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Pregnancy and Childbirth Coverage under Medicare

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Medicare does indeed cover pregnancy and childbirth. Are you astonished? That’s probably because you see Medicare as a program only for people way past childbearing age. But of course Medicare is also for much younger people who qualify through disability, and some of them become pregnant.

The relevant regulation in the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual explains the scope of coverage: “Skilled medical management is appropriate throughout the events of pregnancy, beginning with the diagnosis of the condition, continuing through delivery, and ending after the necessary postnatal care.”

Medicare also helps cover the cost of treatment for miscarriages, and for abortions in circumstances where pregnancy is the result of incest or rape or would threaten your life if you went to term. It doesn’t cover elective abortion if you choose to terminate your pregnancy.

To receive hospital services, you need Part A hospital insurance. For doctors’ services and outpatient procedures (such as lab tests), you need Part B coverage. If you’re enrolled in Medicaid because your income is low, that program may pay some or all of your out-of-pocket Medicare costs, depending on your state’s eligibility rules.

Medicaid may also pay for your infant’s medical care. But after the birth, Medicare doesn’t cover services for your baby at all.

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