Can you get health insurance while on maternity leave?
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Asked June 6, 2011
If your eligibility for group health insurance comes around while you are on maternity leave, you will be able to purchase health insurance. Similarly, you may sign up for individual health coverage while on maternity leave. In both cases, the problem may be that the coverage will not extend to cover pre- or post-natal care or the delivery of the baby. Most health insurance companies will treat the pregnancy as a pre-existing condition which exempts it from coverage. In some cases, the remaining period of the pregnancy and delivery may be covered in a limited fashion.
If you are already in your third trimester, purchasing health insurance through traditional sources may not be beneficial for the baby, but you may be able to qualify for government assistance that will cover prenatal care, childbirth, and the necessary medical care required until you are eligible for group health coverage again. Medicaid is designed to promote child health by offering qualified mothers-to-be the necessary care to insure the newborn has a healthy start. Eligibility for government sponsored healthcare is generally based on the household income, but other factors come into play for pregnant women and coverage may be available for the delivery and baby without extending complete health care coverage for general use.
In general, it is a better idea to acquire health insurance long before your maternity leave begins. The best idea is to purchase coverage before the pregnancy or during the early stages, and many insurance companies will accept the delivery and post-natal health costs once you have had coverage for a period of time. The good news is that expecting mothers will be able to get necessary medical care during the final trimester, either through private or government insurance programs.
Answered June 6, 2011 by Anonymous