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Be Sure to Budget for Baby


(ARA) - When they find out a baby is on the way, most couples spend more time thinking about how to decorate the nursery than on how their new addition is going to impact their family budget. In fact, according to a new national survey conducted by Aetna and the Financial Planning Association (FPA), 71 percent of Americans spend practically no time reviewing their health benefits.

"It's important for expectant and new parents to thoroughly review their health benefits and family budgets. Pregnancy is the ideal time for combing through the details of their health plans, for example, to make sure all the bases are covered. Fortunately, there are resources and experts available for new moms and dads to get great advice planning for their future," says Sandy Jones, co-author with Marcie Jones of “Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth.”

Plan for Your Health, a public education program from Aetna and FPA, can help you make the best health benefits and financial choices for you and your new baby. Here are a few helpful tips:

Review Your Benefits

Know what your plan covers during pregnancy to fully maximize your health benefits.

* Schedule time to look closely at your coverage, in between reading baby-related books and magazines and shopping for baby accessories.

* Find out if your health plan covers genetic counseling and other new, cutting-edge services as well as traditional services.

Revise Your Family Budget

While health insurance may cover many medical costs, there are other expenses to consider. Don’t forget that these additional expenses should also be included in your overall family budget.

* Create a new budget to include baby-related expenses.

* Estimate daily expenses such as diapers and formula to include in your budget.

* Account for health care expenses such as health insurance, non-covered medical expenses, life insurance, additional doctors’ appointments, deductibles, premium costs, coinsurance and co-payments.

* Speak with your doctor about the cost of a normal delivery vs. a complicated one and what your insurance will cover.

Plan for Your Health

Expectant parents can visit PlanforYourHealth.com, featuring a newly expanded “Family” section, with tips, checklists and tools on health and financial information on bringing home baby. The tools and information include:

* A “Baby Expense Calculator” to help expectant parents estimate the cost of pregnancy and their new baby in the first year

* Tips for finding and interviewing a pediatrician

* Expectant family health benefits and financial checklist

* Adoptive family health benefits and financial checklist


In addition to information about planning for a new baby, PlanforYourHealth.com provides easy-to-understand information on other life events -- changing jobs, getting married and starting over -- in order for you to make well-informed decisions at critical moments in life.

Courtesy of ARA Content