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  • Writer's pictureJo Soria

7 Must-Read Health Insurance Tips for Expectant Parents

Becoming a parent is an exciting, life-altering event, but it also comes with new challenges and responsibilities, like ensuring your family's health coverage is adequate. Check out the #TRN team's essential health insurance tips for when baby's on the way.

Expectant parents holding up sonogram

1.   Review Your Current Health Insurance Plan

Navigating health insurance as expectant parents can be challenging, but with the right information, you can make informed decisions to protect your family's health and financial well-being. Let's take it from the top with a good review of the policy you already have.

Understanding Your Coverage

Before your baby arrives, review your current health insurance plan. You might already have an excellent policy to accommodate a growing family, but if not, now is the time to organize all the details.


Understand what is covered, including prenatal and postnatal care, pediatric services, and emergency care. Very important: Find out if your preferred doctors and hospitals are in-network to avoid unexpected costs.


Adding Your Newborn to Your Policy

Most health insurance policies allow you to add your newborn to your policy within a specific time frame, usually 30 to 60 days after birth. If you choose this option, notify your insurance company promptly to ensure continuous coverage for your baby from day one.



2. Compare Health Insurance Options

If your current plan isn't adequate or you're not sure you want to stick with it as your family grows, get proactive and consider other options.


Employer-sponsored and Individual Plans

If you or your partner are eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance, compare the benefits and costs between plans or make an appointment to get a second opinion from your workplace's benefits coordinator.


Don't cut corners on pre-and postnatal coverage if you're shopping via the federal or private health insurance marketplaces. Consult a licensed health insurance agent for the best guidance and expertise regarding your options.


Medicaid and CHIP

Depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These programs provide affordable health coverage for families and children. Check your eligibility and consider these options if they meet your needs.


3. Understand Key Health Insurance Terms

Health insurance can be confusing with terms like premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. With a little bit of homework, however, you'll be better prepared to navigate the terminology of the insurance marketplace.


Premiums, Deductibles, and Out-of-Pocket Costs

Some of the most common terms you'll see while shopping include:


  • Premiums—the monthly payments you make to keep your insurance active.

  • Deductibles—the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your insurance starts to cover expenses.

  • Out-of-pocket costs—the amounts you're responsible for paying when you seek care; out-of-pocket costs may include deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.


More Key Healthcare Terms

While we've covered some of the most commonly used terms above, we'll admit that there's plenty more where those came from. To better brush up on your health insurance lingo, visit our digital health insurance library.


4. Stay on Top of Preventive Care

While many of us grown-ups might avoid seeking healthcare until a condition has developed, staying on top of regular preventive care is crucial for your baby's health.


Regular Check-ups and Vaccinations

Most health insurance plans cover regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings at no additional cost. Schedule these appointments as recommended by your pediatrician to monitor your baby's growth and development.


Pregnant woman with doctor; health tips for expectant parents

Wellness Programs and Resources for Expectant Parents

Many of today's health insurance plans offer wellness programs and resources for new parents, such as breastfeeding support, parenting classes, and health coaching. Get acquainted with these offerings and take advantage of programs that enhance your family's well-being.


5. Plan for Emergencies

While there's only so much we can do to prevent emergencies, we can at least have a plan in place to help us act quickly if and when they do arise.


Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care

Know the difference between emergency room and urgent care services. The emergency room is for life-threatening conditions, while urgent care is suitable for non-life-threatening issues that require prompt attention. Understanding where to go can save you time and money.


Know Your Plan Network

In an emergency, knowing which hospitals and urgent care centers are in-network is essential to avoid higher out-of-pocket costs. Keep a list of in-network providers handy for quick reference when needed.



6. Budget for Medical Expenses

Finally, let's examine a couple of options to help ease the financial burden of care when expenses seem to keep piling up.


Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

If enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, consider opening a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSAs allow you to save pre-tax money for medical expenses, providing a financial cushion for unexpected costs.


Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs)

If your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can set aside pre-tax dollars for eligible medical expenses. FSAs can help manage the costs of co-pays, prescriptions, and other out-of-pocket expenses.


7. Get (FREE) Help From an Expert

Navigating health insurance as a new parent can be overwhelming, but understanding your options and planning ahead can ensure your family is well-protected. And since you'll already have plenty on your plate as you prepare for your new arrival, our top tip is to bring in a seasoned expert to help you with your health insurance preparations.


Why Work With a Health Insurance Agent?

With a licensed, vetted health insurance agent by your side, you'll have one less thing to worry about as you navigate your path to parenthood. The purpose of the health insurance agent is to do the homework for you and provide options tailored to your family's needs.


Best of all, these services are available at no out-of-pocket cost to you.


Tap into our community of trusted advisors today to see how we can help.


 

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