What to Expect: Hospital Birth Costs

Health Insurance Coverage

You've probably given a lot of thought to your health insurance coverage and costs. But if you don't know your maternity coverage, it's time to take another look. Health insurance is vital to obtaining maternity care services -- and being able to afford them, according to the March of Dimes.

Make sure your insurance covers childbirth costs, including baby's nursery care. Depending on your birth plan, you may also want birth setting and labor support options included in your provider's plan. Pay attention to your co-pay, deductible and what percentage is covered after your deductible is met.

If you decide to change health insurance plans, you may wish to do so before becoming pregnant. The federal government prohibits group health insurance plans from treating pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, but individual health insurance plans can legally treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, effectively denying you maternity coverage, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Some companies also require you to "pre-authorize" coverage for your baby, and some require that you call them when you arrive at the hospital to deliver-- if you forget, you could be refused coverage.

Copyright © 2011 Meredith Corporation.

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