Will Insurance Cover Home Birth?

As a future dad there were many times it felt like I wasn't contributing much to the pregnancy and birth process. One area I could easily help with was figuring out if our insurance plan covers home birth. This is a place where every prospective dad can be a hero. Talking to your health insurance company on the phone is never an exciting time, but having your wife talk to the insurance company, when there's a possibility she won't get the answer she wants, is a recipe for an unhappy house. Instead, I highly recommend taking charge of investigating the insurance options you have available and reporting your findings to the expectant mother of the house.

Call Your Insurance Provider to Verify Coverage
The easiest way to find out whether your insurance will cover home birth is to call and ask. Most insurance plans will cover home birth, but you might have to jump through some hoops to get all the answers you need. If you're super proactive, the best approach would be to make sure you have the insurance coverage you want before pregnancy occurs, but for most of us that's more planning than is likely.

Compile a List of Approved Midwives and Birth Centers
Once you verify the extent of your home birth insurance coverage, get a list of approved midwives and birth centers. In some cases your insurance will only cover a birth center birth, which is kind of a middle ground between hospital and home, since birth centers tend to be more private than a hospital and still work directly with midwives. Once you have this list, share it with your pregnant partner so that she can start interviewing midwives to find the right fit. This is good to do as early in the process as possible, because the last thing you want to have happen is for your wife to find the perfect midwife only to discover your insurance plan won't cover the services.

Find out the Cost without Insurance
Another option is to inquire with the midwife or birth professional you intend to use about the cost of having the birth without insurance. Some birth professionals offer discounted services for people who don't have adequate insurance to cover the birth.

Supplemental Maternity Insurance
A newer option in insurance for home birth and traditional hospital maternity needs is something called supplemental maternity insurance. This is a separate insurance you get in addition to your regular health insurance and is intended to pick up the gaps in coverage between your regular insurance and the actual cost of maternity services. From what I can tell most of the supplemental maternity insurance services require you to have added coverage prior to conception. Be particularly careful if you seek out this type of insurance because there seems to be a great deal of deception online with regard to this type of plan.