Pregnancy is a physically and financially stressful phase in life with lots of expenses and care required for the mother. This is why it is better to have prenatal care with insurance to take care of some of the financial burdens of a pregnancy.
This prenatal care involves various doctor or midwife visits to check the mother’s and fetus’s health to ensure the pregnancy is going on normally. It is through prenatal care that the health professional spots common problems that may grow dangerous if not treated. These visits are made every month for the first six months of pregnancy and then once a fortnight in the seventh and eighth month and every week in the ninth month.
On an average, prenatal care costs about $2000, which includes about 12 doctor’s visits at $100 to $200 per visit and routine blood tests, urinalysis and a minimum of one ultrasound conducted at 20 weeks.
Your health insurance covers prenatal care even if you join a group health insurance plan after getting pregnant. This is because the US Department of Labor prohibits treating pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and from refusing prenatal care or childbirth coverage if the insurance company offers maternity coverage. However while individual health insurance plans legally treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, delivery costs will not be covered if you join when you are pregnant.
If insured, make sure you check the insurance company for their requirements as some companies require pre-authorization for your baby. Your out-of-pocket costs for prenatal care here usually consists of copays or coinsurance for office visits and laboratory work which ranges from $200 to several thousands of dollars if your policy has a high deductible or if your pregnancy has complications. So as private insurance typically pays about 87% of the prenatal care costs, your out-of-pocket costs for prenatal care with insurance for a $2000 bill will be $260.
As oral health has an effect on your overall health, it’s recommended to have a dental checkup early in your pregnancy. Pregnant women and women planning to conceive need to take a prenatal vitamin containing folic acid, which costs about $0.30 per day or $9 per month.
Extra ultrasounds your doctor may require cost about $200 per ultrasound. Women suffering from chronic illnesses or who have pregnancy complications require frequent doctor visits. Moreover, diagnostic tests to check for possible problems and genetic abnormalities are recommended for women aged 35 and older or for those with a family history of some conditions and genetic abnormalities. The most commonly ordered tests cost $1000 or more, depending on the test.
Some insurance providers offer a discounted package for prenatal care or prenatal care with delivery for patients paying out of pocket. So look around and make comparisons before finally choosing your insurance provider.