Medicaid for baby

I am about 6 weeks away from delivering our first child.  I’m covered by my employer, but I’m planning to quit work after the baby is born.  We cannot afford to add the baby to my husband’s plan at his work.  Could the baby possibly get Medicaid?  If that’s possible, should I apply for it now so that the baby’s hospital stay will be covered? 

Expecting Great Things

Dear Expecting Great Things,

Yes, it is possible that your child can get Medicaid, if your family income is low enough.  To decide whether your baby qualifies, the program will look only at your family’s income, not your assets (property such as a home or savings account).    The program would look at your assets, if you were applying for yourself. 

You can start the application process for the baby’s Medicaid.  To start, you can download the MaineCare application  and then contact your local Department of Health and Human Services office.  Ask to speak to an eligibility specialist. 

You don’t need to worry about your hospital stay being covered.  Your hospital stay, including the baby’s care during the stay, for the delivery will be covered by your employer’s plan.  Under the Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996, the plan has to cover you and the baby for a 48-hour stay for normal delivery and 96-hour stay for a C section.  However, some plans will charge you for “adding” the baby.  Check with your employer about whether you will need to pay to cover the baby for the first month.

Expecting your first child is a very exciting time!  Good luck!

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.