How Medical Insurance Helps Having a Baby in Southern Maryland

Having a baby is expensive. From diapers to childcare, a baby’s first year can cost a family $8000-$10000, and many mothers will spend double that amount in big cities. If you live in southern Maryland or anywhere in the United States, you also need to consider the price of your hospital stay and unpaid maternity leave. Medical insurance can help offset some of these costs.

The Cost of Childbirth in Maryland

According to Polyscout, the childbirth costs is so high that you can’t afford not to buy insurance. If a mother in southern Maryland has a baby without insurance, it can cost upwards of $12,500 for a vaginal birth and nearly $16,500 for a C-section. Insurance can cut that price by nearly half, where a vaginal delivery becomes $6,471 and a caesarean delivery tops out at $9,610.

With insurance, a family can save $6,000 with a vaginal birth and nearly $7,000 on a C-section. You’ll save almost enough money to pay for your child’s first year of birth without doing anything else. On top of that, if you need to stay an extra day or two on what your HMO will cover, you can use those extra funds as a buffer. This will make your extended stay less expensive.

Maternity cover under your medical insurance

Maternity coverage is one of the 10 essential health benefits that must be covered by all health insurance plans offered to families, small groups or individuals. Under the Affordable Care Act of 2014, your health insurance will cover pregnancy, labour, childbirth and newborn care up to a certain amount. Maternity insurance is not maternity insurance, but you can buy it.

How maternity cover has changed since 2014

Prior to 2014, maternity cover was not a guaranteed benefit. Only a few selected plans included maternity, so most women had to purchase additional maternity insurance at cost. Pregnancy was also considered a pre-existing medical condition, which made maternity coverage unavailable to women who were already pregnant and, in some cases, were pregnant before.

Now women have guaranteed access to motherhood, no matter when or if they were pregnant.

Services covered by your medical insurance maternity coverage

All medical insurers must cover the following services with their maternity coverage:

  • Ambulatory services: Medications, lab studies, diabetes screening, doctor visits, etc.
  • Inpatient services: Doctors’ fees, hospitalization, birth costs, etc.
  • lactation adviceincluding breastfeeding, bottle feeding and breast pumping.
  • newborn baby blanketwhich lasts 30 days and covers your baby’s medical needs.

Most of the services included have a limited duration, so it’s important to discuss with your HMO when you can and cannot use your maternity coverage and when your coverage ends.

When to subscribe to a medical plan that covers your maternity costs

Families can choose to enroll in a different health plan during the open enrollment period, which begins November 15 of the following calendar year. Keep in mind that you can’t enroll or change your health plan the minute you know you’re pregnant because your insurance doesn’t consider pregnancy a qualifying life event. If you plan to have children, register as soon as possible.

Only after having gave birth to your baby will your insurance consider your pregnancy as an eligible life event. You will have a 60 day window in which to enroll/change your benefits.

Maternity coverage under maternity insurance

Maternity insurance is a supplement offered by many mutuals which covers childbirth-related expenses up to a certain ceiling. You will receive additional bonuses such as extended pre-hospitalization and post-hospitalization coverage, day care, vaccination and ambulance costs. Coverage is limited to plan type and varies by insurer.

Some mothers may wish to extend coverage for their newborn, particularly if their child was born with a pre-existing medical condition. Talk to your doctor for more details.

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