About Maternity Health Insurance Coverage
First and foremost, if you are planning on becoming pregnant, you need to make sure you have health insurance coverage that includes maternity health care. If your bundle of joy is unexpected and you find yourself without insurance, you are not alone. Approximately 13% of women who become pregnant each year are not insured. The sheer joy of being pregnant can quickly turn to feelings of anxiety and financial burden unless you have maternity health insurance to help defray costs and keep nerves from fraying. Fortunately, we can help.
If you're thinking about having a baby, insurance may be the last thing on your mind. But you can save yourself a lot of money, and buy yourself some peace of mind, if you take a few minutes to investigate whether you should buy maternity insurance.
Even if you already have health insurance, it may not cover some of the expenses associated with pregnancy. When you are pregnant, you will probably make many visits to your doctor, maybe as often as twice a month for the whole nine months of your pregnancy. Check to see if your current health insurance covers this many visits. Women whose insurance does not pay for multiple doctor's visits during pregnancy sometimes skip visits to save money. But this can create problems for both you and your baby.
Health Insurance and Prenatal Care
Many women who do not have pregnancy coverage put off going to the doctor for prenatal care, an essential step in having a safe and health pregnancy. Uninsured pregnant women wait until the second trimester or later to begin prenatal care. To protect your own health and the health of your baby, you should see your doctor as soon as you learn you are pregnant. Early, consistent prenatal care is the best way to avoid any problems that may come up with your pregnancy. Maternity insurance covers this type of care.
Of course you will also have a large hospital bill when you have your baby, and you may need to make several visits to your doctor after your baby is born. Some health insurance plans cover all or most of these expenses, but others do not. It pays to find out just how much is covered as soon as you learn you're pregnant.
Unfortunately, not every pregnancy goes smoothly. Complications for the mother or the baby can run up huge hospital bills. If you or baby needs special care, you don't want to be thinking about how to pay for it. In these situations, maternity insurance can put your mind at ease.
Getting Affordable Maternity Health Coverage
Many private insurance companies offer maternity insurance. You can shop around online for the best policy at the best price. Look for a plan that places few restrictions on the treatments it covers. Remember, though, that maternity insurance covers only expenses related to your pregnancy. It does not cover other health problems you may have.
The best time to buy maternity insurance is before you are pregnant. Some companies offer maternity insurance to women who are already pregnant, but some do not. To keep your options open, look into getting maternity insurance as soon as you start to consider becoming pregnant.
If you cannot afford private maternity insurance, you can apply to a public program for help with the cost of your pregnancy. All states offer some type of maternity health care assistance, either through Medicaid or through some other plan designed specifically for pregnant women. Be sure to take advantage of all the services you are entitled to. Your state may offer nutrition assistance and educational services in addition to paying for medical care.
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CIGNA Maternity Care
We care about the health and well-being of our members. Cigna HealthCare Network and Point-of-Service plan participants have open access to participating OB/GYNs without the need for PCP referrals. Participants in our Network Open Access, POS Open Access, EPO and PPO plans are not required to get referrals for any type of specialized care. Open access encourages women to take advantage of preventive care including pre-pregnancy planning, to access maternity services earlier, and to seek covered OB/GYN services. The Cigna HealthCare Healthy BabiesSM program, available to expectant participants in our Network, POS, EPO and PPO plans, provides educational support to help participants have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
To encourage women to see their OB/GYN for regular checkups during pregnancy, there are no co-payments for prenatal visits. We also provide expectant mothers with educational materials, including a handbook on pregnancy and infancy.
In order to identify high-risk pregnancies early, an expectant mother, in conjunction with her obstetrician or primary care physician, completes a risk assessment/screening questionnaire. If a high-risk pregnancy is identified, the woman will be followed throughout the pregnancy by a case manager who is a registered nurse. The case manager, trained in obstetrics, works with the doctor and member to develop and carry out an appropriate treatment plan that fosters a successful pregnancy and childbirth.
The time a mother and baby spend in the hospital after delivery is a medical decision. Consistent with federal law effective 1/1/98, the Cigna HealthCare national maternity policy includes coverage for 48 hours of hospitalization following a normal vaginal delivery and 96 hours following an uncomplicated Caesarean section. Shorter or longer lengths of stay may be approved at the request of the attending physician.
Medically necessary home care services are available following discharge from the hospital. Home care nurses are trained to give a full assessment of the mother's and baby's health as well as answer any questions. Many physicians find that home care is the most effective way to follow up with a new mother since it enables a complete assessment of both health and home environmental issues.