As of 2014, maternity coverage is a benefit included in every basic health care coverage plan. However, having a baby could mean that you now need more coverage for your own health. It will definitely mean that you’ll need coverage for your baby.
Your pregnancy does not make you eligible for a special enrollment period – you can only purchase, change, or add on to your health care coverage during open enrollment from November through January.
Your health insurance plan will include coverage for:
- Prenatal and postnatal doctor services
- Gestational screenings
- Lab studies
- Hospital visits and surgeries
- The birthing process
- Newborn care
- Lactation counseling
Even though your pregnancy does not make you eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, the birth of your child does. You have 60 days from the day your baby is born to either add him to your existing policy or purchase a new plan. You’ll need to contact your carrier with your baby’s birth certificate and social security number ready and follow their guidelines for adding a baby to your plan.
Having a baby is a great excuse to review your health plan and look into some potentially better options. Your coverage needs for both your health and your baby’s health will change, so you might want to look into adding coverage if not changing your plan entirely.
Something important to consider when switching health plans is pediatricians. Your current plan may not cover that amazing pediatrician your friend told you about. Look into what doctors and pharmacies accept your health plan before finalizing your changes. Additionally, having a baby means your budget is going to change. You may want to consider adjusting your plan to fit your monthly budgeting needs.
HealthTN is here to help you understand the health insurance world and connect you with the right plan. If you live in Tennesee, check out some of our online tools.