Insurance co. that cover midwives and/or homebirth? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-04-2002, 02:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all,
I am not PG or anything, however my Fiancee is looking into getting health insurance. I figure that we/I should find a company that covers my future birth plans (which do NOT include a hospital) before it even becomes an issue.

The one guy he spoke with, an insurance co. that specializes is self-employment, said he is not aware of any insurance co. that covers midwives.

So, I figured i'd appeal to you guys for some leads and who to ask, where to look, etc...

Thank you,
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#2 of 11 Old 06-04-2002, 06:26 PM
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With my first, we had an HMO through Blue Cross/Shield and the birth, at a freestanding cbc with a midwife, was covered 100%. For my other births we had Horizon Blue Cross/Shield and Aetna. Horizon paid 80% and Aetna picked up the balance (both of these were homebirths.)

Now, we are on the opposite end of the country from where you are, so that may have something to do with it--I really don't know. What you might do is to call a birth center or midwife in your area and ask THEM which insurance co.s are midwife-friendly.

Single Mom to 3 (12, 17 & 21)  luxlove.gif and dog2.gif.

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#3 of 11 Old 06-05-2002, 01:58 AM
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Oh, not true in WA state, many insurances love midwives because they have much lower mortality rates! My insurance was through my self insuring employer, but they used First Choice as a national PPO reviewer, and my lay midwife is a preferred provider. Also, Medicaid in WA state fully covers midwives. Find some local midwives and find out who they work with.
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#4 of 11 Old 06-05-2002, 02:01 AM
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When we decided to have babe #2 and found out our private insurance didn't cover it- we applied to Medi-Cal and got almost full coverage for all the prenatal and birthing costs, so check inot the state medical program.
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#5 of 11 Old 06-05-2002, 10:48 AM
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We were insured through the Natural Health Care Union, which covers all kinds of alternative practices. While state ins. here covers midwives, it only covers midwives assosciated with a hospital, not homebirth. Insurance through the Nat. Healthcare Union covered 80% of maternity care no matter what you choose. But they are VERY VERY VERY slow in proccessing claims, and the premiums just went up so much that we cancelled our policy. Still, at least there's something out there covering acupuncture, homebirth, trans. meditation, etc.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-05-2002, 02:34 PM
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In WA state, Group Health pays for homebirths. They have a list of contracted midwives to choose from and it's really simple in terms of paperwork, etc. There isn't GH in CA, but there is Kaiser, which is affiliated with GH and may have the same policy?? I think they like to cover it because it's cheaper...
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#7 of 11 Old 06-05-2002, 11:02 PM
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We had our homebirth in 1999. At the time I was on a COBRA from my previous job and it was with Blue Cross or Blue Shield, I think-(can't remember now!) and they paid 80% of the midwife charges which totalled $3,000 plus lab work. Not bad!!
We currently have Blue Cross, a different policy, I don't know their homebirth policy but they do cover some alternative therapies like acupuncture and craniosacral (as physical therapy)...
Do a search online perhaps, or ask around on the Finding your tribe forum in your area. you may get more geographically specific information.
Good luck!!
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#8 of 11 Old 06-06-2002, 01:51 PM
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if your policy allows you to choose any provider (i.e. no network restrictions or HMO) and if they cover physicians and nurses, they will also cover CNMs and it doesn't matter where the services are performed. Don't even tell them it's a homebirth - it doesn't matter. lay midwives, on the other hand, are often not covered, so start saving now. states with licenses for lay midwives may have other arrangements. i have had 2 homebirths with CNM with Blue Cross of California and Blue Cross of Iowa and the births were covered both times just as anything else would be.
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#9 of 11 Old 06-06-2002, 02:04 PM
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3000 for a MW?? wow ours charged 1200. but she was direct entry not a CNM, but I didn't want a CNM so that was fine by me.

I'd call around and find out how much MW cost in your area before making an insurance decision.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-11-2002, 12:50 AM
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lunarmomma and Joan:

I am in desperation here.
I am trying to get blue shield HMO to pay for My CNM -it;s a long story but I have an appeal on next monday and I desperately need letters or some sort of documentation that shows that other blue shield hmo people have gotten them to pay, now they are denying me on out of network grounds, but the member services # people INSIST that CNM 's for maternity care ARE COVERED they are just being stubborn. Hoping I'll give up. I have 2 letters already but think I need a few more.
My point is that their plan is being applied differently based more on where you live than the "benefits" they supposedly offer.
Please help me if you can, I'm open to ideas....
I have a fax and you can email me at [email protected]
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#11 of 11 Old 06-11-2002, 12:58 AM
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Aetna paid 80% of our direct-entry midwives fee, so we ended up paying a total of $500 plus $200 supplies. Still pricey, but I was at least impressed to see that they'd pay some of it.
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