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Health plan insurance coverage for labor and delivery

How to know what health care costs will be associated with your bundle of joy

By Barb Breher
August 11, 2017

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Your hospital bag is packed, your baby’s name is chosen, and your birth plan is ready. But wait! Have you double-checked that your hospital or birthing center is in your network?

Before things get too hectic as you prepare for your baby, take time to call your health insurance provider. They can give you the details about what’s covered during your baby’s delivery.

What is considered labor and delivery?

Labor and delivery includes the time spent delivering your baby and your recovery right after your baby is born. You will be responsible for paying part of these costs. Here’s how to find out how much your health insurance will help pay for, and how much you’ll pay:

  • Call your member services and let them know about your upcoming delivery. They can give you a cost estimate based on the hospital or center you’re going to. They can look at costs for both a caesarean section (C-section) or vaginal delivery.
  • Check the “inpatient hospital visit” section of the paper copy of your insurance plan benefits, if you have one.
  • Many insurance plans offer online cost estimates. Login to your online account and search “inpatient hospital visit.” Or, check your benefit documents online.

HealthPartners members: Check your costs and coverage in your online account

How much will labor and delivery cost?

Each labor and delivery is different. Your individual costs will depend on a variety of factors:

  1. Delivery type. Both C-section and vaginal deliveries are covered at different levels. The coverage amount depends on any extra medication or services that you may need.
  2. Delivery location. You can choose to deliver your baby in a hospital. Or, you can choose another type of birthing center. However, not every hospital or birthing center is included in your health insurance plan. A call to your health insurance provider can help make sure the place you’re having your baby is in your plan’s network.
  3. Inpatient stay to recover from your baby’s delivery. The length of your inpatient stay and the costs associated with it will vary based on your insurance and medical needs.

While there are a lot of unknowns associated with your labor and delivery, your health insurance plan can help you. I recommend giving your member services a call. They’ll walk you through your potential costs. And they’ll give you ideas for what to think about when you’re in the hospital.

About Barb Breher

Barb Breher is a leader in the Member Services department at HealthPartners. She specializes in individual and family health plans. Barb loves helping members understand and use their coverage (it’s confusing!). When she’s not working, she loves relaxing and camping with her husband and two young daughters. Minnesota locals: she highly recommends Voyageurs National Park.

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