“How can I obtain free pregnancy medical care?” a soft-spoken 21-year-old facing an unplanned pregnancy asked me, as we discussed adoption. I outlined these 5 steps for obtaining free pregnancy medical care to her.
- Get a free pregnancy test at your local department of health or Planned Parenthood.
Free pregnancy medical care for women with low income is available in all states and the first step to finding medical care is to obtain proof of pregnancy. Most county health departments and Planned Parenthood offer free pregnancy testing.
- Obtain an application to apply for Medicaid.
Medicaid (free state medical insurance) is offered through your local department of social or human services. You can download an application online or obtain the application in person.
- Determine what documents you need to apply for Medicaid.
In support of your Medicaid application, you will need to show proof of identity, citizenship or legal immigration status, residence, income, and pregnancy. Even if you are not a legal immigrant, you may be eligible for emergency Medicaid for your pregnancy medical care.
- Submit your Medicaid application and ascertain next steps.
You may need to mail in your application and documentation or submit it in person. Find out what steps you need to take to follow up, such as scheduling an interview at the department of social or human services, or waiting for a Medicaid card to be mailed to you.
- Inquire about women’s clinics and private obstetricians who will accept Medicaid.
Local hospitals are a good place to start searching for care as many hospitals have outpatient women’s clinics that provide maternity care to patients with Medicaid. You can also search online for local women’s clinics and private obstetricians that accept Medicaid in payment for pregnancy medical care.