Pregnant and Lost My Job....

Updated on May 17, 2010
S.J. asks from Cherryville, MO
19 answers

I am pregnant with baby # 2 and just recently lost my job. My husband cannot afford to pay for health insurance for me, his job doesn't even offer it for him so he doesn't have any. Our household income is "too high" for government assistance. What can I do? I am terrified.

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K.J.

answers from St. Louis on

Hospitals also have a program that you can apply for to have your bill "erased". We applied with my first son and they completely waived the $1000 or so hospital bill. We had insurance, but that was what remained after and we just couldn't do it, but qualified for their assistance. I think it was grants available or something. It's worth checking into and we were covered under the grant for a number of months afterwards so if we needed anything we could go to the hospital and it wouldn't cost anything.

1 mom found this helpful

K.C.

answers from Dallas on

They have CHIP perinatal for that. Allows higher incomes than regular medicaid so all pregnant women can have care during their pregnancy. Small co-pays as well.

1 mom found this helpful
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P.R.

answers from New York on

Hi,

I'm not a lawyer but I've been in your shoes with a newborn.

I was laid off the day my maternity leave ended. I was floored and quite scared too. I learned it may be illegal for them to lay you off (without due cause) - you can try to get a severance package, you can file a lawsuit for discrimination (or not, I didn't) and you can file for unemployment benefits immediately with your state (the amount varies but it will help you get by). It's not government assistance, it's your right to receive this money if you've lost your job (not if you quit).

Do this immediately, even if you were just unceremoniously called to be told the "news" and no pink slip was given. It's not necessary. The clock starts ticking when you lose your job and it's not retroactive. You can file for unemployment online, from home, you may or may not be called for an interview ( I wasn't) but it's far easier than I thought it would be.

Keep all records. And start looking for a job immediately. If I remember right you need to send out at least 10 resumes a week - you need to be actively searching for a job to get unemployment.

You need to prove that you have been searching, so start your job search on monster.com initially. I found it had the best jobs and I was able to send out the resumes easily and print out the jobs I had applied to and when. if you do it by classified, it's harder but I used to mail these with "proof of mailing" at the post office. Delivery confirmation (with priority mail) was just too expensive at $5 per resume - it adds up.

Being pregnant (or with a newborn like I was), the job search might get tricky, though, depending on how far along you are. I don't think they can ask you if you are but if you are pregnant and there are a lot of candidates, the hard reality is that they may not consider you. Legally they can't do but that's what they do, there's no way to prove it alas. Not all employers do this, some might.

Keep records of any call backs or interviews you've had. Who you spoke to, when. Interviews you've gone to. Send thank you note and hopefully you will get a job offer. If not, unemployment will cover you and keep paying benefits - I think its 12 weeks from the date you lost your job.

In my own job search, I sent out a ton of resumes, got a few vall backs and was able to get two offers in different fields near the end of the 12 week period, but one had very long hours (including weekends) and another was a very low-paying position where having my child in day care (at the same location) would net a grand total of $6,000 a year for working, after deducting the cost of daycare.

When unemployment ran out, I was very worried but was given a chance to extend the unemployment benefits. It meant keeping up with the job search and by this time I realized we would probably be better off being a stay at home mom and reducing our living expenses to a minimum. I decided to stop looking for a job, and yes, this meant no more unemployment benefits.

We were fortunate I was on my husband's health insurance when baby #1 was was born (my employers insurance was lousy and I had switched) but I believe you can apply for an extension of coverage for your own health insurance if you lose your job (Cobra)

http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm

When you lose your job it's surprising how many friends and relatives can come to your aid. Don't be ashamed of telling people, it happens to all of us and it's absolutely understandable. I've been laid off twice so far - once when I was on my own and my company went bankrupt, and I couldn't afford rent anymore - a kind friend let me stay with them and in turn I helped her by taking care of her baby. When my husband was laid off years later, we moved in with his family (sounds like a bad idea but it worked out well) and we stayed with them for a year, long enough to be able to save some money to get a small place of our own.

And somehow, even though it seems as the floor has caved in under you, tomorrow will be another day. I know it seems like a roller coaster but after 20 years of working and several layoffs, somehow we've found out that when one door closes another one opens. Grab opportunities that come your way, this might be God's way of nudging you to guide you to a better path in life, even if you don't quite understand it now. Everything happens for a reason.

1 mom found this helpful
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T.H.

answers from St. Louis on

Hey, I would contact some of the various hospitals or medical schools in the area and see if they have a prenatal clinic and a payment plan. When I was really young and had my daughter, my mother set up a sliding scale fee with our hospital and it was pretty reasonable for everything that happened. Stop, take a breath and just call the doctors and the billing departments and see if they can work with you. Congratulations! Remember it's a blessing, as hard as is it may seem at the moment. One thing I always remember when I feel like I'm faced by an wall I'm not going to be able to get over, "God will only give me what he knows I can handle", doesn't say it will be easy, but I can handle it! Congratulations and good luck!

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Ask your previous employer if you can keep your health insurance through COBRA. It will be expensive, but it will be coverage. At the very least your kids can most likely be covered under the state program, right?
Sorry you are going through this but be strong. Best wishes?

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L.V.

answers from St. Louis on

I know someone else mentioned it, but I was also going to suggest looking into giving birth at home with a midwife. I know it sounds crazy to some, but truly, the care you receive is phenomenal compared to the small price you pay. This, of course, is not an option if you have something that would put you in the high risk category, but if you and baby are healthy, I'd encourage you to check it out. Another option would be a birth center in your area? It would be more expensive than a homebirth, but still much much less than a hospital.

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T.M.

answers from St. Louis on

You might talk to your OB and let her/him know of your situation and see what you might be able to work out to continue getting prenatal care - as I'm sure it's important to both of you. I've also heard of hospitals working w/ you if you don't have insurance by estimating how much your birth would be and you can pay upfront to lessen the cost - just a thought. I've been in your situation and it's very stressful - it will all work out. Good luck!

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J.C.

answers from Kansas City on

Check with the local health dept in your area. I had no maternity coverage when I got pregnant with my daughter, and the local health dept had a program for expectant mothers in this situation, I had prenatal care through the health dept with student drs and had a reduced rate for giving birth at Ku med center I think total I paid about 3 grand for all maternity care and our birth and hospital stay. Of course it was not my 1st choice but I have a happy healthy 5 year old thanks to this program. Good luck.

T.L.

answers from St. Louis on

I would look into the Mom's and babies program. From what I understand it is prorated on your household income.

G.R.

answers from Dallas on

ask around the hospital how much is if you pay in cash i think you pay monthly until you are 7 months pregnant and they give you discount.

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H.J.

answers from Minneapolis on

You can get insurance though most state goverments but you will most likely have to pay some of a deductible or monthly payment. They will not let pregnant women go without health insurance in fear of them not seeking medical help! Give them a call asap for your state and get on it. They will also usually back pay 3 months of service, so keep your bills so you can get reimbursed!! It's a lot of work but well worth it. I think the last pregnancy I had I had to pay $50 a month and $3 each visit but each state varies!

C.P.

answers from Washington DC on

I am in the same boat except i purposely got fired once I got preggo so I could stay home with the babies. Maryland has a program( www.marylandsail.org) basically medicaid that we are using and our income is too high as well but we are using a premium plan so we only pay 46/mo. for all 4 of us. I am not sure about marriage status but you should at least be able to get health care for yourself only since you are pregnant and up through 2 months postpartum. They did not even check my income. But be careful if you apply for anything else like food stamps or temporary cash assistance because then they will def. hunt down your income. We made that mistake and they are taking away my sons health insurance but not mine until after the second baby is born. I am not sure about where you live but don't give up I know there is a program out there that can help you. Call social services or your local health department and they will point you in the right direction.
I also get WIC they do not give you a lot but they do supply you with about 80 dollars of formula a month and 32 cans of baby food, some fruit and veggies, milk, cheese and cereal, bread, canned beans, peanut butter and eggs. Knocks about 200/mo off our grocery bill. Wic also will not check your income if you can prove you are preggers with A. ultrasound pic or you are showing. You will be considered a family of 4 now that you are expecting.
My finacee only makes 38K and so far we are makin it work. Congrats on your pregnancy and don't stress.

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L.C.

answers from Raleigh on

When we were preg with #2 we too did not qualify for Madicaid. I went to Health dept for my visits and they did payments according to our income, which was ALOT cheaper than regular doctor. However for delivery(c-section which was $12 000) we qualified for emergency Medicaid. You should check it out, you might be able to get it(they do it differently than regular medicaid)

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C.G.

answers from Orlando on

when i fell pregnant, i was with a guy who at the time wasnt my husband and i lived at home with my parents, i am english and live in the states and i was on a student visa, and so wasnt eligable for anything i had no job or anything. There is a thing called co-pay, and it basically allows you to pay 400 dollars and a doctor sees you and you go about your pregnancy like you had insurance you get a doctor and everything, you have to make monthly instalments, more than 50 dollars and then you get about an 800 dollar bill if you give birth naturally and a 1000 dollar bill if its a c-section. either way they give you a good time to pay it and it also included two scans. Seriously you may be scared but everything works out one way or another and if there was one thing i regreted throughout my pregnancy it was being scared of what i was going to do once i had my child. Enjoy the nights right now and your pregnancy... and everything will fall into place, if anything i suggest looking for another job or even doing a teaching assistant course which is a high demand job, and only a year course. Good luck :)

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J.G.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi, I'm not sure if you've been able to check out WIC, they provide assistance with nutrition for pregnant women and for children, too. Also, I'm pregnant with my first, and my husband's job doesn't really have insurance and my job didn't at all. We decided to give birth at home with a midwife. The care has been wonderful, and is a lot cheaper than OB care and giving birth in the hospital. I would look in to that. I have had a wonderful expeirence with my midwife, and I trust her completely, so I would look into that.
Also, I just started working from home, with Work At Home United, which they say you can replace your income within 6 months, and I am confident that this is possible. I've already earned my first paycheck, and while it's not near big enough to replace my income yet, it is a start and a help until I get my buisness going. If you're interested at all, check out my website www.workathomeunited.com/joycita or send me an email [email protected]____.com and I can give you as much information as I can.
I know it's tough... I am pretty much in the same boat, just with one kid not two. Hang in there, it'll work out!
J.

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M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I have four kids, and I always had government assistance when pregnant BECAUSE we were FAR below the mark for the cut-off. We are "poor". We don't get any other assistance other than health (no bill help, no food stamps, no housing help, etc), but yet we are able to own a 3200 sq ft home in a very nice neighborhood, three cars, and plenty of food, clothing, etc. for our children. Which makes me think of others in your situation. What ARE you spending money on that ISN'T necessary that you could actually use for your health care?

Gosh, I know many are in your boat, but coming from the other side of the spectrum I have great reason to believe that it must be a budgeting issue. Make some financial sacrifices. Try to see where you can cut the spending. It is awful that you are terrified about this, but we are far from making that much money, and we have managed in other ways.

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K.G.

answers from Dallas on

*HUGS* I was in a similar boat a few months ago but fortunately found a job just in time. Here is a Web site detailing all your options : http://www.pregnancyinsurance.org/maternityinsurance/
including Maternity Card, etc. GL!

J.G.

answers from St. Louis on

There is a government program that keeps your cobra amount at the same rate you are currently paying. Your employer must provide this and they are reimbursed through their payroll taxes. This ends in June. Use the time to find private insurance. I would not rely on obamacare not being repealed. If you have more than a month lapse in your insurance your pregnancy becomes pre-existing. So go with a high deductable and get a health savings account for the deductable.

If you have any questions message me. I work in human resources.

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