Maternity Coverage and the Million Dollar Baby
Recently, a couple from Australia received a million dollar hospital bill because their travel insurance did not cover pregnancy delivery outside of the couple’s country. The couple (John Kan and Rachel Evans) had purchased two travel type insurance packages because both insurance companies claimed to have maternity coverage. However, during their vacation to Vancouver, B.C, Rachel unexpectedly went into early delivery, and they found out that maternity services and baby delivery were not covered by either of these insurance packages. While they are overjoyed by their new daughter and do not begrudge their situation, any financial relief would be welcomed by any parents faced with a million dollar hospital bill.
Kaiser Permanente Maternity Coverage
Currently, many of the Kaiser Permanente Individual Health Insurance Plans in California include maternity coverage. These services include prenatal visits, delivery coverage, and some coverage for the baby. On each of the individual plans, there is an Out of Pocket Maximum. If this Out of Pocket Maximum is reached, then services are covered 100% by Kaiser Permanente for the rest of the calendar year.
Kaiser Permanente Maternity Coverage while Traveling
Typically, expectant mothers don’t travel when they’re far along in their pregnancy. So, in cases when they do travel, it is good to know how maternity coverage would apply. Kaiser Permanente is an HMO provider, which means services would need to be rendered at Kaiser Permanente only in order to be covered by the health plan. An exception, however, would be emergencies and urgent care services. When a woman needs to go to an emergency facility due to a sudden and unexpected pregnancy delivery, she can go to the nearest facility, whether it’s Kaiser Permanente or not. If she is covered under a Kaiser Permanente Individual Plan, the emergency benefits would apply. The most she would be responsible to pay is the out-of-pocket maximum amount.
Traveling and Pregnancy Delivery
Here’s an example of how Kaiser Permanente pregnancy delivery benefits could look for an expectant woman who is traveling. Again, we’re not encouraging that you try this at home, but always with your doctor’s consent. Let’s pretend that a family of four went from California to Florida for a family getaway to Disneyworld. Then let’s say that the mother, Jane, had to be rushed to the nearest emergency facility due to complications with her pregnancy. She can go to whatever facility is closest; it doesn’t have to be Kaiser Permanente. After all is said and done, Jane’s emergency visit would be covered based on her Kaiser Permanente plan.