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Wednesday, November 4, 2009 |

Health Insurance and Planning for Baby

We are gearing up to start trying (sometime) for a new addition to our family. We’re not sure quite when we’ll be ready but right now we are focused on “getting our ducks in a row.” Since October is also the month when I select my health insurance benefits at work, we have been thinking about how a baby could impact my health insurance this year.

My employer offers three plans to choose from. Right away we thought that it would probably be best for us to get the most expensive plan because it offers the most coverage. However, I decided to do some more research before I made the final choice. We don’t want to waste money on coverage and features we are unlikely to need. Lately we have been thinking about using a midwife or even doing a home birth. Which of these plans (if any) would cover those options?

My first stop was my insurer’s website. I searched for an in-network midwife within 5 miles … none. I tried 10 miles … none. I tried my entire state … none. Gah! Finally I searched for “nearest” and found several located 71 miles away. Yeah. I am thinking that that just won’t work! I did some more online research and discovered that midwives aren’t covered in-network in my state, but they are in other states. That sounded terribly unfair, so I continued searching.

It turns out that if there are no in-network midwives within 30 miles, I can petition to have an out-of-network midwife covered at the in-network rates. Of course, this only works if the insurer approves the petition. This means that there is a chance that our entire birthing bill could end up being out-of-network. I am so glad I did the research now, when we have plenty of time to plan for the potential expense. I was able to select the best health insurance for our specific upcoming health needs.

Have you ever selected your insurance coverage based on a specific policy or provider?

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