It is not official yet, but expect The White House to announce that being pregnant – and not just having a baby – will be become categorized as a Qualifying Life Event.
Maybe it’s because I’m the dad of four kids and had a ‘feeling’ that my wife was pregnant even before we officially knew. Today, I have a ‘feeling’ there is some good news coming out of The White House soon if you are pregnant.
When this happens, it is an opportunity for someone enrolled in a high deductible health plan to evaluate if different coverage that lowers out of pocket expenses is a better fit. More importantly, it’s an opportunity for expectant mothers who do not currently have a health insurance plan to get access to the financial protection they need to provide necessary care for their wellbeing, and their baby’s health.
After all, once you know you are pregnant, you also know that there will be medical expenses – even if everything goes as planned.
Currently, you can buy health insurance during the non-open enrollment period if you move, have a change in marital status or family size, change or lose your job, and several other circumstances. These life changes are called Qualifying Life Events.
What is prompting the proposed change? (And remember, this is my prediction. It has not yet been announced but likely will happen soon.) Perhaps it is political pressure. Many elected officials are calling for the change. Perhaps it is a way to put subtle pressure on the U.S. Supreme Court – you wouldn’t want to deny health insurance to pregnant moms!
But just as likely, it is good public policy. It is probably never more important to get the healthcare you need than when you are pregnant. Those trapped in a high deductible plan are less likely to seek the care they need.
Look for an announcement from Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell of U.S. Health and Human Services soon. And, start comparing plans by visiting HealthCare.com.
Remember, based on your income you may also quality for a tax subsidy. Use this tax subsidy calculator to determine what your health insurance financial benefits could be.
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