Switching Jobs While Pregnant & Insurance Implications
Pregnant women have a number of professional and personal issues to consider during their pregnancy. Insurance coverage is likely one of the most important concerns at this critical juncture, due in large part to the fact that the costs associated with medical care during a pregnancy can be quite expensive. With that in mind, understanding the implications of embarking on professional change during a pregnancy is essential. Developing a reliable plan to maintain your insurance during pregnancy will keep your peace of mind intact during this critical period.
If you are planning on switching jobs during your pregnancy, you can explore a variety of federal insurance programs to ensure that you aren't left without coverage during this critical period.
Exploring Insurance Options
With some employers, your insurance plan may not swing into full effect for up to a year. With that in mind, certain coverage that is essential for expectant mothers, such as prenatal care, may not be immediately available. In a situation in which insurance coverage does not fully become available for 12 months, it may be difficult for a woman to receive maternity benefits when changing jobs during pregnancy, as the duration of a pregnancy is only nine months. This is, of course, not always the case – many employers offer health insurance almost immediately.
However, it is crucial that you deduce what health coverage timelines exist before you move further down the path to new employment. As could be expected, this can become a source of pressure and stress for some women, particularly those who are seeking to change jobs in order to secure better financial opportunities for themselves and their children. Ultimately, this could prove to be an insurmountable hurdle or risk for many women.
Evaluating Federal Insurance Opportunities
When you decide to leave your job, you can sign up for health insurance coverage on the government's healthcare exchange. This assumes that you have lost employer-based coverage, which will make you eligible for what is referred to as the special enrollment period. If this is not an option, you may be eligible to enroll in Medicaid at any point.
This may also be a great option for those whose income level cannot sustain insurance premiums through any other provider. You may also be eligible for temporary coverage through COBRA when you leave your previous job and lose your employer-sponsored health insurance coverage. Though COBRA can be expensive, you can take advantage of up to 18 months of coverage if you quit your job or lose the hours required to earn health coverage.
Understanding Your Paid Leave Options
For those who may choose to stay at their job instead of pursuing other opportunities, maternity leave is an option that should be explored. However, it is important to remember that certain businesses may offer varying levels of maternity leave, some more ideal and attractive than others. Before you choose to embark on maternity leave, make sure you have a written agreement from your employer regarding the terms of this temporary departure.
Whatever option you choose to pursue, remember that insurance coverage can always be obtained, regardless of what your specific income level or future plans may be. That being said, you should always do your own research to find the best opportunities for your own future family.
Ryan Cockerham is a nationally recognized author specializing in all things business and finance. His work has served the business, nonprofit and political community. Ryan's work has been featured on PocketSense, Zacks Investment Research, SFGate Home Guides, Bloomberg, HuffPost and more.