The Scoop on Pregnancy Health Coverage
You've got insurance, so your maternity costs will be taken care of, right? Not necessarily. The good news: In November, most people insured through an employer get their once-a-year chance to review or upgrade their plan. If you're pregnant or thinking about trying, ask any potential insurer these questions:
Do I have to use certain providers? Some plans won't pay for doctors outside their network -- even if that doc is the only anesthesiologist on call the night your water breaks. Plans that offer both in- and out-of-network coverage are often pricier, but they offer the most flexibility.
What’s my deductible? Many companies are now offering consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) along with (and occasionally instead of) traditional policies. While they tend to have lower premiums, they often come with high deductibles (the amount you must pay before you can be reimbursed) and high out-of-pocket costs. If you choose one of these plans, you could end up paying thousands more for your prenatal care and birth than with traditional coverage, so do the math before you sign up.
Are ultrasounds and lab fees included? If not, ask if your company offers flexible spending accounts, which allow you to set aside pre-tax money for healthcare costs. Your ob-gyn can ballpark the charges for you.
Can I add a rider? Women who have private insurance may be able to purchase a rider for maternity fees (if they're not already pregnant). There may be a waiting period before it takes effect, so don't toss the contraception yet.