Having a baby may be a bit less expensive starting in 2014. Under the Affordable Care Act, free tests and prevention services are available to pregnant women with most types of health insurance. While you're pregnant, you may also have more adult preventive services available to you that aren't related to your pregnancy.
Anemia Test Before and During Pregnancy
What it's for: This simple blood test checks for low levels of iron in your blood, which is called anemia. Not getting enough iron can cause stress to your heart and heart failure, which may cause your baby to be delivered too early or be born too small.
Who needs it & how often: All pregnant women need this test. Your blood will be checked at your first prenatal visit and as needed throughout your pregnancy.
Birth Control for After You've Had Your Baby
What it's for: Sometime in your third trimester, it's a good idea to talk with your doctor about the birth control method you want to use after your baby is born. Also talk about the recommended amount of time between pregnancies to keep you and you babies as healthy as possible.
What's free: Women must be given access to the full range of FDA-approved contraceptive methods. Plans do have some flexibility in placing limits on coverage, though. You may choose from:
- Birth control pills
- IUD (intrauterine device)
- Vaginal ring
- 3-month shot
You also may choose to have surgery or a procedure for sterilization.
NOTE: Health plans offered by certain religious employers do not have to provide free contraception.
How often: With every pregnancy.
Breastfeeding Comprehensive Support and Counseling
What it is: If you're pregnant or have recently had a baby, you can get free help from a trained provider to learn how to breastfeed or get more comfortable with it.
What's free: You can also get free breastfeeding supplies, including coverage for purchasing or renting breast pumps and other nursing supplies, as dictated by your health plan.
Who it's for: Women who are pregnant or nursing.
How often you can get it: You can get these free services each time you're pregnant and for the whole time you breastfeed.
Folic Acid Before and During Pregnancy
Who needs it & how often: All women who can get pregnant need to take folic acid every day. It's particularly important to take it during childbearing years before you become pregnant. Women need 400 - 800 mcg in a daily multivitamin. Your doctor can prescribe folic acid supplements for you to take at no cost. During pregnancy your doctor will prescribe these supplements to be taken throughout the first trimester.