WARNING: This post is going to be very wordy with a lot of insurance speak, but we'll get through it...
**Also, this post is a compilation of a few websites to get you the most comprehensive information to get you started on your way to getting your services covered. I did not write down sites, but much credit is due.**
How to Obtain Reimbursement for Doula Services
Insurance coverage of Doula services is becoming a more common occurrence in the birthing world. Virtuously B’Earthed Doula Services encourages you to take the following steps to attempt reimbursement of your Doula services through our programs. We are happy to provide you with the necessary documentation to move forward with an insurance reimbursement.
Over twenty insurance companies have begun paying for Doula services and, now that there is a CPT code covering Doula services, this is more of a possibility than ever before. (CPT stands for Current Procedural Terminology, and is a copyright of the American Medical Association.) The CPT code used to claim birth Doula services is 99499 for Labor Support and to claim postpartum Doula services, it is 99501 and/or 99502 for Postpartum Care.
The following is a partial list of insurance companies who have reimbursed in whole or in part for Doula services:
Insurance and Flexible Spending Account Coverage:
Some insurance companies will pay for Doula services by reimbursing you. You may also submit to your medical flexible spending account (cafeteria plan) to help reduce your costs.
How to Request Insurance Reimbursement for Doula Services:
Whether you are reimbursed or not, please let Virtuously B’Earthed Doula Services know what kind of response you get from the insurance company. Each time someone requests reimbursement, it tells the insurance companies that this is an important service. They may consider it more carefully next time. If you are reimbursed, this is great news for doulas and we always want to know!
Let's Talk About It!!!
Back in November of last year, I posted a "Myth Buster" style post centered around Doulas that seemed to resonate with a lot of people who visit my Facebook Page, so I thought I'd share it here. Afterwards, I will come back and let you know what you can do to get reimbursement for Doula services through your insurance company.
These are a few of the quotes I have heard over the years with regard to Doulas that really stood out to me. They are not meant to be offensive, only to provide a glimpse into the thoughts of the communities in which some of us serve. And no, not all people in under-served communities have these thoughts. Unfortunately, many have not been privileged to have access to the same type of knowledge. As a Doula, it is my duty to strive to tip the scales.
Myth #1: "Doulas are too expensive."
Don't get me wrong, some Doulas charge a lot for their services. I've seen Doulas who charge $2500 or more for their services. That's why it's important to shop around when choosing your Doula. Not all of us are here to take your life savings. Some of us provide free, low cost, payment plans, or sliding scales so that all women, regardless of socioeconomic status can afford to have a Doula. If you are in the St. Louis Area, Virtuously B'Earthed Doula Services, Jamaa Birth Village, and others do this. There may be some in your area that does the same.
Myth #2: "Doulas are for white women."
Ok. Look. Doula work was made mainstream by white women in recent years, but indigenous cultures have been doing this since the beginning of time. All women, especially black women and women of color, NEED to feel empowered and informed of their choices when it comes to bearing life and borning it into the world. Have you heard the statistics for Black Maternal Mortality in America?! Black women are 4 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women, and its 2018. There are plenty Original women being trained as Doulas to help close this gap.
Myth #3: "I don't need no Doula."
Guess what? Doulas are trained professionals, educated in many areas...but if your mother, grandparent, husband, cousin, etc., helped you in labor, you had a support person. And that's great! You need to be supported in labor, regardless as to whether or not you hire a Doula! Doulas help to educate you on your choices in the hospital or wherever you go to birth baby, help with comfort measures if you'd like to progress naturally, coach you in labor should you be going at this alone, coach partner in assisting you should you have a partner, helps to keep the space sacred (because birth is a transformative experience)...among other things.
Just something to consider. If I weren't a Doula myself, I'd still advocate for Doulas because my experience with my own children led me to being a Doula.
To learn how to get your insurance company to cover Doula services, click here.