Financial assistance programs for women while pregnant run the gamut in the USA. The state where you work, income level, and projected due date determine eligibility.
Some government-based sources are more familiar and already covered extensively by other websites. Find a brief summary of these subtopics, along with links to other sites with more detail.
Other financial assistance options for pregnant women are less obvious, but just as helpful. We explore these alternatives in detail. Find creative ways to reduce gravidity-related expenses, and replace the lost income that often happens in tandem.
Financial Assistance with Expenses while Pregnant
First, we explore private sources of financial assistance that address your living expenses while pregnant. Expectant parents frequently find that everyday living expenses continue, while they take on additional spending for doctors and hospitals. If you were living check-to-check prior to conception, it could be much more difficult now.
Debt relief and health insurance programs are two good sources of help coping with these extra expenses. Private companies provide this support.
Debt relief application. Expectant parents that owe more than $10,000 in unsecured credit card debt, personal loans, or unpaid medical bills frequently find that a settlement program is a viable form of financial assistance while pregnant. A private company will negotiate with your creditors and attempt to reach an agreement whereby the creditor accepts less than full payment on what you already owe them.
You may find it more difficult to stay current on your existing debt obligations when you have additional medical expenses and less income.
Medicaid provides healthcare expense assistance for pregnant women meeting annual income criteria. Each state determines the qualifying criteria. You can enroll anytime during the year without having to worry about special enrollment periods and qualifying life event criteria.
Contact your local county office to apply. Stop at a local pregnancy health center for a medical verification of conception. You will need this verification to get started.
Individual Health Insurance
Pregnant women who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid can sometimes enroll in individual health insurance for assistance with medical expenses. These programs extend income-based subsidies up to 400% of the federal poverty level.
Online health insurance quote. The optimal configuration reduces medical expenses for mothers while pregnant. Mom and her baby will need medical care. You will have to pay close attention to the monthly premiums, actuarial value, network coverage, and open enrollment considerations.
- Monthly Premiums – The federal government provides premium subsidies for low-income families. The monthly premiums are what you pay for the coverage.
- Actuarial Value –Plans with higher actuarial values pay a higher percentage of your actual medical expenses. They have smaller deductibles, copayments, and co-insurance.
- The federal government also provides cost-sharing subsidies for low-income families, which increase the actuarial value of the plan you choose.
- Pregnant women will utilize medical care very heavily – especially during labor and delivery. Therefore, a plan with a high actuarial value often works out best.
- Network Coverage – Choose a plan where your obstetrician, hospital, and NICU participate as in-network providers. Avoid surprise charges from out-of-network specialists.
- Open Enrollment – Opt into an optimized plan during the next open enrollment period if the timing fits with your projected due date. The normal gestation lasts nine months, while open enrollment happens every twelve.
- Individual plans – November through January of each year.
- Group plans – Determined by the employer
- Special enrollment periods – You can enroll any time of year if you experience a qualifying life event.
Maternity Leave Loans
Apply for a maternity leave loan while pregnant in order to obtain the funding help needed to cover your extra expenses, and possible loss of income. It is important to apply while you are still working, as many lenders will want to see that you are currently employed. Do not wait until your condition causes you to stop working.
Plan carefully, as you will need to repay the lender with interest. It is very easy to fall into a debt trap if you do not have the future capacity to handle the monthly payments.
Financial Assistance with Income during Pregnancy
Next, we explore financial assistance programs that provide income support during pregnancy. The unfortunate reality is that lost income is a very common problem for many expectant families. Mom may need to reduce her work hours. She may need to stop working prior to giving birth, and she will leave work to recover from her labor and delivery. Dad may choose to do the same.
Most private employers do not provide paid family leave. State disability, unemployment benefits, and private disability programs sometimes help with income replacement.
Five states offer temporary disability programs. These state-sponsored programs frequently provide income-replacement benefits to women during pregnancy. Moms-to-be often stop working prior to delivery for bed rest and other high-risk complications. Her recovery from normal labor and delivery is a covered medical condition.
The programs apply to private employees who work in that state. They replace a portion of income (at least 50%) up to a hard dollar weekly cap (ranging from $170 per week to over $900).
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
Collecting unemployment benefits during pregnancy is a possible form of income-replacement assistance. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided incentives to states to expand eligibility to include workers who terminate their employment because of a “compelling family reason.”
You must quit your job in order to be eligible. You must work in one of the twenty-two states that accepted the incentives, and defined a compelling family reason to include your specific situation. Two common definitions arise frequently for expectant parents.
- Care of a sick family member applies across all twenty-two states. Dads caring for his seriously ill wife can qualify. Both moms and dads caring for a seriously ill infant could qualify.
- An employee’s own disability applies in only six states (*). Mom could qualify if she terminated her employment because of a pregnancy-related disability.
|Maine *||Minnesota *||Nevada|
|New York||North Carolina||Oklahoma|
|Oregon||Rhode Island||South Carolina|
|Texas *||Washington *||Wisconsin|
Private short-term disability programs provide the final option for income assistance during pregnancy and after mom’s normal labor and delivery. This particular resource has one big advantage, and one equally big disadvantage.
- It is available in all 50 states – private companies offer policies across the country. You do not have to live or work in a certain state in order to take advantage.
- You must purchase coverage prior to conception – a new policy will exclude any pre-existing medical condition for twelve months.
Apply for benefits by filing a claim with the carrier who issued the policy prior to conception.
Government Financial Aid during Pregnancy
Federal and state governments often work in concert on programs that provide financial aid during pregnancy. You will find other web-based resources provide a more detailed and comprehensive listing of resources. Find a summary of each option below. Follow the links for more information.
The federal government allows for financial grants during pregnancy through features in the tax code. Smart parents-to-be can take advantage by projecting their expected unreimbursed medical expenses. Mom’s prenatal care and hospitalization will generate significant deduction opportunities.
Project your unreimbursed expenses for insurance deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. Do not forget to include travel to and from doctor offices, and any special equipment you might purchase, such as breast pumps.
Choose between contributions into your employer’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and taking deductions at the end of the tax year using Schedule A. Each option has a different set of pros and cons. Consult your tax adviser.
|FSA||First dollar savings||Employer must offer|
|Schedule A||Not employer-based||No savings on 1st 10% of AGI|
College Financial Aid
College financial aid while pregnant can make it more affordable to continue your higher education. Expecting a baby does not have to be a reason to drop out and accept a lifetime of reduced work and career opportunities without a degree.
- An expectant mother counts as independent on the FAFSA form if her due date falls during the award year, and she intends to provide at least 50% of the financial support for the infant. This can lower the expected family contribution for one year. A lower expected family contribution can lead to greater college financial aid.
- The federal government and private educational foundations provide college-funding support for pregnant mothers in the form of grants and scholarships. Grants and scholarships lower the costs of higher education. You do not need to repay the money.
Housing is a great concern for many single women with an unplanned pregnancy. Their families and sometimes the father do not always support their decision to keep their baby.
Rental housing assistance programs can make this life-saving choice more affordable. The options include Section 8 housing and many regional and local non-profit organizations that help mothers find a safe place to live.
Pregnancy Assistance Fund
The Pregnancy Assistance Fund is a competitive grant program established under the Affordable Care Act. It provides money to 17 states and 3 tribal entities so they can provide support services to expectant teens and their families. You will have to connect with the grantee in your local area to obtain specific services under this program.
- Support at institutions of higher learning
- Provision at high schools and community service centers
- Improve services for victims of abuse, assault, and domestic violence
- Increase public awareness and education