Medicare is not only for people over the age of 65, it also provides health care benefits for people of any age who have permanent disabilities or end-stage renal disease. After you have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance for a period of 24 months, Social Security automatically enrolls you in Medicare Parts A and B.
In the United States today there are over 1 million female Medicare recipients under the age of 65. These women are covered by Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. If you are in childbearing age, between 18 and 44, and have Medicare coverage, it is important to know all the details about what your plan covers regarding your pregnancy.
Health Care Services During Pregnancy
From diagnosis to delivery and post-natal care, pregnancies involve a lot of costly health care services. Of course, every pregnancy is different in many ways, but generally there are common services and tests that doctors prescribe for every woman who is pregnant.
Some of the most common health care services for pregnancy involve prenatal care for the mother that includes regular checkups with an obstetrician. For the first 28 weeks, visits are scheduled for once every four weeks. After week 28, and up to week 36, visits are routinely every 2 weeks. After week 36, and up to delivery, visits increase to once a week.
At each routine office visit your doctor checks your blood pressure and weight. After week 22 the size and shape of the uterus is measured. Occasionally during this 40-week period, your doctor may order prenatal tests. Some of these exams are not routine and only done if they are needed. Common prenatal tests may include the following:
• Blood tests on the mother to check for blood type, anemia, gestational diabetes,
immunities, and possible STDs.
• Amniocentesis to determine certain conditions like Down syndrome, Trisomy 21, or to
check fetal lung maturity.
• Chronic villus sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test that detects birth
defects, genetic disease, and some other problems that could occur during
• Ultrasound examinations.
Your doctor may also prescribe precautionary vaccinations and prenatal vitamins and supplements.
Medicare Coverage for Services During Pregnancy
All pregnancy-related care you get when you are formally admitted into the hospital is covered by Original Medicare Part A hospital insurance. Medicare Part B covers all doctors’ visits and other outpatient services and tests related to your pregnancy.
Depending on the type of treatments you receive, you are responsible for Part B copayments or coinsurance. You must also pay your hospital deductible for Part A services.
If you have a Medicare Advantage plan (Part C), you have the same coverage that is included in Original Medicare Parts A and B. You may also have additional coverage. Your Part B Medicare coverage also includes certain vitamins and supplements if your physician prescribes them as part of your treatment plan. Be sure to discuss which supplements are included with your health care provider.
When you consider all the medical care involved in a pregnancy from day one up to the birth of the child, the cost is high. For Medicare recipients under the age of 65, having enough insurance coverage for pregnancy is important. The average cost of a pregnancy in the United States varies from state to state, and also depends on complications during the pregnancy, as well as the type of childbirth. Without insurance, the total cost of checkups, tests, and prenatal care for a vaginal delivery range between $5,000.00 and $11,000. For a Cesarean, the total cost can be between $7,500.00 and $14,500.00.