There are several types of third party payers who have reimbursed doulas for services on an occasional basis. The traditional indemnity plan (in which the consumer chooses any practitioner and is reimbursed for a percentage of covered expenses) seems more likely to cover independent doula services than health maintenance organizations or preferred provider organizations under managed care. A few doulas have government contracts or grants from private foundations which cover the cost of providing services.
To date, Medicaid does not directly reimburse for doula services, although Medicaid funds are allocated for doula services by some county agencies. [I am currently looking into Prince William County and then Fairfax, and then further North. It is a process of many phone calls and being passed from one knowledgable person to the next]
Many consumers have flexible spending accounts, in which a percentage of their wages are placed in a pretax account and can be used for non-covered medical expenses. Doula care may be considered an appropriate expense for reimbursement from a pretax account.
some major healthcare providers who have provided coverage in the past:
Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO
Foundation for Medical Care
Wausau Benefits, Inc.
Professional Benefits Administrators
Humana Employers Health
Glencare Managed Health Inc.
Lutheran General Physicians Org
Elmcare, LLC c/o No American Medical Management
Great West Life & Annuity Insurance Co.
Steps Towards Reimbursement:
1. Pay your doula in full.
2. Get an invoice from below which includes the following information: a) the doula's name and address b) the doula’s NPI number (National Provider Identification) c) the doula’s social security number or taxpayer ID number d) the date and location services were provided e) the CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) code for the services provided f) a diagnosis code (which may need to be supplied by your doctor or midwife) g) the doula's signature
3. Submit the invoice with a claim form (provided by your insurance company, or the 1500 universal claim form if required) to your insurance company.
4. Within four (4) weeks, some times sooner, expect to receive a letter telling you either that: a) they have accepted the claim b) they need more information before they can process your claim c) this is not a covered expense
If the insurance company needs more information or denies your claim:
5. Ask your doula to send you the following: a) a copy of her certification (if she is certified) b) other credentials or relevant training c) a letter detailing her training and experience and how she served you
6. If possible, ask your doctor or midwife for a letter explaining how a doula helped you, was necessary or saved the insurance company money. (Did you have a high-risk pregnancy or postpartum? Did the birth doula's presence and/or suggestions appear to prevent complications, help your labor to progress more quickly or decrease your need for expensive pain medications? Did the postpartum doula’s presence and/or suggestions help you or your baby in the postpartum period, increase breastfeeding success or appear to prevent postpartum complications?)
7. Write a letter explaining why you felt the need for a doula and how you believe the doula was beneficial to your and your baby’s health.
8. Submit to your insurance company: a) the doula's letter and credentials b) the letter from your doctor or midwife c) your cover letter 9. If they refuse your claim, write a letter to your insurance company to the attention of Health Services requesting that they review the claim, as you feel it was a cost-cutting measure and they should cover the expense.
10. Follow up by telephone if necessary.
11.v cvvvggggggg If the insurance company continues to deny your claim, write a letter to the company CEO explaining why you feel that doula care should be a covered expense. They may not pay your claim, but they may consider doing so for future claims.