Since the last century, the reduction of infant mortality has been considered the number one priority in the U.S. Right now, authorities establish new programs to support pregnant women.
According to the latest statistics, a woman needs at least $11.000 to have a baby in the United States. Needless to say, not every woman of childbearing age can afford it. That’s why the birth rate has reached the lowest level in the last 50 years in the U.S.
These days, most low-income families can apply for government-sponsored health insurance program – Medicaid. It allows indigent women without proper health insurance to receive prenatal and postpartum care. According to a study conducted in 2014, the program has already paid for more than half of all births in the whole country.
Here is what you need to know about Medicaid in case you are pregnant:
Are you eligible for the program?
The Federal government sets the general guidelines. However, every State has its own requirements. Before you apply for Medicaid, check out the requirements for eligibility in your State. For instance, Louisiana medicaid may differ from a program in New York. You can always call directly to the Medicaid office to learn all the details.
To qualify for the program, you need to prove that you are pregnant. Other than that, you should bring proof of U.S. citizenship (such as social security number or birth certificate). Also, it’s necessary to prove your low income.
It’s important to mention that some uninsured immigrant women can also receive Medicaid services. To do that, they should prove their qualified non-citizen status.
Undocumented immigrants are not eligible to participate in the programme. The Federal government hasn’t offered any solution for covering medical needs of female undocumented immigrants yet. Negotiations are underway to change the current situation.
The benefits of Medicaid
Medicaid will not pay different monetary benefits (just like usual health care assistance programs). However, the program can help a pregnant woman with multiple doctor visits, prescribed drugs, lab tests, X-rays, labour and delivery. Moreover, a new mom and her baby can also get some benefits even after birth.
It doesn’t really matter whether you want to have a vaginal birth or cesarean sections since it will be covered anyway. Moreover, you will not have to worry about expenses even if you need some medical interventions during labour.
Women who have low-risk pregnancies can also give birth in a birth centre. It can be an excellent alternative to the hospital. The best thing is that it’s possible with Medicaid!
Having a baby is pretty expansive. Fortunately, it’s not a secret for people working in Medicaid. Some families can also get a brand new car seat. A car seat is a necessity in some states. And buying a used one is not always an option since car seats also have expiration dates.
There are even more benefits than you expect! Medicaid can also help a new mom by paying for postnatal necessities. This coverage includes doctor’s visits and necessary meds.
Also, you will have a chance to go to a paediatrician for free whenever your newborn baby needs it!
Can you be denied by Medicaid?
Some pregnant women can be denied Medicaid if there is no proof of low income. Or, in case of a mistake in the application.
The good news is that you can always appeal a denial of Medicaid. To do so, you should save a written notice, fill out the appeal form and submit it to the local agency. You may also want to consult an attorney (you can get free legal advice).
Your friend or family member can also represent you on appeal. Make sure to prepare the set of documents proving that you are eligible for medical benefits. Also, you will have to explain to them what happens to you in case you don’t participate in the Medicaid programme.
Consider getting some statements from witnesses (neighbours, family members, colleagues, and friends) in order to prove the medical necessity.
The bottom line
Access to healthcare services can help new moms to heal faster and stay mentally stable. If you are struggling with living costs, consider applying for Medicaid in your State.
You will have a chance to get a lot of benefits during pregnancy and after giving birth. The coverage includes doctor visits, lab tests, labour, delivery, glasses, X-ray, and even glasses. Moreover, you will also get prescribed drugs for free.
In order to apply, all you have to do is to prove that you have low income and that you are a U.S. citizen. In the near future, more uninsured immigrant women will be able to participate in the program.
If you are denied Medicaid, consider submitting the appeal form to the local agency.