Charleston, South Carolina, is a city full of history that draws visitors every year. Though many tourists may think walking tours through the Magnolia Cemetery is the most spooky thing they can do in Charleston, residents might think something else takes the cake: pregnancy and health insurance. When pregnant in South Carolina without health coverage, you don’t need to fear — there are plenty of health care coverage options to protect you and your baby. Once you learn the ins and outs of pregnancy health care coverage, the only things you’ll need to watch out for are the famous ghosts of Charleston.
If you don’t have health coverage, you need to look into getting health insurance as soon as possible for both you and your baby’s health. There’s no better time to start looking, even if you’re not pregnant but plan to be soon. Health insurance makes it easier for you to get seen by a doctor for your regular check-ups. Maternal death rates were higher in 2021 by about 400 compared to previous years, so you should have health care to help you through any complications that arise for you and your baby.
If you want to apply for Marketplace coverage, you should do so immediately. You can choose to disclose your pregnancy on the form after noting that you’d like help paying for your health insurance. That way, your family can gain the most affordable coverage possible to help you take care of your family.
Alternatively, you may qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). These resources are great for families with a lower income, but you can only utilize them if you’re eligible for them. South Carolina is one of the states that has expanded postpartum coverage, so you’ll also be covered for a while after you safely deliver your baby. However, you’ll have to meet some eligibility requirements.
These eligibility requirements include the following:
- Citizenship status
- Household size
- Household income
There might be certain health care opportunities available to you. For example, California’s prenatal care gives them a window of around two months of conditional approval after they apply for health care under Medi-Cal Maternity Insurance. In South Carolina, pregnant women can get coverage through Healthy Connections Medicaid, but their income must be below a monthly or yearly threshold to be considered.
Always check to see if you qualify for a certain type of coverage before assuming you don’t. Medicaid can also be helpful for families, as a baby born to a mother on Medicaid is automatically eligible until their first birthday. Don’t skip out on ensuring your baby will be cared for in any circumstances. A year of care can make a world of difference for an infant.
If you’re pregnant in South Carolina, you might already have Marketplace coverage from purchasing your own health care plan as an independent contractor. Over 380,000 people applied for Marketplace coverage in South Carolina in 2023 alone. You might find it easier not to report your pregnancy to Marketplace if you want to keep the coverage you have now.
One great option is to add your baby to your coverage plan once they’re born by updating your information. You may also want to consider creating a separate enrollment group for your child to be in until the next Open Enrollment Period. You should note that you likely won’t be able to change plans for yourself until the Open Enrollment Period, but you might be able to make choices specific to your baby.
Someone pregnant in Charleston must consider what they’ll do after the baby is born. You need to ensure that you can care for your baby in the best way possible by giving them adequate health insurance. You should apply for health care coverage within two months of your baby’s birth. Postpartum health care can ensure you’re cared for as much as your child, so you should prioritize it if possible.
Unlike just being pregnant, you can qualify for a Special Enrollment Period if you just gave birth, like you would with moving or another life-altering scenario. This special period lets you enroll in a health coverage plan you qualify for right now, without waiting for the Open Enrollment Period to come around.
Once you select a plan, you have to make an initial payment before the benefits start to roll in. By going through these enrollment periods, you can ensure that both you and your family are covered for any length or period of time.
Many states have different rules for pregnant mothers and their children. Those pregnant in South Carolina should know they have several insurance options for adequate health care that is affordable to families of all income levels. You just need to research what’s best for your family, and you’ll be able to get a plan that matches your needs. Then, after you have your baby, you’ll get to settle back into your new life of parenthood in Charleston — and go back to eating seafood in Shem Creek.