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Under healthcare reform, will all insurance plans cover maternity benefits?

  • December 19, 2012

Q. Under healthcare reform, will all insurance plans cover maternity benefits?

A. Almost, but not quite all. Under Obamacare, all new plans sold in the individual and small group markets must cover maternity benefits.

Even before Obamacare, group health plans with 15 or more workers were required to provide maternity benefits for employees and their spouses under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978. But dependents of employees are not covered by the 1978 law.  That’s the catch.

While Obamcare offers a safety net for young adult children who can now stay on their parents’ health plans until they reach age 26, most people don’t know that the adult child’s policy will not cover maternity. This is a good reason for a 20-something young woman to think about buying her own insurance rather than staying on a parent’s plan. (If she purchases insurance on her own, she may well be eligible for a health insurance premium subsidy).

Read more FAQs about issues related to maternity coverage.