Doulas and Medical Insurance
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Doulas > Medical Insurance
We are in search of a doula, preferrably in the East Bay. We
plan to deliver at Alta Bates. Are there any doulas that are covered by health
insurance (spec. Cigna PPO or PacfiCare HMO)?
Thanks for your help.
I am a Doula who while in nursing school I am currently
volunteering at Alta Bates. Concerning Health Insurance, From my
understanding Insurances do not cover doulas. There is a form
that you as a health care member can fill out and if you carry a
certain health care, they will reimburse you for a specific
amount. If interested you can email me and I will look up the
name of the form for you.
The short answer is no, no insurance I have ever seen has paid
for a doula. In fact, our MSA plan won't even reimburse. Maybe
your insurance is different from the five we've tried, so it's
I am wondering if anyone has used money set aside in a company
sponsored ''Health Care Reimbursment Account'' to cover the cost
of a doula's services? Any suggestions on how to get it
covered? How about post-birth baby nurse?
I have a flex benefit plan through my work, and I did some
research and found out that it does not cover doula services, to
my dismay. The coverage is based on IRS guidelines, so it is not
up to the discretion of the company that administers the plan
(i.e. you can't complain and convince them to change their
mind). You can probably get a list from the company of covered
expenses. We were able to get most of our childbirth education
class covered (they cover medical and birthing portions, but not
newborn care, go figure!), they will cover breast pumps. Most of
the coverage seems to be medically based.
I just fought this battle with my husband's FSA plan
administrator -- and lost, unfortunately. We were trying to
budget how much to set aside for '03, which is when we'll
actually incur the labor doula expense, so if there are any
success stories out there, I'd be curious to hear them myself,
since we could still submit the expense. I did do a fair amount
of research on the topic, and received assistance from both DONA
and an acquaintance who works for a company that administers FSA
plans -- he said his company would have approved it, so there is
room for interpretation. Also, DONA was aware of at least one
instance where a labor doula expense had been approved by an FSA
administrator. The FSA eligible expense standard is the same as
the deductible medical expense standard, and the closest thing
to guidance from the IRS on this is a ruling that a portion of
childbirth classes are a deductible medical expense. I'd be
happy to forward you the letter I used to make my case, as it
has the pertinent regulatory citations, although, again, it
didn't work for me. Feel free to e-mail me at the address
below. Hopefully your plan adminstrator will be more forward-
thinking! -- Anne
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