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Could ‘Birth Budgets’ Help U.S. Women Navigate Coverage Gaps?


(WOMENSENEWS)—When Ashleigh M., a black woman living in Houston, became pregnant with her third child she thought her preferred provider organization, or PPO, health care insurance would cover all of the costs of her maternity care with her doctor of choice.

She was mistaken.

“We have a PPO, a.k.a. ‘good insurance,’ but every time I would go they would say we owed a couple hundred bucks and there are a lot of obstetric visits during pregnancy,” said Ashleigh, who asked not to use her full name to protect her privacy.

When she and her husband turned to their employer-sponsored insurance company for information about their out-of-pocket expenses, they say they were directed to a number of people who told them conflicting things. All in all, they paid over $4,000 out of pocket for prenatal care and the delivery of their child.

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