I'm not pregnant but am looking into insurance options. I am planning on a homebirth and have met with a midwife. Without insurance a homebirth including prenatal care would be $4000. My husband and I are interested in doing some prenatal care with an ob/gyn and the midwife and than delivering at home. Anyone in CA have insurance plans that cover midwifes/home birth and if so what are they and how much is the deductible and monthly fee. 

I do not get insurance through my work and my husband has Kaiser which does not cover a homebirth.

thank you

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Hi Simone,

Have you had any luck with this yet? I did a brief Google search, and found an online tool to compare individual insurance plans (eHealthInsurance.com). It seems that most self-insurance programs that offer maternity coverage (most don't) are through Kaiser. Dang. Blue Shield of California offers maternity coverage (no idea about home births), but the deductible is $5000, which doesn't help with a $4000 service. Health Net HMO offers maternity coverage with a $1000 deductible and a $3000 out-of-pocket maximum, but only covers home birth if it is an emergency (meaning your midwife's claim would likely be denied). Oh, and the monthly premium is $615!

In other words - it's not looking good for getting a home birth covered by self-insurance. But! Keep looking around - I just did a quick search. Be forewarned though that maternity services are seen as a big liability to insurance companies, so finding a low enough deductible and out-of-pocket maximum to make it worthwhile may be a challenge.

However, depending on your financial situation, many midwives that attend home births will work with you on a sliding scale. If you make too much money as a couple to meet that kind of arrangement, you might consider how important a home birth is to you, and then start saving up to pay for it out of pocket. If you saved up for a year (and were maybe pregnant for 9 of those months anyway?), you would need to put away just over $333 per month.

Also, look carefully at your coverage by Kaiser. It may turn out that a hospital birth (that you don't want) is almost as expensive, or more expensive, than paying for a home birth out of pocket. There are TONS of 'hidden costs' associated with a hospital birth that you may not anticipate. Ask around, and read over your husband's plan very carefully. What is your annual out-of-pocket maximum, as an individual and as a family? What services do not apply to that maximum (anesthesiologist? the pediatrician who checks your baby at the hospital?)? Remember that as soon as the baby is born, they are another person on your insurance plan with his/her own fees and out-of-pocket maximum. Add those to what you would pay - is it more than $4000?

Just some food for thought. Hope this helps in some way.



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