How to Get Health Insurance When Pregnant

Pregnancy introduces a slew of new emotions ranging from excitement, to joy, to fear. Women who do not have health insurance tend to be more fearful--they worry about how they will afford their medical bills in addition to all the costs that go along with having a new baby. Many women attempt to obtain coverage when they become pregnant; however, most insurance companies consider pregnancy a preexisting condition. This makes it difficult for women to get health insurance when pregnant. It is important that pregnant women research all options available to make sure they are getting adequate insurance coverage at the most affordable price possible.


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    Discuss health insurance coverage with your current employer. If you are not employed, ask your spouse or domestic partner to inquire with his employer about whether the company offers a health plan that will cover your pregnancy.
    • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects pregnancy from being considered a preexisting condition, as long as the employer offers a group plan with maternity coverage. You may have to wait a certain amount of time for new benefits to kick in, but as long as you are an eligible employee or dependent, you cannot be denied coverage for your pregnancy.
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    Look for a new job that offers a health plan with maternity coverage. If your current employer does not have an adequate health plan, or you are unemployed, you can switch jobs and join your new employer's group health plan without your pregnancy being considered a preexisting condition.
    • You are not required to disclose your pregnancy to potential employers. Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act, employers cannot use your pregnancy as a reason for not hiring you.
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    Call your county public health department and ask for information about Medicaid and other government programs for which you may be eligible.
    • In most cases you need to be below a certain income level to qualify for Medicaid, but some states offer special programs that cover all uninsured pregnant women.
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    Schedule an appointment with an insurance broker to discuss coverage options and pricing for individual insurance.
    • Options available on the individual market are limited if you are already pregnant when you begin shopping, since HIPAA protections do not extend to individual policies. Some insurers may still cover your pregnancy, so it's best to work with a professional who can help locate plans that will cover you.


  • If you are unable to secure insurance that covers your pregnancy and delivery expenses, there are some options that will help reduce your costs. These include arranging reduced fees and payment plans with your medical provider and delivering at a birthing center under the care of a nurse midwife.

Check with your local hospital about subsided plans for pregnancy. Most hospitals have programs that will insures women while pregnant. There is also the Medicaid option. Contact social services and to see if you are eligible.

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Categories: Pregnancy | Health Insurance