United States: Choosing the right health insurance before pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time of excitement for future parents, but also of anticipation. Healthcare in the United States is expensive, and pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care are no exception. It is essential to take out very good coverage or even the best health coverage well in advance, with maximum coverage in the event of pregnancy complications. And thus save several thousand dollars.

The exorbitant cost of pregnancy in the United States

Nearly 3.9 million women give birth each year in the United States – and giving birth in the country of Uncle Sam is very expensive. Even for those who are lucky enough to experience the best pregnancies, heavy expenses for prenatal care, labour, delivery and postpartum care can be overwhelming. Worse still, 12% of women of childbearing age do not have insurance to cushion the blow of this happy event. In the United States, the cost of giving birth without adequate insurance depends largely on the state in which the mother-to-be lives, the cost of living and the type of birth — vaginal or cesarean — that will be performed. The average cost of an uncomplicated delivery ranges from nearly $5,000 to $11,000 for a vaginal delivery, according to data from FAIR Health. Price that easily exceeds $30,000 if you include pre- and post-pregnancy care, such as exams and tests. Another phenomenon is also to be taken into account, women are more and more likely to undergo a cesarean section, which is more expensive. Pregnant women today have caesareans 500 times more often than women who gave birth in the 1970s, and caesarean births cost $7,500 to $14,500. Health checks, tests and complications will only add to these numbers. What to have vertigo!

Although the amounts differ from state to state, not having good coverage—or any coverage at all—can cause out-of-pocket expenses to nearly double during pregnancy. Hospitals typically charge uninsured patients significantly more than those covered by US private and public plans. Alabama has the lowest cost of delivery, about $4,884 for a vaginal delivery with US insurance and $9,013 without insurance. In Alaska, at the other end of the United States, women pay around $10,681 to deliver a baby with coverage and $19,775 without insurance. Hence the importance, for expatriates, of being insured as well as possible, and if possible with international insurance.

Choosing the right insurance for pregnancy

The first question is already to know when to choose the best health coverage, upstream of a future pregnancy.

In all international health insurance, there is a waiting period that ranges from 10 months to 24 months, depending on the insurance you choose. Sometimes maternity is not included in the guarantees. It is essential to check this aspect carefully. In our contracts, we have a waiting period of 10 months. It is therefore necessary to take out insurance before becoming pregnant, ” Explain Catherine Graffinfounder of EuropeUSA. For more than 20 years, EuropUSA has supported thousands of people in their expatriation to the United States, thanks to quality insurance, solid guarantees and important partners on American soil. And Katherine Griffin adds, “ we pay for care related to pregnancy, childbirth and follow-up care at various levels of cover depending on the contract chosen in American hospitals. Our expatriate insurance policyholders have access to more than 5,700 hospitals in the American network and thus benefit from easier access to their medical care, direct payment and negotiated rates. »

But then what coverage should you favor before your pregnancy? ” On the majority of our contracts, you have coverage for pregnancy and on our most comprehensive contracts in terms of guarantees, you can add additional guarantees allowing you to limit the remainder to be paid. We are also able to negotiate pregnancy and childbirth coverage rates with American establishments to minimize the financial cost of pregnancy and childbirth. In the event of complications, we also cover 100% of the actual costs, “explains Katherine Graffin.

Some expatriate women wonder. Is it better to give birth in the United States or in France? ” The answer is personal and cannot be universal. Each person and each family encounters different personal situations. If we reason in terms of financial cost in order to minimize it, it is clear that it will be more advantageous to give birth in France provided that you can be taken care of in France, which is not always the case if you do not benefit from international insurance or French social security. American insurance will not cover you for a birth in France. If we reason in terms of medical follow-up, France, like the United States, has some of the lowest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world, with excellent doctors and excellent medical infrastructures in both countries. So there is no difference at this level. Then there are aspects related to one’s personal life, family life and development goals that tip the balance for one country over another. concludes Katherine Graffin.

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