Pregnancy Care When You Don’t Have Insurance

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The average total cost of pregnancy is about $40,000. It’s sometimes difficult to feel the full joy of pregnancy with this price tag staring at you, especially when you don’t have the help of insurance. You don’t have to do it without help though. There are programs and organization designed to help pregnant women get the care they need. Here are some of your options:


If you do not qualify for group insurance, and can’t afford individual insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid. The income limits vary in each state and some states adjust the limit for pregnant women. Unlike with regular insurance, you do not have to wait for open enrollment to apply for Medicaid. To get started, contact your local Medicaid office.

Your Parents’ Insurance

If you are under the age of 26, you typically qualify to be covered by your parents’ insurance plan. In most cases, it does not matter if you have a child, live with your parents or not, are in school, or are claimed as a dependent. Also, you will want to verify that their insurance covers pregnancy.

Birthing Centers and Midwives

Birthing centers are usually a fraction of hospital costs. Most offer prenatal and postpartum care as well as non-necessity pregnancy services. They also typically have midwives, which will save you even more money.

Payment Plans

If you decide to go the hospital route, ask about payment plans in advance. Most will work with you on this. While negotiating, ask if your hospital has a charity plan or pregnancy package. These will help you save as they may not mention them without you asking.

Clinics with Sliding Scale

Some clinics charge for services on a sliding scale based on income. You can get prenatal care at some Planned Parenthood’s using this payment methods. If you live near a medical school, they also will provide pregnancy services with a sliding scale payment method. Just be sure to ask call and ask about before receiving services.

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

This program helps provides nutritional help to pregnant women and children under 5 years of age. If you qualify for SNAP benefits, TANF, or Medicaid, you already meet to income eligibility requirements. You can find the full list of requirements, as well as how to apply here.

Find a Hill-Burton Facility

Hill-Burton Facilities are required to provide a certain amount of free and reduced cost services to low income patients. You can find your nearest facility here. You do not automatically receive services at a free or reduced cost and must apply at the admissions office either before or after you receive care.

With proper planning, you can save yourself thousands of dollars and loads of stress. The best time to start making your plans is as soon as you know that you are pregnant. Also, make sure to not skimp out of prenatal care. This is not a smart expense to cut, and could result in even bigger medical bills for you or your baby down the road. While the cost of pregnancy is substantial, even with assistance, remind yourself that it’s necessary for the health of you and your child.


By: Alecia Stanton

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  • Family Aid
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