Understanding who is covered under which health insurance policy can seem daunting when you’re first learning about the adoption process, but it’s usually simpler than it seems. While every situation is going to be unique, and your health insurance policy and procedures may vary, the following guide will help you understand a bit about how health insurance works in adoptions, whether you’re pregnant and choosing adoption, or you’re adopting a child and adding her/him to your insurance policy.

For specific questions or concerns, contact your health care provider or your insurance provider, or contact your adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION.

For Pregnant Women Choosing Adoption

Finances can be a contributing factor when deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and concerned because you’re uninsured, don’t panic. Most adoption professionals, including American Adoptions, will cover the medical costs associated with your pregnancy and childbirth.

Understanding whose insurance will pay for what can be a little confusing, too. But here’s how it typically works:

  • If you have health insurance, then we can help you find health providers within your plan, and the agency/adoptive family may be able to assist with any deductibles or copays.
  • If you don’t have health insurance, we can help set you up with Medicaid or a similar state-funded program, if possible.

Whatever out-of-pocket costs aren’t covered by health insurance, the agency/adoptive family can usually find a way to help decrease those costs if not cover them completely. The important thing is that you and your baby receive the health care that you need.

American Adoptions also covers the costs of legal and emotional counseling, as well as living expenses for eligible birth parents who need assistance.

For Adoptive Parents Adding a Child to Their Policy

Another common point of confusion comes from adoptive parents who aren’t sure how to add a child to their current health insurance plan. Here’s how that will work:

  • Adoptive parents are responsible for the child’s medical bills incurred from the time of birth until the child is discharged from the hospital.
  • Your health insurance provider is required by law to cover adopted children the same way they would biological children.
  • Once your child’s birth parent(s) have officially consented to the adoption in accordance with state laws, you may request the addition of your child to your health insurance plan with your provider. The Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) prevents insurance providers from denying an adopted child coverage based on any preexisting condition if the adoptive parents request enrollment within 30 days of placement, so be sure to enroll your child within that 30-day timeframe after placement occurs.

Adoptive parents aren’t legally responsible for a birth mother’s medical costs; just the baby’s. Birth moms are usually on a separate insurance plan, as outlined above.

The goal is to ensure that all expectant mothers and children being placed for adoption are able to receive the health care that they need, regardless of cost. So if you have questions about adoption and health insurance, please call your doctor or your insurance provider, or contact your adoption specialist at 1-800-ADOPTION.