How Alexa got active duty insurance to cover birth center care
Before pregnancy the hows and whys of birth are somewhat abstract.
But once those pink lines show up, many new mamas start feeling passionate about the philosophies and details that define their ideal births.
Sometimes arranging for your dream birth is simple — a matter of communication with your birth team, or of attending classes to equip you to birth the way you want.
And at other times new moms have to question and push through obstacles to deliver their babies in the way they feel best.
Your ideal birth may only be an investigation away
When strong new mama Alexa decided she wanted to pursue a natural, empowered birth for her first baby, Rowan, she immediately hit a roadblock: her ideal birth wasn’t covered by her insurance.
“It is really important to me that I give birth at a birthing center. I want to be in charge of how I bring my first child into the world, and I didn’t feel like I would have much say if I were to stay at the hospital,” says Alexa.
Alexa’s story has a happy ending, and she was kind enough to share what she did to help you overcome any insurance obstacles as well!
First, let’s look at the difference between the two primary versions of military health insurance.
Tricare Prime versus Tricare Standard
The Retreat has been happy to serve military families by accepting Tricare Standard for some time now.
This post has some of the details about having your birth with us under Tricare Standard.
But Tricare Prime, the insurance active duty members and their dependents are automatically enrolled in, typically only covers care from a list of approved providers. Everything not provided on that list requires a referral.
Unfortunately for Alexa, The Retreat Birth Center was not on the list of approved care providers when she began her prenatal journey and care.
If you want to learn more about the differences between Tricare Prime and Tricare Standard, click here.
Birth center coverage under Tricare Prime requires a referral
“I was definitely having a minor meltdown trying to figure out how or if I could financially afford to pay out of pocket to have the birth I wanted,” says Alexa.
But as she went up the chain of command from the Tricare office to UnitedHealthcare, the process of having her natural birth at The Retreat covered became surprisingly simple.
“I called my Primary Care Manager and was given a referral three days later,” says Alexa.
The process of securing coverage was fast once the referral was processed, and Alexa anticipates all of her prenatal, birth, and postpartum services will be covered as usual.
Waiting eagerly for our first Tricare Prime baby
Alexa’s midwife David took over her care when she was about 27 weeks along, after she transferred from one of the facilities on the Tricare Prime approved list.
“He’s basically everything I could’ve asked for. He feels like a friend, and when it comes to something like birth and delivery, knowing I have a friend in David eases my anxieties,” says Alexa.
Rowan is expected to make his grand entrance in late February, though Alexa has a hunch he’ll make a sweet Valentine’s Day date.
What does your ideal birth look like?
We’d love to sit down and hear your dreams for the birth of your little one.
Call us today to schedule a free tour and consultation at The Retreat!
We appreciate scheduled appointments rather than drop-ins, so we can be ready to welcome you and show you around.