The post details the issues with getting insurance to cover midwifery care, despite the fact midwives can provide services for much less than doctors and everyone seems to be searching for a way to reduce the costs of medical care.
The good news is, it should soon become easier to get Midwifery care covered by insurance.
The Affordable Care Act added birth centers and midwife care as mandatory Medicaid services, for example. Many health experts are recommending an expanded use of birthing centers as a cost-saving measure as well as in response to women’s demand.
You can read the full post here.
This is great news for those who qualify for Medicaid and other services, but unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the same benefit to those who have private insurance. I suppose if you were on an employer-subsidized large-group plan, then insurance coverage for midwifery care might serve to make it more accessible. However, with my first pregnancy (which was planned for and several options considered prior to our TTC), I found that there are several problems with the insurance scenario for pregnant women. If one is to purchase private insurance, individually, then one must actually purchase a maternity policy in order to have coverage, not just a regular insurance policy. With monthly premiums around $500, the costs of such a policy would have been far greater than the costs of paying for a birthing-center birth out-of-pocket (and would have been closely approaching the total costs for pre-natal care and a simple hospital birth), therefore we decided to take our risks ourselves with the plan to birth naturally and were prepared to cover some additional costs if we did end up needing a hospital transfer. With that in mind, in order for this to be a feasible option for women who actually have to pay for their insurance, major changes are still needed to the entire insurance system. Otherwise, having insurance companies now recognize and pay for midwife services seems fickle in the light that these women would basically have to pay two to three times the cost of these services, and therefore would simply be funding the costs of much higher risk pregnancies where the insurance company might previously have been out of more than an individual’s premium. As it stands, it benefits no-one other than the insurer.