The average cost to deliver a baby in America ranges from $6,000 to $8,000 for a normal pregnancy in 2010, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Pregnancy costs also include medical visits and anesthesia, such as an epidural. For a teen, the cost of pregnancy can be difficult to pay without financial help. Fortunately, pregnant teens have some options to help cover pregnancy costs.
Pregnant teens can apply for a variety of programs that offer financial help. The most common types of financial help come from government-based programs, adoption agencies and charitable services. The government offers two main programs for pregnant teens. They are Medicaid, which can help cover health care costs, and financial assistance from Women, Infant and Children (WIC) to help cover nutritional needs.
Your geographic location may determine some of the kinds of financial help you can get as a pregnant teen. While WIC and Medicaid are nationwide programs, your local government may have additional programs for which you can apply. Most national programs have a local or state office to assist participants. Usually, local charitable organizations offer help, as well. You may also find help through a local adoption agency.
Before you apply for financial aid, you need to ensure your situation really requires it. Pregnant teens may be able to get health care coverage under their parents’ medical insurance, especially if they still live at home. This can significantly reduce the out-of-pocket costs for pregnancy. To qualify for government-based programs, a pregnant teen must meet all the requirements for the specific program. Financial aid from adoption agencies usually occurs only after a pregnant teen decides to give the baby up for adoption.
With financial assistance, a pregnant teenager can get the medical attention she needs. By taking care of herself and her baby during pregnancy, the teenager reduces the risk of certain medical conditions, such as low birth weight or pre-term labor. Financial help also allows the teen to continue her education, which can benefit both her and the child later in life. Reducing the out-of-pocket costs for pregnancy can also alleviate stress.
Many pregnant teens don’t get the financial help they need because of misconceptions. Some believe that it is difficult to get financial aid from the government. Others think they will not qualify for the help, so they never look into applying for programs. Pregnant teens may also believe that getting help is something negative due to the stigma financial assistance often has in families.