Even if you’re not yet pregnant, it’s a great idea to take a look at your insurance options to plan ahead for when you’re expecting. This is the time when you can familiarize yourself with your health, disability, and life insurance options. It’s also wise to make any necessary changes now – prior to becoming pregnant – because some policies may consider pregnancy to be a preexisting condition. In the US, this means that if you don’t currently have health insurance and you have to purchase it on your own (not through an employer), an insurance provider doesn’t have to cover your preexisting condition such as pregnancy – which could result in tremendous uncovered medical expenses that you’ll have to pay.1 That’s why it’s important to address health insurance now, before you become pregnant.
Find out what your current health insurance provider covers in terms of prenatal care, birth, and infant care. If for some reason you currently do not have health insurance or it’s delayed, you may want to hold off on TTC until you’re covered to prevent any unforeseen medical costs.
When researching health insurance, you may also want to look into fertility treatments. In the U.S., coverage for infertility treatments (such as artificial insemination, surgical procedures, and medications) varies by state, but only 15 states currently have laws that require any kind of insurance coverage for these types of treatments.2 While you may not have the need to consider infertility options if you’re just starting out in TTC, it’s good to learn about your choices according to your location and insurance provider so that you’re prepared if the need should arise.
If you currently don’t have health insurance and you live in the U.S., you may qualify for Medicaid. You may also be able to seek low-cost, free, or “pay-what-you-can” care at certain women’s health care centers or within health service organizations such as Planned Parenthood.
If you’re the primary provider for your family or if you are a single prospective parent, now is also a good time to research disability insurance options. Because you and/or your partner depend on your income, it’s important to know that should any complications arise during your pregnancies, you’ll still be able to receive pay from disability if needed. If your employer’s coverage for either long- or short-term disability seems inadequate to you, it’s possible to shop around for private coverage as well.
While you may never have considered life insurance before, it’s an important aspect to consider when you become pregnant. Having the peace of mind of knowing that your dependents would have financial stability should anything ever happen to you is invaluable. Although you might think that it’s too early to start shopping for life insurance now, it’s a good idea to do so while TTC (and before you become pregnant), because if you face any complications while carrying, it may become difficult to qualify.3
- U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2015). Coverage for pre-existing conditions. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from https://www.healthcare.gov/health-care-law-protections/pre-existing-conditions/ ↩
- The National Infertility Association: Resolve. (2015). Insurance Coverage in Your State. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from http://www.resolve.org/family-building-options/insurance_coverage/state-coverage.html#NewJersey ↩
- Marquand, Barbara. (2011, February 21). Life Insurance Considerations When a Baby is on The Way? FoxBusiness. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/02/15/life-insurance-considerations-baby-way/ ↩