The new baby is on the way! So many things to think about. Sharing the news with friends and family, the super fun baby reveal party, designing a nursery…. insurance. What! Insurance?
Health Insurance (During Pregnancy)
If you are unsure how your health insurance works, now’s the time to research your benefits. Here are some examples of what you need to consider:
- Out-of-pocket costs: Copays, coinsurance, and deductibles
- Making sure your doctors are all in your provider network
Contact your health insurance company with policy number in hand and ask these key questions, making sure to write down with whom you talked to and the date:
- Are prenatal care, labor, and delivery covered benefits under my policy?
- Do I need a referral from my primary care doctor to see an OB-GYN or other specialists?
- Will I need pre-authorization for any prenatal care?
- What prenatal tests are covered (ultrasounds, amniocentesis, genetic testing, etc.)?
- What common prenatal, labor, and delivery needs are not covered by my policy?
- Which hospitals in my area are in my insurance policy’s network?
- What do I need to do to ensure that my newborn is covered from the moment of delivery?
- How long of a hospital stay is covered after delivery?
- Does my policy cover a private room or suite, or will I have to share a room?
- If you’re interested in nontraditional deliveries, like a home birth with a midwife, for instance, ask about coverage for these.
Health Insurance (After Delivery)
After your baby is born, your child is covered for the first 30 days of life as an extension of the mother, under her policy and deductible. Starting on day 31, this extension of coverages ends.
Having a child is a qualifying life event that triggers a special enrollment period. During the special enrollment period, you can enroll in a plan or change your current plan without waiting for the open enrollment period to begin. The special enrollment period extends for 60 days after your child’s birth. Once enrolled, the effective date is retroactive to your child’s birthdate.
Make sure you have a decision made as to which parents’ health plan your child will be added to and understand the additional premium costs. If you find yourself unable to take on the additional premium costs explore the resources potentially available through CHIP.
Most well-baby visits are considered preventive care and do not come with a copay, be sure to get your newest family member to those checkups.
Family Medical Leave // Short Term disability
Be sure to investigate your short-term disability insurance if your employer offers a plan. This will often provide a percentage of your earnings for a number of weeks if you need to stay home post-pregnancy. Should your employer not have a disability program, a federal law known as the Family Medical Leave Act can protect your employment position for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. There are a few exceptions: if you are working for a very small employer, or you have not been working very long with your current employer.
Adding a new child to your home is absolutely a time to reevaluate your life insurance needs. Ideally, you will want to have a conversation with a professional who can guide you through a personalized needs analysis. Be certain to understand what life insurance purchasing options you have through your employer for this discussion.
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