When choosing health insurance for your time abroad, it’s important to make sure your plan includes all the benefits you need. Pregnancies can occur, planned or not, so if there’s a chance that you could become pregnant, you will want to make sure that your plan includes coverage for maternity. Pregnancy is an exciting time in one’s life but the added stress of uncovered medical bills can be overwhelming, so it’s important to make sure you have proper insurance coverage in place!
Maternity Costs in the United States
Maternity expenses in the United States are significantly higher than around the world, and the cost to have a baby can add up quickly. The price of health care varies dramatically by state and will even depend on which hospital you visit, so it’s nearly impossible to put a price tag on the cost of giving birth in the United States. Luckily, your health insurance plan will cover a large amount of your maternity expenses, so if you’re considering having a baby while you in the U.S., it’s very important to have a plan that includes comprehensive maternity coverage.
What is Included in My Plan’s Maternity Coverage?
Maternity care encompasses a wide range of services, from prenatal care and delivery to postnatal care after the baby is born.
- Prenatal Care is important for the health of you and your baby during your pregnancy. These check-ups will include ultrasounds, which typically cost about $200 each, routine blood tests, and urinalysis tests to monitor the baby’s development. Generally, you’ll need a pre-natal check-up every 4 to 6 weeks for the first 32 weeks, every 2 to 3 weeks for the 32nd to 37th weeks, and every week from the 37th week until delivery. Prenatal care typically costs around $2,000 or more in the USA without insurance, and can be more if you have a high-risk pregnancy.
- Labor and Delivery of a Baby is the most expensive medical cost associated with pregnancy. This includes a hospital stay, which can vary in length depending on the type of birth and complications. On average, without insurance, an uncomplicated vaginal birth will cost around $12,000, while a standard caesarean section will cost $17,000.
- Postnatal Care lasts six to eight weeks after the birth and ensures the physical and emotional health of the mother and baby. The typical cost of a postpartum checkup is similar to that of a prenatal visit — usually between $100 and $200 per visit without insurance.
What are My Insurance Options?
It is important to be prepared and do your research before coming to the United States, especially when it comes to finding the right insurance plan for you! Most insurance plans in the U.S. will not cover a pregnancy if you become pregnant before your policy becomes effective, so you’ll want to keep this in mind when considering your options.
Major Medical Plan
The Global Medical Plan – offers maternity coverage on the Platinum level. This plan does have a 10-month waiting period before you can receive full maternity benefits. It is a great long-term plan option for both students and dependents in the United States.
The Student Secure and Student Health Advantage plans – also offer maternity coverage on certain levels of the plan. On the Student Secure plan, maternity coverage is available on the Budget, Select, and Elite levels. On the Student Health Advantage plan, maternity coverage is available on the Platinum level. To be eligible for these plans, you do have to be enrolled as a full-time international student with a valid student visa. It’s important to keep in mind that the plans will only offer coverage for maternity if you become pregnant after the effective start date of your plan.