Women find themselves pregnant and without health insurance to cover prenatal care or birth for a variety of reasons. For some, the cost of health insurance is not within the family’s budget or the employer does not offer health benefits to employees. In the current recession, many people are losing their jobs. With these jobs, employer based health care benefits are often lost.
Displaced workers have the option of COBRA to continue health benefits. However, the premium to continue the benefits is extremely expensive. Since the family has lost the income, they are often not able to afford these payments. In other cases, people have health insurance, but find it doesn’t cover pregnancy.
There are resources available in all fifty states in the U.S. to help women in this situation. You can access the services through your local Department of Health and Human Services. The contact information can be found in your phone book or by searching on the Internet.
When you contact the agency, they will put you in touch with the right department to handle your case. This may be through Medicaid or a state program, depending on where you live. There are requirements to qualify for care, including income verification. In most states, if you can’t afford to pay for health care, you will likely qualify for aid.
When you go to your first appointment, bring along the necessary documentation. This varies by state, but most require social security and drivers licenses to prove identity. Check stubs, bank statements, tax returns and other financial information will be required. When you make the appointment, they should tell you what you need. If they don’t, ask. This will expedite the process.
With most state aid, there will be limitations regarding health care practitioners and, in many cases, the hospital where you will deliver. The doctor or midwife has to be enrolled to accept the program in order for you to choose them to provide your care. Your local agency can supply you with a list of participating providers in your area.