If you find yourself facing an unplanned pregnancy and no medical insurance, there are programs that can help. Not having medical insurance doesn’t mean that it is any less important that you receive proper medical care throughout your pregnancy for yourself and your baby. Out of the 41 million uninsured and under insured Americans, 13% of them are pregnant women. Not having the proper medical care during pregnancy can cause dangerous complications for both you and your baby.
Don’t worry, if you are pregnant and don’t have health insurance, there are some options to help get you covered so you can receive the care you need.
Obama Care and the Affordable Care Act
Over the past few years there has been a big push in health-care reform laws. Under Obama Care, the Affordable Care Act has increased options for Americans to receive medical coverage. Under the act, insurance companies can no longer deny insurance based on pre-existing conditions, including pregnancy. If you are unemployeed, the Act enables you to apply for a plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace however open enrollment is only once a year.
No matter what state you live in, you can apply for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid. Medicaid is a no-cost health insurance for those who have low incomes and no access to health insurance through their employers. Even if you haven’t qualified in the past, many states increase their income requirement during pregnancy to help more pregnant women get coverage. Click here to see if you qualify for Medicaid.
Women, Infants and Children(WIC)
WIC is not a medical insurance program. Instead, WIC is a “supplemental nutrition program” that helps pregnant women and parents access healthy, nutritional foods for themselves and their children. Find out if you’re eligible and how to apply here.
You May Be Able to Be Covered Under Your Parent’s Insurance
If either of your parent’s have a health plan, they should be able to add you as a dependent up until you are 26 years old even if you don’t live with them. The catch is that each insurance company has different policies and so it will take some research to find out if you can be added on their insurance and if it will cover maternity medical needs. But if you are pregnant and don’ have health insurance, is it definitely worth the phone call.
In addition to the federal programs, your state may also offer specific medical assistance programs. Below are just a few of the specific state-run program. For more information on programs in your state to help pregnant women, contact you local health department or call 1-800-311-BABY.
Healthy Start in Connecticut is a program which pregnant women in need can apply and then receive free or low-cost prenatal care at those hospitals or clinics receiving grants from Healthy Start. Click here for more information about the program.
The state of Delaware runs its own WIC program. You can find details about the program and see if you qualify here.
Delaware offers subsidized health insurance to pregnant women through its Medicaid program. You can find more information here.
In New Jersey
Pregnant women in New Jersey can get health insurance through NJ FamilyCare/Medicaid. Click here to get more information about the program and to see if you qualify. There is also a list of local phone numbers at the bottom of the link to call for more information.
In New York City
New York State’s Department of Health has its own Medicaid program that offers complete pregnancy care to women who need health insurance. To find out more, call the New York State Growing Up Healthy Hotline at 800-522 – 5006.
Healthy Beginnings is a program run by the Pennsylvania State government that offers health insurance, free of charge, to women who are pregnant and don’t have health insurance or cannot afford it on their own. Learn more here. The PA Department of Public Welfare has additional programs that you might be eligible for that can also help. To see a full list of their programs click here.
CommonHelp is a website that helps those living in Virginia with low-cost/no-cost health insurance as well as assistance with heating and cooling bills, food, childcare and more. You may be eligible for several of their programs. Visit the link to learn more.
Importance of Getting Help to Ensure You Get the Care You Need
It is important to start reaching out to the above programs as soon as you find out you are pregnant so that you are able to begin getting the care you need right away. Medical insurance is not the only type of assistance you may need during your pregnancy. Here is a link to a resource that can help you find programs that can assist you with your other needs as well.