First off, congratulations on your pregnancy. :-) I'm sorry you have to worry about this right now.
I would STRONGLY recommend against signing up for the gov't plan. Here's why:
- In addition to your monthly premiums and co-pays, the so-called "affordable plans" also include astronomical deductibles. These plans are fine if you're having a lengthy hospital stay or very expensive surgery, but for prenatal care and labor/delivery, you're looking at forking over possibly thousands dollars to the OB and the hospital (these charges are typically separate), again, this is plus your monthly premiums.
- The provider networks for these plans are shrinking by the minute which equals you having a bigger and bigger chance of sub-standard care. Options are really important when it comes to having a good birth and with Obamacare, your options are very likely going to be limited to whatever doc-in-the-box is in the network.
Here's my recommendation: look into homebirth and freestanding birth centers. Yes, this means you'll be planning a drug-free, low intervention birth, and yes, you'll still need to talk to your midwife about the (unlikely!!) possibility of needing a hospital transfer, but in most cases, these services will cost far less than you would expect to spend on insurance + deductibles and copays. We're still talking $2-3k, but frequently you can work out payment plans and you are going to get world's better care from a midwife. Some offer sliding scales.
Recommended watching: The Business of Being Born and Pregnant In America (which is harder to find, but worth watching)
Recommended reading: Ina May's Guide to Childbirth (Ina May Gaskin), Childbirth without fear (Grantly Dick-Read, outdated language but one of the best articulations of the case for low-intervention birth and easily obtainable from most libraries)and Birth Matters (possibly my favorite book by Ina May Gaskin).
I know it's DP and we're all sort of loosely associated here at best, but I would be happy to talk with you more over email (stitchingmama at yahoo dot com). Depending on your state I might be able to at least help you find some midwives to interview. Please don't make any decisions based on fear! At the end of the day, your body was designed to bring your baby safely into this world. :) Best wishes!
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