistent, expect to pay up to $3,000 for pregnancy-related care alone (before delivery). The national average cost for maternity insurance is currently about $900 per month for a family's first child. However, rates are expected to go up between 18% and 35% by 2022 because of new healthcare policies that are already being enacted.

Do I need help with maternity insurance?

Think back to your job a few years ago. How many pregnant women were there? Did you know any of them? Chances are unless you've worked for an HMO, odds are slim. Even if you did work for an HMO and did know some pregnant women at work, chances are slim that they were working on anything related to insurance. Most people aren't thinking about it until they need it! And when that time comes - do you have what you need? How To Apply For Emergency Medicaid For Pregnancy: Many new mothers use Medicaid to help cover medical expenses while they’re still off work recovering from delivery.

How to Apply for Emergency Medicaid for Pregnancy

There are several different ways you can apply for Medicaid coverage. Depending on your situation, you may qualify for Medicaid under a category of eligibility known as in and out of programs. An in and out application means that you are eligible to apply for public health insurance or qualify for continued Medicaid coverage because you already participate in one or more public programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC). Typically, all it takes is an interview with a caseworker to make sure that your current income and resources do not disqualify you from receiving public assistance.

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