With a baby on the way, many things are bound to change – your appetite (hello 2 a.m. pickle cravings), your body, and your health coverage needs. In between the food cravings and maternity jeans, you have an important decision to make to protect your family’s well being. It’s time to start shopping for the right health insurance plan. As you begin this process, here are a three things you should know:
1. Having a child gives you a special opportunity to buy health insurance
The health care reform law established a designated time period during which people can shop for health coverage. If you buy a plan during the Open Enrollment Period you’ll receive guaranteed benefits including maternity care. But what happens if you missed the open enrollment period, which ended on March 31, 2014? Good news — welcoming a child qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period – a short window of time to sign up for health insurance typically sold during open enrollment. You have 60 days from the birth of your child to buy health coverage with guaranteed benefits such as maternity care.
2.You can no longer be charged more for being pregnant
Remember that long list of questions you had to answer when applying for health coverage? That was used by health insurance companies to determine the rate they’d charge you for insurance. Historically, if you were expecting a child, you would be charged more or denied coverage. Under the new health care law, you cannot be denied coverage or charged more if you buy insurance during Open Enrollment or a Special Enrollment Period.
3. You can save money if your doctor is in your network
Health insurance companies negotiate lower rates with a specific network of physicians and hospitals to help keep costs low. You can save money on out-of-pocket costs by staying within that network. If there is an OB/GYN or pediatrician you prefer, consider a health plan that includes that doctor in its network. We’re here to help you find a plan that lists your preferred doctor in network and balances your health needs and your budget. To work with a GoHealth Licensed Advisor for free, call us at (888) 322-7557. We’re happy to help.