Options For Maternity Coverage In Colorado Disappearing Fast

Getting individual health insurance with maternity benefits just got a lot harder for women in Colorado.  For the last few years, there have only been three major carriers that offered maternity coverage on individual policies: Golden Rule (United HealthOne), Assurant, and Rocky Mountain Health Plans.  As of the end of April 2010, both Golden Rule and Assurant stopped offering maternity riders on their policies.  Rocky Mountain Health Plans does still have a maternity option, but it’s expensive.  It’s only available for women who are under 34 years old, and it’s also only available on RMHP’s $500 deductible policy.  I just got a quote for myself on that plan:  Without maternity, the policy would cost $245/month.  With maternity, it would be $778/month.

Many of the other big-name insurers like Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Kaiser, Humana, Aetna, and Cigna have either never offered maternity on their individual policies, or stopped doing so years ago.  All policies in Colorado cover complications of pregnancy, but getting coverage for routine pregnancy and delivery is basically now limited to one carrier.

It remains to be seen how Colorado House Bill 1021 will impact this situation.  The bill would require that starting next year, all health insurance policies in Colorado include coverage for maternity.  It passed in the House earlier this year, but it has yet to be signed by Gov. Ritter.

About Louise Norris

Louise Norris has been writing about health insurance and healthcare reform since 2006. In addition to the Colorado Health Insurance Insider, she also writes for healthinsurance.org, medicareresources.org, Verywell, Spark by ADP, and Boost by ADP, and Gusto. Follow on twitter and facebook.

Comments

  1. Joel Rosenblum says

    The governor’s office has indicated that the bill will be signed.

    I have not seen the final version of the bill, but we have been led to believe that carriers will have to offer an option for maternity (covered as any other condition)on all plans.

    Joel Rosenblum
    FRAHU co-legislative chair

  2. Joel,
    That was my understanding too, but it looks like perhaps the bill has gone back and forth on the issue of whether all policies would have to cover maternity, or just one option from each carrier. In the text of the bill (there’s a link to it in my article), there is an addition (indicated by all caps) that states that “ALL INDIVIDUAL SICKNESS AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE POLICIES… shall insure against the expense of normal pregnancy and childbirth or provide coverage for maternity care.” I believe that this language was initially removed from the bill, but it looks like it has been added back in. I have a call in to Rep. Frangas’ office to get clarification, and will update if I hear anything more.

  3. Hi Louise,

    Would you mind sharing your sources on the availability of maternity riders on individual policies? Or for that matter, riders on group policies, if they exist? I’ve seen a couple of web pages mentioning that they are common, but I could not find details on available plans – in Colorado or elsewhere.

    Also, do you know why Golden Rule & Assurant stopped offering riders? I’m curious as to your sources for these, too. Not because I doubt, but because I’ve had trouble finding information on the availability of such products.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  4. Brian,

    Our knowledge of maternity rider availability in the individual market is based on our years of experience with individual policies and carriers. We found out that Golden Rule and Assurant were discontinuing their maternity riders by talking with our contacts at each company.

    All group policies in Colorado include coverage for maternity as a mandate – no rider to add, the coverage is built into all group policies.

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