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Insurance is not on my side when it comes to natural birth and care...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I am newly pregnant and looking for a health provider. Even before I became pregnant, my DH and I knew we wanted a midwife in a birth center. Immediately after my BFP, I called my midwife to see if she accepts my insurance - she does not :-(.  So I called my insurance to find out exactly what they covered and which providers were in my network.


The nice lady explained that for routine visits everything is covered at 100%. But for non-routine services, I would have to meet my deductible of $2000 first--before insurance would pay anything. After that I would pay 20% of costs.


I explained to her that my DH and I were really looking forward to having a midwife in a birth center and that we would like it covered. She told me that I CAN use a midwife in my network, but that birth center deliveries are considered liabilities...and not covered at all. She recommended that my best bet is to choose a midwife or obgyn and deliver in a hospital (where I would have to meet my deductible first). Hospitals in Houston do not allow you to have a waterbirth, nor bring your own tub greensad.gif I really, really wanted a waterbirth. 


I would even settle for a obgyn who is into holistic, natural care who would understand me and my beliefs.


My heart is broken. I KNOW there has to be a better way. Has this happened to anyone? What did you do to make your pregnancy and birth a memorable, natural experience? Any provider recommendations or ways to get around this with insurance?


BTW I am in Houston....any recommendations



peace & blessings


post #2 of 4

This is disappointing.  BUT it's not the end of the world.  Whether you actually birth in the tub or not, there's nothing that can prevent you from spending much of your labor in the tub.  Many hospitals have "alternative birth rooms" or similar, which would not be considered birth centers, but may operate with much the same philosophy.  Similarly, many MWs will bill through their collaborating OBs, so you may be able to find someone you like that way.  I too, had planned a water birth with my second (a VBAC).  Long story short, I had to switch care providers at 30 weeks because my MWs lost their backup care for VBACs (insurance troubles on their end) and ended up with our family doctor.  (incidentally, family practice docs are generally supportive of natural births and often practice with a midwifery model of care - another possibility for you).  When I switched care providers I lost the possibility of a water birth.  As it turned out, that was fine.  My birth was a really lovely unmedicated hospital birth, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.  Another friend of mine had planned a water birth but the tub ended up not being available when she pushed the baby out.  She had a nice birth too.  And another friend planned a water birth but they needed her out of the tub for the pushing because of some concern about the baby.  Another very  nice birth.  My point is, even if you plan a water birth and everything looks all set up to do so, you may not end up with one, but that doesn't mean that you won't end up having a "perfect birth".  Rarely do all of the details come out exactly as you had planned.  But that doesn't mean that you won't end up with a really great birth.


Best of luck finding a care provider that you feel good about, and a location of birth that will work for you.  I'd post in your Tribal area about Houston contacts.

post #3 of 4

I ran into this with my pregnancies.  With my first, given the price of a homebirth where we were living at the time, I could have a home birth or pay my deductible for a birth experience I didn't want.  I chose the former.  Granted if I had transferred during labor, we would have had to pay both and that would have been awful but really the odds of that were low.  With the second baby, it was about a $500 more for the homebirth--didn't matter though, at that point there was no other way I'd be giving birth LOL


Also, if you pay cash for the birth, sometimes you can write it off as a medical expense.  Depends on a lot of factors (can be done through an FSA too) but it's worth a shot.

post #4 of 4



I would also recommend a HB. Depending on your area, a HB MW will probably charge around $3,000 for *everything*--prenatal care, the birth, and postnatal care for you and the baby. If your deductible is $2,000, plus 20% out of pocket, you'll end up paying way more than that once you factor in your own care plus baby's, which is billed separately if you're in a hospital.


Ask around in the Finding Your Tribe forum for Texas/Houston--there are a few mamas here from there who can recommend some great MWs, I'm sure!


(And go make your dh watch The Business of Being Born, if he has any doubts about HB--it's persuaded many anxious partners!)

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