It happens from time to time that I get a call from a woman who is pregnant, and she has no health insurance. In Washington State, there are programs available through DSHS for pregnant mothers that will pay for costs associated with a pregnancy, including the delivery. However, many times applicants do not meet the low income requirements to qualify for the State assistance.
Health Insurance carriers in Washington have 9 month waiting periods for most pre-existing conditions. This 9 month waiting period is waived if proof of prior credible insurance is provided, but when there’s been a lapse in coverage of more than 2 months, then the new insurance plan will have a 9 month waiting period on ‘pre-existing’ conditions (conditions treated or that should have been treated in the past 6 months)
Pregnancy has a different set of rules when it comes to the standard pre-existing condtion clause.
Coverage offered by an Employer (also called ‘Group’ insurance) typically DOES NOT consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition. Maternity and Diabetes are often exempt from the 9 month waiting period and covered without any issue.
Individual health insurance carriers do consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition. However, they will cover everything except the charges associated with the actual delivery. All prenatal doctor visits and ultrasound costs leading up to the delivery will be covered, even if there is a 9 month waiting period on the plan. Additionally, these plans will often pay for hospital and physician charges surrounding complications for the mother or newborn, as well as postpartum costs.
The cost of having a baby can range from as little as $4000 to as much as $20,000 or more if there are complications, premature birth, or an emergency c-section. Having the right health plan will make sure those costs are covered. For more information on the best health insurance to have when pregnant, give us a call 360-464-1622 or visit us at www.wahealthagency.com