Insurance open enrollment season is upon us. Looking at all of your choices for coverage can be daunting, especially when you are considering adding a new baby to the family. Choosing to have a midwife and birth center provide care can save you 60% over a hospital birth with an OB. Westover Hills Birth Center works with many insurance companies and can help you navigate through their confusing requirements to help maximize your coverage. The first steps to getting the most from your insurance starts with choosing a plan that has coverage for your family’s needs. Here are some tips to help make your new addition more affordable.
1. A birth center costs about 60% less than a hospital
The average cost of an uncomplicated vaginal birth in a San Antonio hospital is about $16,000. Additional out-of-network charges for labs, pharmacy, anesthesia (epidural), and newborn care quickly add up to well over $20k. The cost of the birth center includes prenatal care, birth, and care after birth for mom and baby.
2. Westover Hills Birth Center works with your insurance to lower your out of pocket costs
Insurance companies make getting coverage a daunting task. Our staff and billing company works with insurance on a daily basis. We help you navigate your benefits to get the most from your coverage. Many times insurance companies will pay at a higher in-network rate, which saves you money.
3. Can you get coverage with your parents?
If you are under 26 you may be eligible to be covered under your parent’s insurance. Your parents often have access to better insurance options, have chosen lower deductibles, and more often meet those deductibles. Getting coverage under a parent’s plan can save on monthly premiums and deductibles.
4. Compare coverage
Check the price and coverage options offered by your partner’s company. Employers offer different plans and coverage options (even if they are from the same insurance company). Look for the plan that works best for your family overall. If a family member has a chronic condition, like diabetes, some plans offer special coverage and care options that may make their plan a better fit. Compare total out of pocket expenses for plans with low and high deductibles. Many people opt for a high deductible plan (because of the low monthly premiums) and put the difference in a savings account.
5. Take advantage of HSA & FSA
Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts are sometimes offered by employers to help pay for the out of pocket portion of healthcare expenses. HSA/FSA cards can pay for co-pays, deductibles, dental expenses, over the counter medications, supplements, and first aid supplies. During open enrollment, you can choose an amount to put into your savings card. Often the entire balance is available to you on January 1st, but sometimes a smaller amount is made available each month or with each paycheck. Money put on these cards is pre-taxed income, meaning you do not pay income tax on this amount. HSA/FSA cards can be used to pay for all of your care from the birth center.
6. Consider Insurance Alternatives
Cost share plans are growing in popularity. These plans pool participant’s money and pay for expenses after an individual or family portion is met. Participants are asked to get self-pay or cash pay discounts and medical expenses are paid by the plan after these discounts. For healthy families, self-employed participants, or large families this option is often less expensive. Be cautious when choosing these plans. In the event of a major health event (like a serious car accident) coverage may have a limit.
With all of the healthcare options out there, choosing a policy can be overwhelming. If you have questions about your insurance coverage for a birth center birth, contact us at 210-725-0428. We can help you to verify benefits and calculate what your expected out of pocket costs will be, help you get your insurance to pay their share, and make payment arrangements to fit your budget.