What should I do if I am pregnant without insurance?

Answer

According to Registered Nurse Elizabeth Davis for About.com, the local health department may provide maternity care, but there are also resources and information available to people who do not meet the income requirements. Medicaid is another option, but each state has different income thresholds. The baby is also covered when born, and prenatal expenses are covered before Medicaid coverage. Applying through the Affordable Care Act is another option.

Davis mentions the CHIP program, otherwise known as the Children's Health Insurance Program. The CHIP program accepts people with higher incomes who may not qualify for Medicaid. Going to a community health center also provides primary and prenatal health care, and a patient pays a fee based on income.

Davis recommends applying for a Hill-Burton reduction in medical costs, but this option depends on the hospital. The Hill-Burton Act gives grants to around 180 hospitals. As a condition of accepting the grants, the hospitals have to provide free or low-cost care to patients. There are income requirements under this option as well. The grant covers hospital charges that then fall under charity care. Negotiating a self-pay rate with hospitals is another option. Hospitals provide lucrative payment rates, including discount and charity rates.

Davis further notes that Catholic and Lutheran organizations provide free maternity services for pregnant women. Parenting classes are also available, along with room and board and further care after the baby is born. Planned Parenthood hosts parenting services to pregnant women and provides additional resources and information if necessary.

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