Ever wonder if your health insurance company will help pay for your doula services? The answer is...maybe. We recently came across this helpful article that details many of the “alternative” services families choose, including labor doula services, water birth, home birth, and in-home postpartum care. The authors also delve into what specifics affect the likelihood of your getting the stamp of approval (or more important, a check) for the doula you choose.
Research studies have shown that women who give birth with consistent doula support undergo fewer interventions (including inductions, epidurals, forceps/vacuum-assisted deliveries, and Cesarean surgeries). Doula-assisted mothers often have shorter labors, shorter hospital stays, and overwhelmingly rate their labors and births with higher levels of satisfaction than women who do not have this support. Their infants often experience fewer interventions and spend less time in the nursery/NICU than those born without doula support. Clearly, doula support benefits women, babies, hospitals, and...insurance companies.
(Please see the links below to access the articles where we found this information.)
Most of our clients haven’t even considered that their insurance company may be willing to cover part of their doula services, but we always advocate asking. And, we recommend that they start the process as early in pregnancy as possible. After all, this is business to them. Your best bet for reimbursement will be to focus on how covering this smaller payment now will likely save them a LOT of money in the end. If you wait until after your birth to approach them, there’s less incentive for them to contribute because they already know the outcome.
We try to make this process as easy as possible for our clients. One of the benefits of choosing AthensBorn for labor doula services is access to our Insurance Reimbursement Packet, which includes the following…
- A checklist detailing the steps you’ll need to take
- A template for the letter you’ll write to your insurance company
- Copies of research articles to support your request
- Copies of our current doula certifications
- A superbill for services provided
Guarantees for reimbursement aren’t possible at this point in time. The truth is that some companies pay a good chunk toward services, some pay none, others are somewhere in the middle. But, we’ve helped condense the process down to a manageable list of tasks and who couldn’t use a few extra dollars in their wallet when there’s a new baby around? Our hope is that as more parents request reimbursement, more insurance companies will become familiar with doula services and how they improve outcomes for mothers and babies...and that they’ll be willing to help families pay for these valuable services.
Best wishes on your birth journey!
Continuous support for women during childbirth
Coverage for doula services: how state Medicaid programs can address concerns about maternity care costs and quality
Modeling the Cost‐Effectiveness of Doula Care Associated with Reductions in Preterm Birth and Cesarean Delivery
NY State Maternal Mortality Review Report