Are you having a baby, or did you just bring a little one home? Both of you can benefit under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
Under the law, all new individual and small employer insurance plans, including those you get through the Marketplace, must cover maternity and newborn care -- before and after your baby is born. In the past, most plans sold outside your job didn’t offer much maternity coverage. Some didn't cover it at all.
The ACA doesn't spell out all of the specific benefits that must be covered while you're pregnant and after the baby is born. But many preventive care services must be covered without extra out-of-pocket costs, like co-pays, co-insurance, or deductibles. For moms, that includes preventive services for preconception and prenatal care and well-baby check-ups plus comprehensive lactation support, counseling, and breastfeeding equipment.
Preventive care also includes screening tests for anemia, gestational diabetes, hepatitis B, and a blood condition known as Rh incompatibility. It also covers folic acid supplements, if you have a prescription. Folic acid helps you to have a healthy baby. New moms can also get information about services to help with things like identifying and treating post-partum depression, stopping smoking, preventing violence, and more. There's no extra cost for any of these visits, tests, or supplements.
If you need help learning how to breastfeed, you can work with a lactation consultant, someone trained to help nursing moms and babies. You can also call the Office on Women's Health hotline for breastfeeding advice at 800-994-9662. Because each baby is different, you can ask for breastfeeding help with every child. The ACA requires most health plans to provide you with a breast pump to help you continue to breastfeed your baby even when you can’t be with him.
New moms and families who qualify may be able to get help from trained professionals who visit them at home. You can get information about services like identifying and treating post-partum depression, stopping smoking, preventing violence, and more. Home visiting services start during pregnancy and continue through the child's first three years.