Getting Insurance When Pregnant

Kendra* was 22 and in college when she found out she was pregnant. She was still on her parent’s insurance and wasn’t sure what to do. The insurance’s high deductible meant that she would have to pay for most of her medical expenses and then she wouldn’t have medical coverage for her baby when he or she was born.

Amber* worked part-time at a restaurant and didn’t have any insurance when she found out she was pregnant. The doctor’s office she called wouldn’t take her without insurance and she knew she couldn’t afford the medical expenses on her own.

Medicaid Available to Pregnant Women in Ohio

A lot of the women who come to Your First Look Women’s Center either don’t have insurance or are on their parent’s plan. Under Ohio law, most of these women will qualify for Medicaid if they are pregnant.

According to the Ohio Medicaid website, those qualifying for Medicaid include individuals with low income; pregnant women, infants, and children; older adults; and individuals with disabilities.

To be eligible you must either be a U.S. citizen or meet Medicaid citizenship requirements. Your local Job and Family Services office can help with these. You must either have a social security number or be able to obtain one. You must be an Ohio resident. Finally you must meet certain income guidelines. Even if you don’t think you qualify based on income, Ohio Medicaid encourages you to apply anyway. The income guidelines for pregnant women are 200% of the Federal Poverty Level and are also based on the size of your family.

How to Apply

There are three ways you can apply for Medicaid in Ohio. You can call them at 800.324.8680. You can apply online at You can also visit your local Department of Job and Family Services listed by County below.

Lucas County, 3210 Monroe St., Toledo, 43606, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Wood County, 1928 E. Gypsy Lane Rd., Bowling Green, 43402, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Ottawa County, 8043 W. St. Rte. 163, Ste. 200, Oak Harbor, OH Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Fulton County, 604 S. Shoop Ave., Ste. 200, Wauseon, 43567, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Hancock County, 7814 County. Rd. 140, P.O. Box 270, Findlay, 45839, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Open until 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Sandusky County, 2511 Countryside Dr., Fremont, 43420 , Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you qualify, there are five health plans you will be able to choose from: Buckeye Health Plan; Care Source; Molina Health Care; Paramount Advantage; and United Health Care. You will find that these plans act just like regular health insurance.

Once you receive Medicaid, your insurance eligibility is reviewed every 12 months. If you experience a change affecting your eligibility, you should inform your case worker within 10 days of the change. An example of a change would be a new job that increases your income or offers you health insurance.

Your First Look Can Help

At Your First Look we have a care coordinator who can meet with you to help you apply for Medicaid. For more information or to set up an appointment, please call us at 419.720.3338 or text 567.455.1101.

Both Kendra and Amber came to Your First Look and were able to get signed up for Medicaid.

NPR reports that nearly half of the 4.3 million births in the U.S. are covered by Medicaid. The Medicaid program covers prenatal care, delivery, postpartum visits and infant care.

If You Live in Michigan

Your First Look does offer services to Michigan residents as well. Michigan has three Medicaid programs for pregnant women. One of their programs offers Medicaid to an eligible woman while she is pregnant and for the two months after her pregnancy ends whether due to birth or miscarriage. This program does have income limits. The second program is for women who exceed the income limit for the first program. In this case the woman will have a deductible. The third program is called Maternity Outpatient Medical Services. This provides health coverage for pregnant women who are eligible for Emergency Services Only Medicaid.

To apply for any of these service apply online at or contact the local Michigan Department of Health and Human Services office. Counties near Toledo are listed below.

Monroe County, 903 S. Telegraph, Suite A, Monroe, MI 48161, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Lenawee County, 1040 S. Winter St., Suite 3013, Adrian, MI 49221, Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*Names changed to protect privacy