Obamacare: coverage for prenatal and maternity care

How has Obamacare changed prenatal and maternity insurance options?

Family Planner

Dear Family Planner,

Under the reform laws, all health plans must cover prenatal and maternity services.  This will not be a change for the vast majority employer-based group plans, since these had to be covered as any other illness under previous non-discrimination laws.  (A few group plans — such as plans covering Catholic priests and nuns — had not covered these services.)

It is a change for some non-group or “individual” plans.  Some people found this burdensome or absurd — why would a plan for a single man need to cover services he could never need?  It’s a bit academic, since the rate charged for the single man would not need to take into account prenatal care; but the contract itself will state that the service is covered.  The same is true for plans covering post-menopausal women or people who have sworn to celibacy.

Anyway, health reform didn’t change coverage for prenatal and maternity care.  It only changed which plans have to cover 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.