When thinking about all of those necessary baby items, don't forget the baby health insurance.
Before Baby Arrives
If you are unsure about your child's coverage under your health plan, you need to check on this before your baby is born. Typically, when you pre-register at the hospital, they will take all of your insurance information. Depending upon the type of health insurance plan you have, you may need to notify the company well in advance of the baby's due date.
If you don't have family coverage, you'll need to check with your company concerning the proper procedure for adding your baby to your health insurance.
Help Is Available
Although the addition of a new baby to the family is an exciting occasion, it can also be stressful, especially if money is tight and your family isn't covered under a health insurance plan. Even the most routine labor and delivery will cost thousands of dollars. If you need a caesarean section delivery or other extra care while you are in the hospital, the bills can become staggering!
Fortunately, there is financial aid and assistance available for families who can't afford health insurance. Prenatal care is important to assure that your infant will be healthy, but it can also be expensive if you don't have insurance. Once your baby is born, the bills won't end with the hospital visit. You'll need to continue taking your child for check-ups and immunizations, and it is rare for a baby to get through childhood without experiencing several, common childhood illnesses.
Baby Health Insurance Program
There are approximately 11 million children in the United States who are not covered by health insurance. Each state has its own guidelines, but chances are, if you can't afford health insurance on your own, your child will be covered under CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) until he or she reaches eighteen. Doctor visits, medicines, and hospital stays are typically covered under this plan. To find out more about this program and others that may be available, you can call the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at 1-877-KIDS-NOW. Make sure you investigate this program so you can get your baby health insurance.
WIC (Women, Infants, and Children)
Another wonderfully beneficial program is the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service manages WIC.
According to the USDA, WIC provides healthy foods, nutrition counseling, and health and social services referrals for free. Low-income women who are pregnant, have just given birth, or have children up to five years of age may be covered, and this program is offered in all fifty states. There are certain income guidelines that must be met as well as possible nutritional risks. For further information on your state's guidelines and requirements, you should contact your local health department.
Remember, your child doesn't have to be uninsured. There is help available, and wouldn't it be wonderful to know that you don't have to worry about those large hospital bills and doctor bills? Make those calls and see about baby health insurance today!