Expenses may run high when you’re expecting a child. Be it for the medical check-ups, regular tests, pre-natal or post-natal care, you’ll have to spend a lot on medical bills. Having health insurance protection is helpful for any individual and if you’re pregnant, you’ll need the insurance as a protective prop for both the mother and the baby.

How pregnancy had been disregarded by health care industry?

Childbirth and pregnancies are routine events in any part of the world. In spite of that, the health insurance industry had been pretty negligent about providing coverage for the expecting mothers. Pregnancy has always been considered as a pre-existing condition. The insurers either refused to cover the expenses related to childbirth or charged high rates to offer the necessary coverage for pregnant women. Medicaid offered coverage to those pregnant women who belong to the low-income group families. However, coverage was withdrawn 60 days after child birth unless the women were extremely poor.

What Obamacare promises?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more popularly known as the Obamacare, will be completely implemented by 2014. As the name goes, the Affordable Care Act tries to trim health care costs for the pregnant women as well. Read along to know how:

  1. Pregnancy will no longer be regarded as a pre-existing condition, and thus any health care plan – be it an individual plan or employer-supported or Exchange plan – isn’t allowed to charge more or deny coverage to pregnant women.
  2. Individual and group health plans have to extend coverage for babies and to children less than 19 years of age, and cannot exclude them on the basis of health conditions or problems.
  3. All new health plans will cover certain preventive screenings and other services. The insured women won’t need to pay extra for services like drug therapy, smoking cessation counseling or for the supplements required to help the pregnant women.
  4. Along with pregnancy and new-born care, the essential health benefits like vision and dental care for children will also be covered by the new health plans, 2014 onwards.
  5. Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) will be initiated to fund support services or programs across the US like parenting classes or education related to preventative care, planning etc.

The employer-funded health plans will cover the employees or their spouses, if they’re expecting their baby. The Affordable Care Act also includes a provision by which the young adults can stay covered under their parent’s health insurance plans, even if it’s a job-based one. However, the federal law doesn’t specifically require that the dependent children be covered during pregnancy, under their parent’s health plans. Thus, when it comes to extending coverage for the dependent children, the insurers can find a way around to avoid offering insurance protection.

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