When a woman gets pregnant, the most immediate things that typically come to mind are the gender of the baby, what the pregnancy will feel like, and how much her future is about to change. What probably isn't going through her mind is what pregnancy is like on Medicaid, even though for some women, it should be a topic that is addressed early on.
Because as much of a magical time as pregnancy is, the truth of the matter is that being pregnant and having a baby isn't free. In fact, it's not cheap at all, which is why some mothers end up resorting to the option of Medicaid.
Luckily, government programs like Medicaid make it possible for single moms without health insurance to have a pregnancy and birth that are virtually worry free, except for the more common worries that most expectant moms face. Instead of stressing over how they’re going to pay the hospital bills once the baby arrives, the pregnant mom-to-be can focus on her health and her unborn baby’s health too.
The cost of having a baby can be upwards of $10,000, but with access to programs like Medicaid, women can get the assistance they need, since health insurance can often be much too costly for women whose employers don’t offer such benefits.
As many moms can attest to, the availability of Medicaid makes it that much more possible to not feel like they’re going to be plied with thousands of dollars worth of bills upon being released from the hospital after having their baby. Pregnancy on Medicaid can be the difference between a pregnancy full of extra stress on both mom and baby, and the ability to just enjoy the pregnancy as they should.
14 Means Enjoying The Pregnancy
When there is the added stress of figuring out how to pay hospital bills after having a baby, it makes it increasingly hard to just enjoy the pregnancy itself. In addition to the numerous doctor’s appointments during pregnancy, which sometimes include ultrasounds or different important prenatal tests, there is the matter of the actual labor and delivery.
That is where much if the cost of pregnancy comes in and without health insurance, it can be a stressful and even scary thing to think about. Pregnant women who have Medicaid can benefit from the fact that having the help that it provides eliminates the worry about hospital bills and allows the woman to simply enjoy her pregnancy as it progresses.
Of course they should be able to enjoy the pregnancy regardless, but when there are bills hanging over their head during the entire pregnancy, it makes it hard to focus solely on the pregnancy and unborn baby.
13 Some Midwives Even Accept Medicare
While most hospitals and doctor’s offices accept Medicaid, and that is a wonderful thing for expectant moms, some pregnant women prefer the services of midwives, which can make for a more personal and natural feeling experience during a pregnancy and throughout the labor and delivery process. So for an expectant mom on Medicare to learn that a midwife accepts their form of insurance is sometimes a surprise.
Because midwifery isn’t as essential as typical medical care, there are most instances where midwives won’t accept Medicaid, but when an expectant mom comes upon one who does, it can make a huge difference. For some soon-to-be moms, it means that they can still follow through with their pregnancy plan, despite having no insurance before they became pregnant.
Just because they’re on Medicaid, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t entitled to the availability of the kind of prenatal care that makes them most comfortable.
12 Baby Won't Be Covered By Medicare Until They're Born
Learning that, in many cases, women can;t apply for Medicaid for their child until the baby is born can be stressful. If life with a newborn isn’t an adjustment in itself, regardless of whether or not there are already other kids involved, having the added stress of filling out more paperwork soon after having a baby can be daunting.
Unfortunately, it’s just another part of having a baby while on Medicaid and while it can sometimes feel tedious, it’s also something that everyone involved will reap the benefits from. Luckily, once the mother applies for Medicaid the day after the baby is born, the insurance will take care of any of the newborn expenses the baby incurred in the day before the mom signed their baby up.
Still, it doesn’t make it any easier for a mother to do so soon after giving birth.
11 Having Post-Pregnancy Visits Covered
Since the individual applied for Medicaid while pregnant, the service rolls over to them even after the baby is born. They can continue to see the doctor and get all of their post-pregnancy check-ups on time, but they’ll still need to apply for Medicaid for their baby.
They were always covered on Medicaid, since they were the pregnant ones, but the new baby needs Medicaid of their own. Following labor and delivery, the new mom will need to see her doctor to talk about birth control methods, talk about her post-pregnancy mental health, and allow the doctor to check her uterus and healing progress.
So having the availability of Medicaid even after having a baby is plenty necessary on these cases. The new mom won’t need to reapply for herself, but instead just apply separately for her new little one.
10 Providing Proof To Qualify
In order to apply for Medicaid as a pregnant woman, there are certain documents needed to prove eligibility, because as much as Medicaid might be needed, not everyone will qualify. Figuring out what is needed and gathering all of the correct documents can be stressful for an expectant mom, but plenty worth the effort.
The applicant will need to provide proof that she’s pregnant, proof of citizenship, and proof of their income. For a family of three, the total yearly income must be below $27, 821 in order to qualify for Medicaid and for a family of four, their income has to be under $33,534 for Medicaid benefits to cover their hospital and doctor visit costs.
Providing proof of insurance can be as easy as providing tax returns from that year, but any pregnant woman on Medicaid knows the pressure of compiling the right documents and proof in order to apply.
9 Having Everything Covered
During a woman’s pregnancy, there are so many hospital visits and tests that tend to really add up, not to mention the costs that come with labor and delivery and everything in between. There is the hospital stay for the mom, as well as any painkillers she might require during birth, and anything that the baby needs.
This includes any medicine or supplies and of course formulas, should breastfeeding not be on the table for the new mom. The cost of having a baby can often reach up to almost $9,000 including the hospital stay itself. Luckily, Medicaid covers the entire cost of the hospital and doctor bills, taking the burden off the shoulders of the new mom.
Having a baby on Medicaid means that they will be able to have their entire labor and delivery fees covered, and that’s a huge thing.
8 Getting Services Up To 60 Days After
While pregnant women on Medicaid receive financial assistance for all of their hospital bills when it comes to labor and delivery, there are also the labor and pregnancy-related appointments that follow labor. As in, the doctor appointments to be sure the mother is healing properly and taking care of her mental health as well as her new baby’s overall health.
With Medicaid, they will receive the same full coverage on pregnancy-related appointments for up to 60 days following the actual delivery of their baby. This is especially useful, because it also covers any unforeseen post-partum complications that might arise.
Of course that isn’t what new moms expect to encounter, but having Medicaid still available for them in the event of a pregnancy-related complication showing up in the weeks following labor is always a relief.
7 Being Judged
Moms judge other moms. It’s an unfortunate fact, but a fact all the same. Maybe it’s because those moms are insecure in their own parenting methods, or maybe they think they are that good, that anyone doing things differently is foolish. Either way, a lot of moms will find reasons to judge other ones.
The same goes for the moms who aren’t on Medicaid who find it necessary to judge other moms. They might see the government assistance as beneath them, but the truth is, being judged doesn’t take away from the fact that so many expectant parents benefit greatly from Medicaid.
Lucy and Aaron Peck told NPR about their own experiences and that despite feeling judged by some other parents, they were incredibly grateful for the benefits that Medicaid provided.
6 It's A Relief To Many
Like the case with Aaron and Lucy Peck, most couples or single moms who are able to get on Medicaid are grateful for its availability. They see the value in appreciating assistance such as that, as opposed to feeling embarrassed or worried about what other people might think of them.
Programs like Medicaid are there for a reason, and everyone needs help at some point. Being able to take advantage of Medicaid while pregnant is a relief to so many who might have been taken off of someone’s insurance or can’t afford the exorbitant monthly fees of private health insurance companies. Mostly, the parents are just relieved that they qualify for Medicaid and can put the worry of unpaid hospital bills behind them.
Instead of wasting time worrying over what other parents might think of the program, these parents are happy to have it there for them.
5 Feeling Stress At Figuring It All Out
Before finding out if they’re eligible for Medicaid or before realizing just the kinds of costs that go into pregnancy, labor, and delivery, expectant parents will have to figure out such costs. Then, they’ll have to figure out everything that goes into learning about Medicaid and how they might apply for it, should they be eligible.
It isn’t impossible, by any stretch of the imagination, as millions of people are able to take advantage of the assistance, but it can still be stressful. Being pregnant on Medicaid and trying to figure it all out isn’t the easiest thing, nor is it something pregnant women will look forward to when their main concern should be their pregnancy itself.
Regardless of how much it helps, the stress that comes along with getting on Medicaid while pregnant is still very real.
4 No Rushing To Get Out Of Hospital After Baby Is Born
For some parents, as silly as it may sound, they end up trying to rush the discharge after having a baby in a hospital. This is because with each day the mom and new baby spend in the hospital, the higher the bills will be at the end of it all. With Medicaid, though, Mom and baby are free to recover at the proper pace, without trying to leave too early, enabling them both to relax as much as possible after the labor.
Typically, a woman who has a vaginal birth will be released from the hospital 24 to 48 hours after, and women who have C-sections are usually released two to three days later. But in the event that Mom or baby to stay on a day or two longer, Medicaid will also cover that for them, and the added help is something any new parent could use at such a time.
3 No Huge Bills If There's No Insurance
It probably can’t be said enough that not having medical insurance makes for a very stressful pregnancy and months following the birth, since the hospital bills will begin to pile up. Having a baby on Medicaid makes it so people who cannot afford to pay back those bills don’t have to spend time worrying about them to no end, since Medicaid will cover the very large medical bills that come along with having a baby and checking the mother’s and baby’s health in the weeks following labor and delivery.
While for some, it is easy enough to get on a payment plan and pay back the medical bills or the portion of the bills that their insurance doesn’t cover, others, who reply on programs like Medicaid, typically can’t afford to get on any sorts of payment plans to pay back any of the thousands of dollars that result in prenatal and postnatal care.
2 Pregnant Women Can Apply For It
For some, there might be the worry of qualifying for Medicaid if they’re already pregnant. That might be a concern, as they’ll probably wonder if they need to already have the assistance when they get pregnant, or it will be null and void.
The fact it, though, even if women apply for Medicaid after they discover that they are pregnant, they can still qualify and the program will pay for any of the prorated pregnancy care they were given in the time between applying and approval of Medicaid. Knowing that Medicaid will be there for the expectant mom can make things easier overall, without the added worry of assuming that they aren't eligible, simply because they weren’t signed up for the program before they got pregnant.
Instead, women are welcome to apply for Medicaid as soon as they find out they’re pregnant, but still have their pregnancy medical costs covered.
1 All Ultrasounds And Tests Are Covered
The average cost of just one ultrasound ranges between $200 and $300. That’s just for one ultrasound, among the many that most women get during their pregnancies. The tests that pregnant women undergo are various blood tests throughout the pregnancy, as well as the necessary glucose test to check for gestational Diabetes, and those, along the the ultrasound costs, can add up very quickly.
The important part, though, is that none of them are optional. All of the tests, poking, and prodding, is unfortunately plenty mandatory. Ultrasounds and blood tests are completely necessary when pregnant, in order to best assess the health of both mom and baby.
Being able to get all of the necessary tests and screenings thanks to Medicaid can ensure that all pregnant women are treated correctly and fairly in their prenatal care.
While women who have no access to insurance or assistance won’t necessarily opt to have their baby anywhere other than a clean, safe hospital, being on Medicaid when pregnant makes sure that there doesn't have to be any doubts or worries about being in the right sort of sterile environment.
It gives pregnant women who can't afford other insurance the ability to be just like every other expectant mom and have a solid birthing plan in a safe and comfortable hospital of their choosing. It might not seem like a huge deal, and sound like something that is just a given, but without health insurance, it can sometimes feel like visiting hospitals for any medical reason is off the table.
Medicaid helps pregnant women overcome that, despite any of the taboo thoughts surrounding the program and any naysayers.