The COVID-19 global pandemic has brought a lot of stress to us all, but it can be especially stressful for expecting moms. Despite the global health and economic circumstances, this is still a very happy and exciting time for moms as they prepare for their newborns. Today, I’ll give you three top financial tips for all new moms to consider during this time:
3 Top Financial Tips for New Moms
1. Check your Health Insurance Plan
Whether you are pregnant or considering having kids in the near future, it is important to check your health insurance terms for pregnancy, maternity, and other child-related expenses. Health insurance plans vary greatly of what will and will not be covered during pregnancy. Some insurance plans won’t cover early doctor visits because the insurance company doesn’t deem these as essential. Other plans will cover all expenses, including a breast pump and pre-natal fetal monitor, through the entirety of your pregnancy. Check with your plan to make sure you know what is and is not covered under your plan.
Birth expenses can be costly. A good note to know before going into labor is that when your newborn is born many insurance companies treat the baby as a separate person from the moment he or she arrives. This triggers the requirement for you to add the newborn as a dependent on your health insurance (within a reasonable time period). Other health plans will allow your newborn to be covered by the parents’ plan for the first three months of his or her new life. As you can see, the nuances of health insurance coverage surrounding maternity are endless. Sometimes, it is also required that all of your service providers, from your doctor or midwife to your hospital to your anesthesiologist, are considered in-network. It’s best to check this far in advance before your due date. Keep in mind that since all health insurance plans are different, it is essential to know the details of your plan.
Also, know that having a baby qualifies you for a Special Enrollment Period through your company benefits OR if needed, your state’s healthcare marketplace. This means after you have your baby, you can change many of your benefits and options, including your health insurance, outside of the Open Enrollment Period. See HealthCare.gov for details for marketplace information on healthcare enrollment periods.
2. You Need Life Insurance
Once you find out you’re pregnant, it’s time to go ahead and get life insurance. We know how busy your life can be during pregnancy. You’re going to doctor visits, attending birthing classes, shopping for baby clothes, and decorating your nursery all while trying to maintain your normal routine. You barely have time to get your shoes on the right feet. We get it. The last thing you need is another item on your to-do list. Trust us on this one. Life insurance is not something you want to put on the backburner. It is crucial to have life insurance before welcoming your newborn into the world. This new baby depends on you for everything and if you aren’t there to provide it, it will be important that there are financial resources in place to provide for their needs for the next several years of their life. Life insurance is designed to be there to cover loss in income or other financial necessities (i.e., childcare, cooking, cleaning, etc.) if something unexpected occurs. If you, your spouse, or both were to suddenly not be around, you want to make sure your little one is taken care of, just as you would take care of them otherwise. See our blog posts on the importance of life insurance and how to get life insurance to learn more.
3. Get your Estate Documents in Order
Another necessary step in preparing for your little one is to have your estate documents prepared. Many of us think of the house from Downton Abbey when we say estate, but estate planning is actually much broader than just the assets you have, big or small. Setting up proper guardianship for your children falls in this area of necessary documents needed for estate planning. A will, and possibly trust, are also vital documents needed for any moms with children (or about to have children). There are many options when considering how/when you want your children to receive assets throughout their life. You can be very specific of what the funds can go toward, such as educational expenses, or be much broader in your wishes. Review our previous blog posts that explain why all mothers need estate planning documents and provide details on specific medical, financial, and guardianship documents that you will need.
Being a new mom can be stressful, especially during a global health pandemic, but taking care of some of these financial matters can help ease the burdens now and in the future. Make sure and check your health insurance, get life insurance, and set up your estate documents (i.e., future wishes). We guarantee you’ll feel much more relaxed and prepared for this next chapter as a mom if you do.