There’s a lot to worry about when expecting a baby, like the cost of newborn care. Here’s what you need to know about newborn coverage!
Yes, you can get health insurance for babies since having a child is a qualifying life event that triggers a special enrollment period which allows you to enroll in or change your health insurance plan.
What are the risks of not having baby insurance?
According to Medibank, health care services for newborns are among the most expensive medical expenses. If you go without getting newborn during the window that you’re allowed, you could end up with expensive medical bills that are at times difficult to pay down.
Getting health insurance for babies will help you protect both your new born and your child.
Does my individual or family plan automatically cover my new baby?
The answer is to this question is both yes and no. After giving birth, the newborn is covered for the first 30 days of their life as an extension of the mother under her policy and deductible.
Starting on day 31, this extension of coverages ends. While maternity care (both pre and postnatal) and some health care services for children are essential benefits that are covered by all marketplace plans, health insurance for babies is not included as an essential benefit. In order to get health insurance for babies, you must enroll in or change your health insurance plan.
Having a child is a qualifying life event which triggers a special enrollment period that allows you to enroll or change your health insurance plan outside of the annual open enrollment period.
After your qualifying life event – in this case giving birth – you have a 60 day window to get health insurance for babies. During this time you can either enroll in or change your health insurance coverage to include coverage for your child.
What do I do if I don’t have health insurance?
If you don’t have health insurance, you will have to pay all expenses out-of-pocket.
According to Parents.com, birth can cost between $2,000-$4,500 dollars depending on the method of delivery without complications. You would not only have to pay for prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care out-of-pocket but for all care that your newborn receives after birth.
You do however have options before giving birth if you are having a difficult time affording health insurance.
Even if you don’t think you qualify based on income for programs like Medicaid, you should still apply because you may be more likely to receive coverage if you are pregnant. This is a great way to get health insurance for yourself and health insurance for babies. With Medicaid you don’t have to wait until the annual open enrollment period to apply and enroll, you can enroll in coverage at any time of the year, if you qualify.
Planned Parenthood and CHIP as health insurance options
Additionally, there are facilities – such as Planned Parenthood – that sometimes offer prenatal care at lower-rates depending on your income.
If you don’t have health insurance and aren’t planning on getting health insurance, you can look into applying for CHIP. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a way to get health insurance for families who have a difficult time affording health insurance for themselves or health insurance for babies or older children.
While what CHIP covers varies state to state, according to their official website (?) CHIP provides coverage for the following services in all states:
- Doctor visits
- Dental and vision care (which are ordinarily covered through a parent’s health insurance)
- Inpatient and outpatient care
- Laboratory and X-ray services
- Emergency services
Keep in mind that in some states CHIP may provide more covered benefits for your child.
The eligibility guidelines for CHIP vary from state to state, but like Medicaid you can enroll at any time.
Where should I start shopping for health insurance for babies?
It is a good idea to start looking into health insurance for your newborn before you give birth. You can start looking for health insurance that will meet your coverage needs on eHealth.com! Enter your zip code where prompted on this page to start comparing premiums for over 10,000 plans from over 180 companies right now!