Unexpected bills after pregnancy loss hit families hard

After a pregnancy loss, families can incur thousands of dollars in medical bills for additional ultrasounds, tests and procedures that aren't fully covered by their insurance company, The Inquirer reported.

Four things to know:

1. Health plans must cover pregnancy and childbirth at some level. However, medical bills can pile up in certain situations for families grieving a pregnancy loss due to the way payments are bundled, according to the report.

2. Carrie Ann Terrell, MD, an assistant professor and division director of general OB-GYN at University of Minnesota Medical School, told The Inquirer many health plans "bundle" basic services expectant mothers will need, such as a certain number of prenatal visits and ultrasounds; childbirth itself, assuming no complications; and a postnatal checkup. But after a pregnancy loss, she said women may be charged for each service received before the loss, which can result in additional costs. Other care needed after a pregnancy loss, such as a dilation and curettage procedure after a miscarriage or genetic testing, also may not be covered.

4. Dania Palanker, an assistant research professor at Georgetown University's Center on Health Insurance Reforms, told The Inquirer insurance companies often also negotiate birth "bundles" with hospitals, where services new mothers receive at the hospital are grouped together. This could include a lactation consultant and nursery fee. But the report notes that after a pregnancy loss, some of the bundled services are not needed.

4. According to the publication, patients can challenge services they did not receive after a pregnancy loss. However, this can be difficult for families to deal with during an emotional time, The Inquirer notes.

Access the full report here.


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