Can I Buy Health Insurance If I Am Pregnant?

There is no easy answer to this question.  Whether or not you can still buy health insurance while you are pregnant will depend on a variety of factors, including whether or not you were in a group health insurance plan before you became pregnant, and on where you live.

If you become pregnant but are not insured, your health insurance options will very likely become complex.  The good news is that there are federal laws in place in the United States that bar insurance companies from considering pregnancy to be a pre-existing condition.  This means that, if you change health insurance while you are pregnant, the new health insurance company cannot deny insurance claims having to do with your pregnancy.

However, there are some complications to these federal laws.  This federal law does not apply to a woman who did not have health insurance before becoming pregnant, and then gets new health insurance through a job, or by buying the health insurance.  In these instances, you can still buy your health insurance, but it is possible that your new health insurance company would not cover your pregnancy.  In some cases, you might have to wait for a certain period of time, called a waiting period, before pre-existing conditions are covered.  In some cases, this waiting period might go on beyond your pregnancy.

Another factor is that the federal laws don’t truly apply to all health insurance.  They only apply to health insurance plans that are part of group health plans.  So, if you switch from buying your own health insurance while pregnant to a group health plan, here again you might run into a pre-existing condition.

There is good news, however, on several levels.  For the pregnant woman who can’t seem to buy health insurance, many local charities will have reduced prenatal and pregnancy-related services.  In addition, some states have passed laws that tighten up the loopholes in the federal laws regarding health insurance and pregnancy.  You should be certain to know what laws apply in your particular state when trying to buy health insurance.

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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