Having a child changes your life — and your financial priorities.
There’s a lot that goes into preparing to become a parent, and one of the most important considerations is making sure you have the right insurance. Getting employer-provided coverage (or self-funded coverage if you’re self-employed) is a good place to start, but sometimes you need extra protection. This is where supplemental maternity insurance can help growing families.
Supplemental insurance can fill gaps in your plan’s coverage that would otherwise increase your out-of-pocket health care costs. If you’re preparing to have a child, here’s why you should consider including it in your health plan strategy.
What Is Supplemental Maternity Insurance?
Did you know it can cost anywhere from $5,000 to more than $10,000 to give birth, depending on which state you live in? And that’s if you have insurance — if you don’t, your delivery can get even more expensive. Even if you’re covered, you could face increased out-of-pocket costs during pregnancy if you have an extended hospital stay due to complications or premature delivery, if you have to be placed on bed rest or if you’re out of work for several weeks or months after childbirth.
Supplemental insurance may be able to help offset some of these costs. Fixed indemnity plans are one of the most popular forms of supplemental insurance. This insurance provides coverage for medical services, such as extended hospital stays and certain inpatient or outpatient procedures.
Whether you have a normal labor and delivery or your baby comes early and has to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit to receive special care, extra coverage can step in when you’re recovering and the last thing you want to think about is your medical bill.
With hospital indemnity insurance, you receive a cash benefit to pay for certain hospital expenses after you incur them. You can also use this money to pay for other child-related costs, such as child care after you return to work or copays for pediatric visits and ER trips if your baby gets a fever during their first weeks of life.
How to Get Supplemental Maternity Insurance
The best time to get a policy is before your family grows. These policies may come with exclusion periods up to several months, so it’s a good idea to sign up well in advance of when you plan to become pregnant.
Supplemental insurance is typically offered as an add-on to your existing insurance policy. Contact your company’s HR department about how to add this voluntary benefit. If you’re self-employed, call your insurance carrier to get information about monthly premiums and coverage options. If your primary carrier doesn’t offer supplemental insurance, you can buy it from a different insurer.
Before you sign up for a policy, make sure to read the fine print, as some policies may not cover your maternity needs. When you find a plan that does fit the bill, though, supplemental insurance can make the experience of becoming a parent a little less stressful. After all, no one wants to be stuck with a surprise medical bill when you should be focused on welcoming your little one into the world.