Medical Coverage After Pregnancy: What New Moms Need to Know
Health insurance during your pregnancy is crucial to the health and well-being of you and your baby. What your insurance covers after your pregnancy is equally important. Medicaid is a great resource for health insurance, and provides insurance for those who meet income requirements. If you don’t meet the income requirements, other coverage options are available for people that don’t get health insurance through their employers or Medicaid.
Regardless of what type of insurance you have, knowing what your insurance does and does not cover after birth is to your benefit. Most of the visits and checkups after your baby’s birth probably won’t be as costly the ones before. Still, they can still rack up to a heavy bill if your coverage isn’t enough.
One of the first healthcare costs you’ll want to make sure your policy covers is well-baby checkups. The purpose of this checkup is to ensure the well-being of both you and your baby after the delivery. Well-baby visits over the first two years of your child’s life will probably include:
- ♦ Checking your baby’s weight, length, and head circumference
- ♦ Thorough physical exam
- ♦ Any necessary shots
- ♦ Address any immediate or potential problems or concerns
There will probably be many visits due to the child’s amazing growth rate in the first couple years of life. The first visit will probably be in the first few days after the birth, the next one at two weeks. After that they’ll be at the two, four, six, nine, and 12 month marks. In the second year, you’re probably looking at three to four more checkups.
The health insurance you choose should cover all parts of a well-baby checkup. Should you have a policy that limits how many times your child is in for a visit in a year, let your doctor know. This way they’ll be able structure the checkups in a way that works with your budget.
Your baby isn’t the only one who should see a doctor after birth. You shouldn’t have to have as many visits as your baby in the first year, but you should go in at least once. If you have a C-section you’ll want to see your doctor a week or two after the birth. Otherwise, you can go four to six weeks after.
This visit is so your doctor can make sure you’re recovering from childbirth. It’s also time for them to answer any questions you have. Your health insurance should cover the visit regardless of policy type, but if you’re not sure you should contact your insurer.
Preventative Health Services for Your Child
Most health plans currently cover a wide range of preventative services for your newborn. They include:
- ♦ behavioral assessments
- ♦ blood pressure screenings
- ♦ developmental screening
- ♦ hearing tests
- ♦ immunizations
This is but a small list of the preventative newborn care measures covered by health insurance. The majority of them are at no cost, meaning you aren’t stuck with a copayment or coinsurance cost. Check with you provider to get full details.
The majority of health policies provide breastfeeding support, counseling, and equipment to nursing women. Different insurers have different parameters on what kind of breast pumps they cover. Some will provide for a rental breast pump but not the purchase of one. Should you plan on breastfeeding, your insurer will be able to tell you what they provide. You’ll also be able to find out about breastfeeding consultants and classes. Your health insurance may cover some or even all the cost.
For more breastfeeding help, including peer support groups, visit LABreastfeedingSupport.org and search for resources in your zip code.
Should you be planning to have your son circumcised, there are many different factors to check on. If you’re on Medicaid, currently eighteen states don’t cover circumcision. Also, some insurers cover it and others don’t, and if they do they might have conditions of coverage. As examples, they’ll require it performed while you and your newborn are still in the hospital, or within 30 days or birth. If you do have to pay for it out of pocket, it usually costs around $300 to $600. Contact your insurance company to find out if they cover it, as well as any coverage requirements.
Special thanks to QuoteWizard.com for their contributions to this article.July 3, 2018