Home Birth and Insurance in Case of Transfer - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 10-18-2008, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone! I just joined mothering.com after reading the forums for the past few weeks. I'm expecting my first baby due on Thanksgiving Day!

My husband and I are seriously considering a home birth -- we live just across the street from the hospital where I'm a med student in Manhattan, we've done our research, and although it's quite late in my pregnancy, we're willing to go through with it.

We've met with a midwife, and we like her and feel like we could trust her. However, there is the linger question of insurance. I have United Healthcare, and I'm aware that NY state has a law that forces insurers to reimburse for midwife care.

However, what happens if I have to transfer to the hospital? Could the insurance company refuse to pay the hospital bill?

I want a home birth so that my choices and personal space are respected, but I'm not sure that's worth risking getting stuck with a huge bill we can't pay (my husband and I are both students!).

Any advice or experience you could offer would be appreciated.
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#2 of 3 Old 10-19-2008, 05:49 PM
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This is a question you should approach your midwife about because the issue is not typically the insurance company refusing to pay the hospital - if you give birth there after a transfer, they will pay those bills - it is the refusal to pay for the midwife. Our midwife talked us through this when we had a homebirth last year and we had to sign an agreement that we would pay her fees in the event that we transfered and insurance would not pay her. For us, the economic risk (it would have been VERY hard for us to pay this) was worth it in order to have a homebirth. Homebirthing was amazing - I highly recommend it!

Good luck!

Megan Davidson, Labor & Postpartum Doula, Breastfeeding Counselor, Anthropologist, Mom to August (9) and Clay (4), Partner to Shawn.

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#3 of 3 Old 10-27-2008, 03:04 PM
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i think this is worth a phone call to your insurance company about. also, what are the odds of you having a transfer? i also live across the street from the hospital, just in case, but i'm willing to take the gamble because of my own situation. no risk factors, ready for the reality of childbirth (i.e. you can only plan so much), strong support system in place (sister is training to be a midwife), only willing to go if it becomes medically necessary.

have you prepped yourself emotionally and psychologically? i know my sister's experience has been most transfers are due to that impacting the physical labor experience. if you've been actively involved in preparing yourself for the experience you might be in a better position to take that economic risk.

Liz, wife to John, mom to Dylan and my giant slug zocha :
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