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Insurance for a Pregnant Mama

Health insurance is important, especially if you have little ones or if you're expecting little ones. Lara has a situation:

My husband is about to leave his current employment and start his own business, I am 7 months pregnant and we need to sort out some new health care. While we could keep our current insurance through his employer, we would prefer not to as it’s a pretty crappy plan that will have us paying many thousands of dollars to have our baby (a high deductable plus 30% of hospital stay with a very high maximum). We are hoping that as a small business we can drop his current insurance and apply for a better plan that will cover more of the birthing expenses. Are there health plan that don’t consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition? Does any one know of a good plan that wont have us paying for most of the birth ourselves?


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My understanding is that Kaiser Permanente does not have any pre-existing clauses like some other plans. I had a great experience delivering with Kaiser, you may want to call or visit their website to check it out.

Whatever you do, keep your current insurance going through COBRA until you have an approval letter and insurance policy (also known as the certificate of insurance) in hand from a NEW insurance company.

There may be two options open to you: 1) a new policy, and 2) a policy through the state of Oregon. Insurance options can get complicated quick. Your best bet is to speak with an informed independent insurance agent as well as the Oregon Insurance Division to find out what options may be open to you and ensure that you don't inadvertantly put yourself at risk.

I left a job when Jen was about 5 months pregnant and continued insurance through COBRA for Jen. At the time, because my COBRA option had not been exhausted, I didn't have any other options. Honestly, if I could go back in time, I would've stuck if out with that employer until AFTER the birth.

Still this is my story/experience and that was nearly 5 years ago, so definitely get all the current facts from the right people.

Good luck!

I don't know what your financial situation is like, but OHP covers pregnant women and babies.

If you currently have insurance, you can transfer to a new plan no problem. You usually have 60 days during which you don't have to "start over." But no one -- NO ONE -- will give you insurance if you are pregnant, and don't already have insurance. Even if you *don't know you're pregnant yet.* (unless you get insurance through an employer or other group.) I applied through one of the insurance companies and coyly said that I didn't remember when my last period started... they sent a paper requesting the date and said, when I called, that if I was to later discover that I had been pregnant when I applied for insurance, even if I hadn't even *conceived* at the time of application (i.e. if last period before pregnancy was after the date, but I conceived two weeks later), I would be retroactively denied coverage.

I can't stress this enough!! When I was pregnant with Truman I looked at every. last. insurance company. I called everyone. Including Kaiser. They all pretty much laughed in my face. One of the reasons Jonathan joined the Army Reserves was because I was only working freelance and we had no possible way to get individual insurance. (He had lots of other reasons, never fear :)

You'll be ok, Lara, as long as you get on a new individual plan right after dropping the current insurance. But you'd be wise not to have your husband apply for group insurance with his new small business until after you have the baby. In fact, have him email me, because I have lots of advice about securing insurance as a small business manager. mama [at] cafemama.com.

These are some pretty significant ifs, but for what it's worth: if you are "low-risk", if you are comfortable with the idea, and if things go smoothly, a midwife-attended home birth or birth center birth could cost much less than many thousands, even if you pay for the whole thing out of pocket.

I agree with the above posters, definitely take the COBRA after your husband leaves his employer and use that certificate of coverage to make a seamless transfer to an individual plan for now, until you can sort out the group business insurance plan. They cannot deny you coverage or call the pregnancy a pre-existing condition if you have a certificate of prior coverage or whatever it's called. Just don't let the COBRA lapse before you sign up for the new plan.

after your pregnancy, as small business owners, keep in mind that there are special "individual" policy rates that are often no more than $125 a month for one person. this is far cheaper than "small business rates" which are usually around $300 a month per person.

my husband is four and a half years older than i am, and the people at blue cross blue shield suggested that we get different plans so that we're not paying moer for a family plan because he is older. so i have my own plan with our child on it and he has his and together we pay less than $320/month, all of which you write off at tax time.

good luck on your pregnancy!

Thank you all for your input. I think we are going to keep our insurance through Cobra and once my husband starts his business transfer me to an individual plan. Tia - I really did give alot of thought to a homebirth when I first found out how much this birth was going to cost us and it was definately the more cost effective way to go plus Im all for a home experience, our only concern was that I would end up needing to go to the hospital if anything went wrong and then end up paying for both. I have actually been doing some research on unassisted births which sound wonderful but also a bit scary, but thats another story. Sarah - thank you for your offer for info once my husband gets the business going. I will be sure to pass on your email address when the time comes. Thanks again all!!

I am due in March and looking for child care for my infant beginning in June (probably 4 days a week, maybe 5). I think nannies are out of our price range, but will take suggestions for good childcare in general. I would really like to find somewhere in Cully, Alameda, Irvington, Hollywood areas (we live off Fremont and 50th and both will be working downtown).

Does anyone have experience with Growing Seeds, Little Pandas, Alameda Beaumont Childcare (not sure if they take infants), or anywhere else??

Thanks for any advice or tips!

Sorry, posted in wrong place!

I COBRA'd my insurance when I was 36 weeks pregnant after my husband and I decided to become self employed...we were out of network when I delivered and the charges were unreal. The insurance company's maximum allowable charges where laughable. It's been over a year and I'm in the process of filing a grievance. Whatever you do, stay in your network. Also, when you do apply for new insurance when your COBRA runs out or perhaps sooner, get ready to get denied. My husband and I are very healthy but since we were were no longer part of a group when we were getting our own insurance, we got turned down. If you've ever gone to the doctor for anything other than a routine physical, you are going to have problems. BUT, the good news was, we became eligible for OMIP (Oregon Medical Insurance Pool) coverage since we were denied. Thank God, literally. "America's uninsured" have a rep for being low income...not hardworking...that is so FALSE. It's people just like us. It was a rude awakening for my husband and I. We had excellent credit, six figure income, everything we'd ever need...we were shocked. We need national health care badly. FYI, my husband and I pay almost $700/month to insure our family. It's second only to our mortgage.

I'm in a similar situation; I have insurance through my partner right now, but we think he may lose his job soon. Even if he transfers to a new one, there will probably be a lapse in coverage. So... can anyone tell me more clearly how COBRA works (I'm not even sure what it is) and also whether I'll be able to go from this policy to another? Thanks.

I'm Pregnant now & I'm looking for International Insurance to cover the maternity so what shall I do to

Starting a pregnancy fund as soon as you find out you're expecting might be of great help, so I hope you think about that next time, Lara. As for that situation, I think that a job is one of the most important things to keep when a couple is having a baby. Having financial stability is essential to get through the first few years without problems.

My husband and I had to leave country and in btwn his compnay kind of removed him from their rolls. We came and found a new employer and his new insurance starts from the 1st of Aug...we did not know about cobra nor the coverage we sould have started in May. Its been more than 60 days...he did speak to his employer today but I dont know what will happen.
Can he still start Cobra and backdate everything?
How would it all work?
Will the new insurance have to cover the pregnancy based on Hippa laws?
Without insurance things can go way out of hand.... I am worried. Any answers would help.

A business owner’s policy is an insurance package that includes property and liability coverage’s to protect every aspect of your business. A BOP is generally designed to cover the needs of small to medium sized companies and is not suitable for larger businesses. Because a BOP is a package policy, Brayer Insurance Services is able to offer it at a very reasonable rate.

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