I just read that medical costs for an uncomplicated pregnancy and childbirth average about $7,600 per woman, according to a federal Health and Human Services study. The information was part of an article in the New York Daily News last week about a New York State Medicaid program that helps local women who are pregnant and unemployed. It's called the Prenatal Care Assistance Program (PCAP.)
The possibility of a lost job in today's economy is scary and real, and it can also mean losing your health insurance. I just came across an Anonymous mom who's in this boat -- and she's far from alone. About 13% of women who become pregnant each year are uninsured.
Here are some tips from CafeMoms and from the American Pregnancy Association on what to look into if you're one of them.
Tips from CafeMoms:
I live in Texas, and my husband made too much for the kids to qualify but since I was pregnant, I automatically qualified. The baby was covered for a year, too. -- Jan40
I used a combination of insurance and Medicaid -- I had no out-of-pocket expenses. I applied for mine through the health department in my city. You could try that or your local department of children and family services. -- takedatath
Info from the APA on being pregnant and uninsured:
Medicaid -- It's a state-run program that's federally funded and offers assistance for low-income families and individuals. To locate an office near you, go to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Options vary by state, too, so check with your local department of health at Health Departments by State.
WIC -- A federal agency that helps women, infants, and children under the age of five.
Health Care Discount Programs
Other options for managing costs
Contact the hospital where you'll be delivering to ask about setting up a payment plan or if they offer a sliding scale of payment.
If you're having a low-risk pregnancy, consider delivering at a birthing center -- costs are often half of what they are at a hospital, and some offer payment plans or accept Medicaid.
Are you pregnant and uninsured? How are you managing the costs?