Pregnant and losing health coverage

I am currently 7 months pregnant, due at the end of October. My insurance through my school is running out this month. Since I’ll be delivering mid semester, I won’t be eligible to renew my insurance. What are my options as far as Obamacare is concerned? Should I wait until October 1st to see what plans are available or should I try to purchase individual health insurance to cover the cost of delivery?

Maine Mom To Be

Dear Maine Mom To Be,

Don’t wait until October 1!  The information coming out on that date is about plans that start January 1, 2014.  You and Baby will need coverage before the New Year, that’s for sure.

For the rest of 2013, here are three options for you:

  1. Contact your student health insurance plan and ask if they have COBRA continuation coverage.  This would allow you to keep that plan, though you would have to pay for it.  COBRA is very likely cheaper than getting an individual plan.
  2. Apply for MaineCare (also called Medicaid).  Pregnant women qualify for MaineCare in a simplified, streamlined application process.  If you are not sure whether you qualify (it’s based upon your income), apply and find out.  The MaineCare Application is available online.  You would then take the application to your nearest Department of Health and Human Services office.
  3. Look into an individual health plan.  This will work, though it may be your most expensive option.  If you enjoy doing this kind of thing yourself, the Maine Bureau of Insurance has an excellent web page on Individual Health Plans.   Otherwise, your best bet is to find an insurance broker.  Ask your car insurance agent if he or she also handles health or can refer you to someone.  The Maine Association of Health Underwriters’ website has a “Find An Agent” tool that you can use also.

Don’t worry about having to change health plans mid-pregnancy; the new plan will cover the pregnancy.  It’s not a “pre-existing condition” the way other health issues are, so the insurers have to pay for it.

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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.