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I recently discovered I'm pregnant, but I have no health insurance. Is there any way I can get insured?

Unfortunately, the insurance options for a woman who is already pregnant are slim to nonexistent. Our story on how Pregnancy complicates health insurance options goes into detail.

Medicaid is an option if you fall within its low-income guidelines. Read Understanding Medicaid for more information.

If you are a college student, your student health center may be able to give you some leads. Read Health plans for college students.

You could try to get into a group health plan that will cover your pregnancy — either by getting a job that offers employer-sponsored health insurance that provides maternity coverage or by obtaining a group policy that covers maternity through a chamber of commerce or other professional organization. This is also true if you are currently on a COBRA policy that will expire before you give birth; unfortunately, you cannot extend COBRA coverage past your maximum even if you are pregnant.

You may be in luck if you're fortunate to live in the handful of states that are allowed to cover pregnant women under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP is a joint federal-state program that provides health benefits for children whose parents can't afford insurance but who make too much for existing welfare programs. See Children's Health Insurance Program for contact information.

After your baby is born, he or she might also be eligible for health insurance under CHIP. Additionally, if you are a parent of a CHIP-eligible child, in some states you may also qualify for health insurance under the program.

Last updated: Dec. 7, 2009