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Midwives who take Medi-Cal
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Midwives who take Medi-Cal
Home Midwives and Medi-cal
Do home Midwives accept Medi-cal? If so, any recommendations?
My relative attempted a home-birth with a MW and Medical covered it. MediCal did
not cover a home-birth kit which went unused and MW refused to refund the costs
which for my poor relative was a lot of money. MW also abandoned my relative when
thing did not go perfectly and my relative eventually ended up being very happy
with her hospital experience. I think before you embark on that journey you should
read up on difference between CPMs, LMs and CNMs.
Also, home-birth MWs do not carry malpractice insurance insurance unlike OBs . So,
if something goes wrong because of negligence and you will need money to care for
your child, you will not be able to get anything in courts.
As I understand it
homebirth midwives, if they are CNMs they can theoretically take Medi-Cal but I
believe they need to have an OB back-up agreement which is hard to get.
As a previous response indicated a birth center may be the way to go. Pacifica Family
Maternity center in Berkeley is committed to having 51% of their practice be Medi-Cal
clients. They don't actually get reimbursed for these clients yet although that is
their plan for the future. They are definitely worth contacting.
My midwife, Sara Flores is a CNM and is also working being able to accept Medi-Cal.
She attends her clients' births at Sacred Birth Place and also does homebirths. She's
amazing in so many ways. My partner and I feel so blessed to be in her care. You can
contact her through her website: http://www.reclaimmidwife.com/
Also, some midwives are willing to take on low-fee clients and a few occasionally
take probono ones. Most operate on a sliding scale and are willing to work with their
clients to figure out payment plans, trades, etc. Don't let insurance stand in the
way of you having a homebirth if that's what you want to do. Despite what people may
tell you, having a ''homebirth in a hospital'' is nowhere near the same experience.
I am a homebirth midwife, a Licensed Midwife. As a general rule, Licensed Midwives cannot bill
medical for their services, but can provide care for a fee to clients with medi-cal, We can send
clients to the lab, or for ultrasounds and those are covered by medi-cal/. We can also make
referrals to other agencies like WIC for clients that may be eligible.
I personally do not know any midwife Licensed or Certified Nurse Midwife that bills media-cal. I
and other midwives, and Sacred Birth Place (http://www.sacredbirthplace.com) in Oakland, do
offer sliding scale fees for clients who have medi-cal. I believe that Pacifica Maternity Center in
Berkeley will be offering services to Medi-cal clients.
Homebirth can be a safe and wonderful experience for women and their families. We want to be
able to offer services to as many women as possible.
Treesa Mclean, Licensed Midwife
Midwife or Birthing Center that takes Medi-Cal
I'm am embarking on the journey of single motherhood at age 42!
I've got supportive friends, a doula and a wonderful home to have my baby now I am
looking for a midwife or a birthing center that takes medical in Alameda.
Any advice and direction will be greatly appreciated.
dear christine, i don't know about midwives/birthing centers in alameda but i
mention my midwife, lindy johnson, who is in berkeley and takes insurance (i
assume medi-cal but you'd have to ask her). my baby was born five months ago
nearly every day i still count my blessings for lindy. she is a firm, loving,
capable and highly skilled midwife who helped me have the birth i wanted
some difficult extenuating circumstances (multiple day labor, swollen cervix,
etc). i think it's atrocious that insurance companies do not cover more
and support women in choosing midwives but i'm so grateful that i was able to
find and work with lindy. lindy delivers at alta bates hospital. although
nervous in some ways about a hospital birth i ended up feeling really wonderful
about alta bates and all the care, space, and freedom i received there. best
wishes to you on this amazing journey. you can get lindy's contact info by
googling her name.
I just had my daughter at Sacred Birth Place on Park Blvd in Oakland. They're
amazing and wonderful and I'm so glad I chose them. They're a birth center, but
also do home births. They can work with you on payment and I'm pretty certain
take MediCal. Sacred Fan
I didn't answer before because this new birth center isn't in Alameda (there
isn't a birth center in Alameda), but there is about to be a new birth center
in Berkeley, on Telegraph, 4 blocks from Alta Bates. It's called Pacifica
Family Maternity Center www.pacificamaternity.com and YES they will take
Medical (as well as private insurance), which as far as I know, is unique to
them in the area. They are not officially opening until November, so if your
due date is after that, you should seriously consider them.
The birth center is co-founded by Cindy Haag who is one of the most loved and
respected midwives in the Bay Area, you can look up her many glowing reviews
on the Berkeley Parents Network. I don't know her midwifery partner, Sonja
Cahoon, but if Cindy trusts her, I'm sure she is also great. I had a
fantastic homebirth experience with Cindy, and referred her to many of my
friends, all of whom were similarly happy. She has a great deal of medical
knowledge and birth experience, and is also incredibly kind and compassionate.
The opening of this birth center is a great thing for the Bay Area.
Excited about the new birth center
VBAC OB GYN AND Midwife - Medi-Cal
I have so much respect for your collective wisdom and experience, and I need
some help. I just found out I'm pregnant with our second baby. We are
thrilled. But I have many concerns about how to achieve the birth I want. I
had a C-section last time, so don't feel like simply having a home birth without
having developed an option for possible medical complications. But I would like
to have a sweet gentle environment. My husband and I were both born at home,
and were very disappointed to have had to go the hospital route last time. I
don't know of any birth centers in the East Bay, or even in the Bay other than
one in SF and one in Santa Rosa.
I was also wondering how to approach a 'dual' birth attendance; OB and midwife
together? I really want a VBAC and believe that the beliefs and energy of the
attendant to the birth are of HUGE importance and influence the outcome.
Oh- also, I will most likely be on Medi-Cal, if that makes any difference to
what you'd advise. We do have money put away for out-of-pocket stuff like the
midwife, a doula, etc.
Thank you so much (in advance) for your kind consideration of my confused request!
I had a drug-free, totally uncomplicated VBAC last year with
nurse midwife Lindy Johnson at Alta Bates and it was an
amazing experience. Lindy is backed up by the OBs at East
Bay Perinatal and they always have someone at the hospital.
So if an OB had been needed, someone would have been right
there. There was no OB attending my birth, though, and all
my prenatal visits were with Lindy at her office. I had an
OB for my first birth and can say the midwife experience was
quite different - in short, more respectful of my wishes for
a natural childbirth, more hands-on and supportive. Lindy is
a gifted, wise, gentle and caring person with many, many
years of experience. She helped me to have the birth I
wanted and didn't think I would get to have. I am so
thankful to have found her!
Certified Nurse Midwife Jeri Zukoski is good. She accepts most
insurance and MediCal. Her expertise is VBAC. She lives for the
birth so office visits can be fine or not so focused at times. I
liked the more natural, self-aware approach, though. Overall,
happy with her services! She's in Berkeley on Dwight above Shattuck.
Mama of two
i've been seeing jeri zukoski, and i feel pretty comfortable
with her, but i'd really like to do a homebirth (which medi-cal
won't cover) and can't afford her rates.
Try calling around. Although they don't advertise it, some
midwives have a sliding scale. When we interviewed midwives in
late 2003, I think they went as low as $2000, but there may be
some that go lower. Don't forget to ask what may be excluded from
that fee (such as birth supplies, lab tests, ultrasounds, etc.).
Perhaps some of these 'extras' are covered by Medi-Cal.
You can read general homebirth midwife recommendations, including
mine, at http://parents.berkeley.edu. Also, see
We are looking for an excellent ob/gyn in the east bay,
preferably in Berkeley, who accepts Medi-Cal and works with a
midwife. I lost my excellent PPO coverage at the start of '05,
and although this is our third child, it is our first time
working within the Medi-Cal system. I wish a midwife assisted
home-delivery were an option, but since it is not covered I would
appreciate any recommendations, advice, or resources anyone has
to offer. I am already well into the second trimester and would
feel good finding a health care provider soon. Thanks to all!
Jeri Zukoski takes Medi-Cal. her office in on downtown Berkeley-
Dwight & Shattuck. she has privileges at Alta Bates. her
number is 530.3374
West Berkeley Family Practice takes medi-cal and has midwives 5
days a week. They also have 2 Community health workers whose sole
job is to work with our pregnant families and help with things
like medi-cal sign up and and insurance issues down the road,
WIC, BIH, hospital tours and registration. West Berkeley also has
the program Centering Pregnancy, which is prenatal care in a
group setting (you can check out the Centering program at
You can call 981-4269 and talk to Anya (one of the CHW's)for sign
up info or for informations about the Centering program call Cris
at 981-4200 x.4245
I went to Hsiu-Li Cheng when I was on Medi-cal, and she was
totally amazing (see other reviews in BPN archives). It's a bit
of a drive from Berkeley, though, if her office is still in the
same place, next to Summit hospital. Consider her, though --
she is really, really skilled and experienced, and I felt
complete confidence in her during my whole pregnancy and birth.
She also works closely with O.B.s, if you end up with any
medical needs she can't handle/prescribe for.
Back in 1998 I had Medi-Cal, and depite misinformation from 2
different Medi-Cal staffmembers they DO cover CNMs,(unless it
has since changed.) The practioner we used is Jeri Zukosky CNM
at Alta Bates who has an MD back-up, but we never met with nor
used the MD. It was 100% covered. I believe Medi-Cal covers any
of the CNMs, check with Waddle and Swaddle in Berkeley for a
full list of choices. Jeri also does homebirths (most do one or
the other) and you'd have to call her to check, but I'm nearly
certain this actually would have been covered by Medi-Cal as
well (with a CNM, but unfortunately not a homebirth-only
happy we had MediCal and a supported natural birth
I have just moved to the bay area and have since found out
that I am pregnant. My husband and I had been
volunteering for the past year in Haiti and returned in March.
We were not expecting to be pregnant and here I am happy,
delighted and due in Nov. As a result we are currently
insured under Medi-cal for the pregnancy until one of us
finds a job. I have begun to see midwife Nancy
Barnett-Moore and have been comfortable so far. I see the Berkeley parents
network recommends her with all good comments. Can
anyone with fairly recent first-hand experience with Nancy
give me some advice/recommendations?
I had a wonderful birth experience with Nancy Barnett Moore.
Nancy was our midwife for my son's birth 6 months ago at Alta
Bates. I highly recommend her, without any reservations. We
chose Nancy because she was highly recommended on this list, and
after meeting her, we really liked her attitude and her demeanor-
she listened to us, asked a lot of questions, and basically
assured us that she understood exactly what we wanted for our
birth. My prenatal appointments were all thorough and positive,
and although they often started late, Nancy always spent a lot
of time with us, making sure that all of our questions were
answered. She has a style that is both gentle and confident, and
constantly made me feel comfortable in her care.
While the prenatal care was excellent, Nancy's strengths really
came forward when my labor began. My baby came 4 weeks early,
and Nancy was calm and reassuring throughout my hours of
laboring at home. While I labored at home, Nancy showed the
perfect balance of sound medical advice and consideration for
our wishes. When we finally went to the hospital, Nancy met us
in the triage area, and examined and admitted us right away.
Nancy was well respected by all of the hospital staff, and was
comfortable and at ease in the medical environment.
I labored for 5 more hours at the hospital, and was able to
deliver my baby without any pain medication. At several times
during the labor, I truly questioned whether I would be able to
weather the pain. Nancy never tried to give me false confidence;
at one point I remember her saying, ?you still have at least two
hours of pushing. This is not going to be easy, but you are so
strong, and I know you can do it.? Nancy gave me realistic
information about the progression of my labor (and never sugar
coating it), while encouraging me to stay strong and remember
what kind of a birth I wanted. (This is not to say that she was
overly dogmatic either! She was respectful of our wishes, but
never seemed to be pushing us in any direction.) There were a
few small complications during the delivery, which Nancy handled
gracefully and professionally. These would probably have
resulted in medical interventions, if not for Nancy. I never
doubted her competence, and felt fortunate to be in the hands of
such a compassionate and talented midwife.
Nancy is a wonderful person and an incredibly skilled
practitioner. I have only positive memories of my son?s birth,
and I feel blessed that Nancy was with us. Good luck with your
pregnancy and birth!
We think Nancy's great. Our baby was born five weeks ago, at
Alta Bates, natural and unmedicated, with Nancy as midwife. She
was kind, patient, and attentive to our needs and wishes. The
nurses clearly respected Nancy, despite the difference between
their hospital procedures and Nancy's laid-back midwifery style.
Post-partum she has been exceptionally supportive. We strongly
recommend her, have full confidence in her skills, and confidence
in her ability to react calmly and correctly to the unexpected.
Ilil & Bryce
this page was last updated: Nov 1, 2013
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