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Maternity Coverage for daughter?
Old 05-26-2011, 01:30 PM   #1
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Maternity Coverage for daughter?

Another part of my upcoming insurance decision has to do with my 11 yo daughter.

Most of the Anthem plans in CA do not include any coverage whatsoever for Maternity-related medical expenses, and the few that do are a fair amount more expensive.

Although my daughter is currently a very sensible, intelligent and thoughtful young girl, I also remember what it was like to be a teenager. And, accidents do happen...

Curious whether anyone in this community has thoughts on the financial risks/tradeoffs in this area?

It does strike me as somewhat amazing that Anthem appears to be moving their mainstream health plans away from covering maternity. I could see them creating high deductibles for what is after-all a voluntary event, but excluding the costs related to complications, multiple births, etc seems like a big step away from the core concept of insurance.
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Old 05-26-2011, 03:24 PM   #2
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I'm lucky to not have to consider this question for another 5 or 6 years (when my oldest daughter will turn 11). But maybe get lots of oral contraceptives if it is potentially a concern?

Financially I would think you would be better off saving the premiums and just paying out of pocket if a pregnancy should occur. Back when we were buying individual policies for DW and I, it was $2500 a year extra for the maternity coverage (which we didn't opt for at the time). Paying that much over the course of 7 years for your daughter (ages 11-17) would likely end up costing the same or more than your standard V. or C section delivery.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:06 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply - agree that the premium increase is not worth it for coverage of a simple pregnancy/delivery - and I've got the savings to self-insure for that.

What worries me is the unlikely event of some kind of massive complications that might arise...just as examples: a premature delivery followed by 6 months of infant ICU, or an infant with a congenital heart defect, or a delivery that causes a serious medical issue for my daughter. These situations would all appear not to be covered w/o the maternity coverage, and could easily result in 6-figure medical bills.

Am I missing something about this?
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:18 PM   #4
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Even if maternity coverage cared for your daughter it probably wouldn't cover her child or if it did it would cover it only for a couple days.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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I found it was pretty easy to talk to my daughter and lay out the facts. One fact is that there are now morning-after kits.

Many college dorms have them in a vending machine. Men's dorms are full of condom vending machines. Women's dorms are full of morning-after vending machines. I don't know what's in high school restrooms.
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:56 PM   #6
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:21 AM   #7
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Pay out of pocket for a 5 year birth control patch that is inserted just under the skin.
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Old 05-27-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
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Pay out of pocket for a 5 year birth control patch that is inserted just under the skin.
Has anyone done good research on the possible health affects of putting an 11 or 12 year old girl on hormonal birth control?

I think negative aspects known and unknown might outweigh the very long chance that someone this young will a)get pregant AND b) deliver a baby AND c) have that baby be impaired.

But then I have never raised a girl.


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Old 05-27-2011, 12:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for the reply - agree that the premium increase is not worth it for coverage of a simple pregnancy/delivery - and I've got the savings to self-insure for that.

What worries me is the unlikely event of some kind of massive complications that might arise...just as examples: a premature delivery followed by 6 months of infant ICU, or an infant with a congenital heart defect, or a delivery that causes a serious medical issue for my daughter. These situations would all appear not to be covered w/o the maternity coverage, and could easily result in 6-figure medical bills.

Am I missing something about this?
I don't think you are missing anything. Things to ask about would be whether maternity coverage would in fact cover 6 months of infant ICU or other health care needs of the infant. I have no idea but would think that was worth asking about. If the maternity coverage would only cover your daughter's care and not the infants then it becomes even less appealing. Also, while you might have financial responsibility for your daughter's health care needs I don't know if you have financial responsibility for her infant's health care needs even if your daughter was a minor.

Also think about how long your daughter is likely to be on your policy. I know that for employer policies you can now keep them on until 26. Not sure how that applies to policies you get on your own. Of course, if she is over 18 and has a pregnancy I assume you have no financial responsibility for it. But just mentioning it.
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Old 05-27-2011, 01:39 PM   #10
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Realistically, she should be shown pictures of some of the worst sexually transmitted diseases. This should show her what the downside can be. Realistically in this day and age, it is not a baby that is the downside of sex, it is contracting a STD.

Some of them are quite painful and deadly. If she is to engage in this practice, then at least she should have protection on hand.
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Old 05-27-2011, 07:02 PM   #11
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If your daughter has a baby with major health problems the smartest way to handle this is to adopt the infant. That lets the father off the hook but rarely would he have the resources to care for said baby. If, ultimately, they decide to marry and are capable of caring for the child let them adopt him or her, undo the adoption.
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Old 05-27-2011, 08:36 PM   #12
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What worries me is the unlikely event of some kind of massive complications that might arise...just as examples: a premature delivery followed by 6 months of infant ICU, or an infant with a congenital heart defect, or a delivery that causes a serious medical issue for my daughter. These situations would all appear not to be covered w/o the maternity coverage, and could easily result in 6-figure medical bills.

Am I missing something about this?
Nope, not missing anything, it can be very expensive. Complications and premature birth charges to the insurance co ran about 250k. Wife was in the hospital a few days before delivery and a week afterwards. Daughter was early and in NICU for about 2 1/2 weeks, no complications, just monitoring. It would of been more if DD had complications.

Can you upgrade the policy when she gets older... tough to plan, but maybe at 15, 17 (depending on what u see)?

I assume if your daugther gave birth, you would not be responsible for the baby's bills, DD would have to apply for medicaid depending on her financial status is my guess. I have no experience here, just thinking out loud.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:56 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses.

While I'm definitely onboard with general idea of "deterrence" - ie: education on consequences of unprotected sex, including STD's and pregnancy, I still have in the back of my mind the (sadly distant!) memory of the raging hormonal tempest that constitutes the brain of many teenagers. So I guess I see this path as risk-reduction, rather than risk elimination.

I don't feel like I can count on "upgrading" my daughter's policy later, as she has an existing case of asthma and might not get past underwriting. Anthem seems to require underwriting for anything that upgrades a policy.

So, I'm left evaluating what is no doubt a fairly small risk and my ability to financially weather that storm vs. a moderately higher premium. Thanks again to everyone for giving me some better perspective on how to make that tradeoff.
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Old 06-01-2011, 12:20 PM   #14
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Maternity coverage is expensive when added to all policies as a standard benefit, which is why most companies don't offer it. Usually BCBS companies offer it as an optional benefit at extra cost on some plans with some type of waiting period if it's not an HMO plan. However, that will only usually cover the primary/spouse, not dependent children. If you have a group plan or can get on one, check the rules for dependent maternity. I have no idea what type of mandates CA might have for that, but your options will be limited.
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