Parents-to-be in the United States are currently bracing themselves for the maternity costs that their bundle of joy might eventually bring. These costs, depending on our nation's health care laws, could increase dramatically in the coming years. Even if you're just considering a new addition to your family, you might need to know: How much will prenatal check-ups cost under Trumpcare? There's been a lot of talk about skyrocketing pregnancy prices, but prenatal appointments are another concern. Romper has reached out to the Trump administration for comment on these costs but has not heard back at this time.
First, let's assess what we've currently going on. The Bump's blog notes that, at present, "employee plans cover between 25 percent and 90 percent of [pregnancy] costs," highlighting that, after deductibles have been met, families might need to pay a little more out of pocket. If your insurance plan isn't through your employer, however, maternity costs might not be covered at all.
So what exactly does this look like? It appears that prenatal care visits can cost a total of $2,000, the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates, assuming that a patient needs 12 visits costing $100 to $200 each time. Additional needs, like special ultrasounds and blood tests, aren't even factored in. If you've got employer-provided insurance there cover these appointments, then you're looking at a pretty wide cost of $200 to $1,500. If your insurance refuses to cover prenatal care, that $2,000 is on you.
Which, unfortunately, could likely be the case if Trumpcare supporters do away with requirements mandating partial prenatal care coverage for employers. Not only could these costs become completely out-of-pocket, but pregnancy premiums would also rise a whopping 40 to 75 percent, making the cost of having baby just plain impossible for some families.
Trumpcare is providing the GOP with the opportunity to strip down health care offerings that some would argue aren't relevant to them. "What about men having to purchase prenatal care?" Republican Rep. John Shimkus once asked in a 27-hour debate this past March, insisting that it's unfair for men's insurance plans so address pregnant women's needs — a terribly ignorant response given that, more often than not, men are involved in conception and the pregnancy timeline that follows.
What these sorts of "not my problem" objections also fail to recognize are the following: One, that providing adequate prenatal care early on brings healthier babies who become healthier adults. If you must, consider it prenatal check-ups to be "preventative care" for later on; Healthier humans mean lower health care costs in the future, across the board.
Secondly: Sure, if you're a single person with no intention of becoming pregnant or getting anyone else pregnant, you might feel that it's unfair for you to buy into a plan that offers maternity coverage. But have you considered the fact that, I don't know, you yourself have in fact used maternity care? Maybe a long, long time ago? When you were, yes, an infant? Say what you will now, but there's certainly no denying that it's very, very likely that you needed prenatal, pregnancy, and maternity care. So, no, it's not just a "women's issue," and it never has been.
Health care plans should absolutely include prenatal check-ups in their coverage, and I'll venture to say that this coverage should even be extended beyond what exists now. If Trumpcare does away with prenatal services altogether, the negative reactions will haunt later down the road.