Learning that you are pregnant is a wonderful, joyful time, but also one that can lead to a lot of stress. When you realize that you are going to become a parent, whether it is for the first time or not, you will naturally start to worry about the future. Will your child be healthy? Will any complications arise during the pregnancy?
And what about your child’s financial future? Will you be able to adequately prepare for the financial realities surrounding pregnancy, childbirth, and the raising of a child?
This week we’re going to begin a series of blogs focusing on families, children, and the estate and financial planning issues surrounding them. Whether you are thinking of becoming a parent, already have a child, or have recently learned that you are pregnant, here is some basic information you should know about some financial steps you might want to take when you find out that you are pregnant.
One of the most important issues to address when you first learn you are pregnant concerns your employer and maternity leave. If you are employed, you need to know what your employer provides when it comes to pregnancy leave, maternity leave, or short-term disability insurance.
You’ll also need to look at the question of reduced income during pregnancy or following the birth of your child. If you are in a relationship, one or both parents might have to reduce their income, either in the short term or long term, as a result of the pregnancy. This can have a significant impact on your household budget, and planning ahead for the change is absolutely necessary.
Health Insurance and Pregnancy
When it comes to having a child, having health insurance that covers the necessary expenses is absolutely essential. But beyond the necessary costs, they are often ancillary or contingency costs that many people don’t anticipate. Understanding what your insurance coverage does and does not cover is something that you need to do as soon as possible.
For example, not only will you need to be aware of any deductible that might apply, but you also need to examine your coverage terms for specifics. What does your plan say about prenatal care and testing? What about specific delivery options, such as c-sections or emergency procedures? What about pediatric coverage, nursery care, or premature birth scenarios?
Though we will talk more about specific insurance issues in the coming weeks, you will also need to be prepared to update or acquire life insurance when you learn you are pregnant. Life insurance, as well as long-term disability insurance, can protect both parents in the pregnancy. Understanding the difference between the kinds of insurance options available, what they protect, and what they don’t provide, is essential before you make any insurance choice.
Parman & Easterday