S.E. asks from Chicago, IL on July 26, 2010
Pregnancy W/o Maternity Insurance?
My husband and I are self employed and I just got notice that my maternity insurance is going up to nearly $900/month for just me. I just can't afford it any more. I am in my 40s and have kept it because a.)we'd be happy if we got pregnant again and b.) women in my family have babies into their 40s so it doesn't seem impossible. I've also met in the last year a 49 year old who happily got pregnant naturally and a 50 year old who was not so happy about this late in life "oops." So, while my chances are dwindling, they're not nil. But I can't justify $900/month on this slim possibility. I'm not sure what to do as I don't want to have to end entertaining this wonderful possibility "merely" for financial reasons. Rock and a hard place. What happens if you get pregnant and do not have maternity insurance? I had a c-section due to breech baby before, and am pretty sure that's what they'd recommend again. Would regular insurance cover it b/c it's a surgical procedure? Or would we be stuck with some astronomical bill. Not sure what to do here. Except move somewhere with socialized medicine!:-) So frustrating! Any thoughts?? Thanks!
T.W. answers from Denver on July 26, 2010
I have had three kids and about to have my 4th at 40. I only had maternity coverage on my first. Basically, I made payment arrangements with my docs office on the others which worked out to $225 per month then I made cash arrangements with the hospital that I chose, $2044. After it was all said and done, it cost me few thousand less then if I had used maternity coverage. Most places can cut you a deal if you are paying cash. You may want to check with your regular coverage. My insurance will cover any complications of the pregnancy and the baby is covered immediately upon birth.
I say drop the maternity.
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T.L. answers from Denver on July 26, 2010
Forgive me, I am a little confused. Do you have 2 separate insurances...one medical and one maternity? I never had "maternity" insurance (actually didn't know there was such a thing). I had medical insurance and it covered the pregnancy. I would check your regular medical insurance and find out what it covers regarding pregnancy and the birth?
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I.G. answers from Seattle on July 26, 2010
If you are 40 you will be considered high risk (which is why your insurance is so high). So if you really want another baby (as in you're not on birth control) keep paying for it. Advanced maternal age means extra exams, a c-section starts around $10,000 if you have no complications whatsoever. And no, regular insurance that has maternity as an exclusion will not cover ANY pregnancy related costs, unless they are spelled out in the policy (that includes a possible miscarriage, which are even more common in older women).
I have a friend who is self employed and only had catastrophic coverage w/o maternity. They ended up having twins unexpectedly, they were born premature and each baby received over $1 million worth of medical care. The kids are now in school and they are still paying down those bills... since their income was too high for Medicaid.
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S.D. answers from Indianapolis on July 26, 2010
No, regular insurance wouldn't cover a c-section - that's a maternity care procedure. Why do you think you have to have another c-section? Just find a care provider who knows that VBAC is a safe option. Me? I'd get a midwife and do it at home. WAY cheaper without insurance and much more likely to help you have a safe non-surgical birth.
I just Googled "homebirth in IL" and it came up with these resources first:
PM me if you want any more info about the safety of homebirth and the safety of VBAC vs. repeat c-section.
J.M. answers from Scranton on July 26, 2010
there is vbac, vaginal birth after c-section but that is not always possible. maybe find out what the prices are at different hospitals. i know some hospitals will work with parents w/o medical ins. also check your regular medical ins and find out if it covers the birth?
M.M. answers from Chicago on July 26, 2010
Well, based on bills after my first child - with a normal vaginal delivery - I delivered at Lutheran General, and just the delivery alone was $20K once all the meds, epidural, hospital suite, etc....were included.
That DOES NOT include any pre-natal visits. Figure each of those will cost approx $200 just for the doctor's visit, then you have to factor in ultrasounds (mine were $500 each) and any meds/testing you may need due to being "high risk" (over 35)....
I'd say that if you really think that you might get pregnant, then you'd better keep it. Unless you're looking to take preventative measures, like BC or sterilization...