Midwife with United Healthcare Choice Plus-AZ? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-24-2010, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As of this post I am beginning my quest to try to talk to United Healthcare about my midwife. I submitted a claim form and they just sent me papers for how to appeal. In other words, I don't think they want to cover it. The thing is... they wouldn't be covering it ANYWAY, since it's out of network, but I needed them to apply it to my deductible so that I can get the EOB's and utilize a program through my husband's work to subsidize part of the deductible.

My midwife says that she had another client who had the same insurance (different tier) where United Healthcare *did* cover it. Maybe I should ask if I can talk to them and see where the differences lie.

I am going to go search through MDC and other sites for how to talk to your insurance about your midwife, but I just thought I'd start here on the local level. THANK YOU for any help you can offer.
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Old 09-24-2010, 04:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kind of good news...

United Healthcare processed the first claim for the initial visit and applied some of it toward the deductible. Approximately 70%. I don't know why it wasn't the whole thing, so I gotta call them. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this would be an ordeal.

Am I the only one who feels paranoid that my health insurance is just scamming me?
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:21 AM
 
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I just saw your post. Does this mean you're pregnant? Congratulations. I haven't seen you post in eons and have wondered how you and the boys are. Now you're going to a midwife. That's great.

Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.

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Old 01-25-2012, 07:39 PM
 
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I was hoping for a follow-up on this one! I have United Health and my husband and I are planning to start TTC in a few months. We were hoping to use a midwife. Were you eventually able to get them to pay out?

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Old 01-28-2012, 04:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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They paid a very small amount and then they let me know that they had accidentally overpaid me but they didn't ask for any money back.  It was all very confusing.  They were not much help at all.  What helped us out the most was using Flex Pay and also DH's company had a program to pay for half of the in-network deductible (which ended up being a fourth of the out-of-network deductible.)  All of this may be moot anyway for you because I found out that all the insurance companies have like hundreds of different programs and each one is a little different from the other.  Also, they very well may have changed things from last year--apparently they change all the time.  Best of luck to you and I hope you get some help from United Healthcare!  Apparently other people with better plans than ours were able to get better payouts.

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Old 01-31-2012, 04:06 PM
 
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All insurance companies have what they call "allowable amounts".  This is the maximum they will pay out of their pockets for covered services.  Our midwife told us that in AZ insurance companies are supposed to cover Licensed Homebirth midwives as out of network providers under plans that allow one to go out of network for care.  When you use in network providers they have contracted with your insurance company and have agreed to provide their services at the allowable amount set by the insurance company.  In turn they can't come back and bill you for the difference in the fee, your established co-pay is what you're responsible for.  When using out of network providers it gets a bit trickier.

Without knowing what a particular midwife's fee might be here's a rough example:
Say a midwife breaks down her fee into X amount for Y number of prenatal visits, let's say it's 1/2 a $2000 fee.  The other $1000 is for the birth and followup postpartum visit.

The insurance company has set their allowable amounts for prenatal visits at $700 and their delivery and postpartum allowable amounts for $850.

 

If you have a plan that allows you to choose an out of network provider and the insurance company pays 80% you'd assume that you're part of the full fee would be 20% which would translate into $400. (Someone double check all my math here, it's not my best subject).  But in reality the insurance company is only going to cover $700 of prenatal care and $850 of the birth and postpartum care for a payout totaling $1550.

Let's say you paid your midwife then submitted for reimbursement.  The insurance company will only pay $1550 total for your care and your are responsible for paying 20% of that with an 80/20 plan.  That = $310.  While that sounds like a great deal, the reality is that you will also have to pay the $450 that the insurance didn't cover because it exceeded their allowable amounts.  So you're out of pocket $760 as compared to the $310 you may have been expecting. 

It's a tricky situation.  We had HealthNet with our last baby and paid $1800 out of pocket for our homebirth midwife's services.  We were planning on getting 90% of that back with our 90/20 plan and we only ended up being reimbursed for just over $700 for her services.  In reality once it was all said and done we ended up paying around 40% out of pocket and since we transferred we had to pay additional hospital co-pays of $200 per day on top of that. 

At least that's my understanding of how this worked when my last baby was born many years ago.  To my knowledge not much has changed, but I could be wrong.


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