What is Maternity Coverage?
Maternity Coverage became a requirement under the Affordable Care Act during President Obama's Term. In 2010 the health insurance companies were required to change their terms, coverages, and options. Maternity benefits under what has been dubbed Obamacare is one of 10 coverages that are essential benefits covered by health insurance. Depending on which insurance carrier, and which coverages you have, maternity coverage may or may not be provided. Private, individual health plans that are not provided by an employer most likely will not have a maternity benefit.
What Is Included In Maternity Coverage?
In general, you should expect insurance to cover outpatient services such as labs and routine screenings, hospitalizations and hospital fees (inpatient services, like birthing), Physician fees, medications, newborn baby care, as well as aftercare such as breast pumps. Depending on the plan, coverages will vary, however, a basic plan should cover these essentials. Newborn Baby falls under the Maternity Health Insurance clause or essential coverage. The infant's medical treatments both inpatient and outpatient are covered under the ACA requirements.
The Cost Of Having A Baby Without Maternity Health Insurance
Childbirth alone can cost between $10,000 and $20,000, depending on circumstances, location, and treatment involved during the birthing process. If complications arise during pregnancy, delivery, or after birth the cost of care increases drastically. Without insurance, this will leave you on the hook for 100% of the cost. Many young families without coverage are in serious debt from medical bills incurred while expecting a baby and the birthing process. Since having children at home is no longer an option in today's world, considering birthing centers can be more affordable.
Maternity Coverage Under The Affordable Care Act
Since the ACA was implemented, coverages of many health services have also changed. Maternity coverage is no exception since it is a common inpatient service that is very expensive. Securing ACA maternity coverage is an option for those who cannot afford expensive maternity insurance coverage. Unless you enroll during the annual open enrollment or state-funded Medicaid program you may not be covered.
Maternity health insurance is now more accessible than ever under the ACA maternity coverage laws. These laws were put in place to try and offer expectant mothers access to medical treatment and supervision. This gave a greater success rate for healthy babies and high-risk mothers who may not have afforded proper prenatal care.
Maternity Coverage Before The ACA Implementation
Prior to 2010 when The Obama Administration created ACA healthcare and ACA maternity coverage was standardized, maternity insurance coverage was a premium coverage. Meaning coverage was not mandated and very few 'affordable' plans offered maternity insurance coverage. If an employer had a benefit plan, maternity health insurance was usually not a part of the premiums.
Once the ACA maternity insurance coverage was put into law along with 9 other 'essential' coverages, and laws removing the 'pre-existing conditions' clause, maternity health insurance was available under most plans including employer-offered plans and COBRA, without outrageous premiums, copay's and deductibles. There were still percentages the insured had to pay out-of-pocket, but the laws changed to allow more Americans to afford health coverage. Maternity insurance coverage became a required benefit for many plans.
Medical Treatment For Expectant Mothers Under The ACA Maternity Coverage Law
Prenatal care is crucial for the continued monitoring of mother and child's health. Different pregnancies, women, and environments make diverse circumstances with every child. The ACA Maternity insurance coverage ensures that both mother and baby will receive the same quality of care as a patient carrying the most costly insurance.
ACA maternity coverage leveled the playing field, creating fair treatment for every expectant family, regardless of economic standing. This meant that major players in the insurance industry now offered plans at an affordable level for the average-income families, self-employed, and employees who were not offered insurance through their employer. It also required companies that had a staff of more than 50 employees were required to offer Prenatal care on their policies if they offered insurance as a benefit.
Making Insurance Available To All Income Levels
Maternity care is just the beginning. After the baby reaches 60 days old, other coverage is needed to continue care. The child will need vaccinations, wellness checks, in addition to urgent treatment in emergency situations, and medications if the child becomes ill. These expenses can far exceed the cost of an ACA Insurance plan, and maintaining coverage will also qualify for tax breaks during filing season. The Affordable Care Act was implemented to offer health coverage for families that did not qualify for state-funded Medicaid, and could not afford standard insurance premium charges that were often in excess of $1,000 per month for families.