Having a baby comes with quite a to-do list. There are books to read, classes to consider, supplies to buy, a room to prepare, a budget to work around, and a million other things to think about. But of all the decisions you might need to make, finding healthcare coverage is by far one of the most important. Whether you’re a first-time parent or adding to your family, it’s likely you’ve considered individual health insurance for your newborn. Let’s review some vital information that will help you understand how best to protect your baby.
Parenthood means lots of expenses, but when you start a family without proper health coverage, you could be creating a lifetime of debt. Did you know the average hospital bill for childbirth is somewhere in the neighborhood of $11,000? Complications can cause that bill to skyrocket to more like $24,000. Bare in mind, these numbers speak to childbirth alone, and do not include prenatal care, testing, or necessary follow-up care for your newborn.1 Women without insurance are not subject to out-of-pocket limits, nor are they likely to be charged the lower, contracted rates for services negotiated by insurance companies.
But, the decision to buy individual health insurance for your newborn isn’t just about saving money and avoiding debt. It’s also about protecting you and your child from unnecessary harm. Did you know an infant is six times more likely to die in infancy if the mother did not get prenatal care, and a mother is two to three times more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth? Unfortunately, uninsured women and children are less likely to seek this kind of preventive care. The good news is that under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance plans must include maternity care and cover all pre-existing conditions.
Most parents understand the benefits of having health insurance for a newborn, but see the cost as unaffordable. However, rates are based on the age of the applicant, so these policies are often priced reasonably. Adding a child to an existing plan with a parent is the easiest option, and could be the most affordable (especially if you already have other insured children on the same plan). Premiums are often already priced for multiple dependents. Choosing a plan with a higher monthly premium and a lower deductible could also be a solution (it’s likely you will max out your deductible when giving birth). A plan with this type of cost-sharing means cutting down on out-of-pocket costs. And depending on your household income, you could qualify for subsidies to help with the expense of the premium.
Ease of Enrollment
Don’t forget having a baby is a qualifying life event, which affords you up to 60 days to obtain health insurance for a newborn. Be aware that under the Newborn’s Act, if you already have medical coverage, you are entitled to at least 48 hours of hospital benefits during delivery. Lastly, if you still choose not to secure medical coverage for you and your newborn, you are in violation of the law. Under the Affordable Care Act, all individuals who do not purchase healthcare insurance face tax penalties.
Going without health coverage can be a reckless and costly decision. There are many ways to find new baby insurance that will work for your growing family. HealthMarkets is here to help you sort through all of your options and offers a Best Price Guarantee*. We work with more than 180 insurance companies and are confident we can help you to find a policy that will fit your budget. The best way to protect your baby begins with providing good healthcare. Buying individual health insurance for a newborn is the surest way to promise that he or she receives that care. Call HealthMarkets today at (800) 360-1402.