Low income prenatal/maternity care in Las Vegas.
February 10, 2014 7:05 PM   Subscribe

What resources/services are available to a woman living in Las Vegas, who is about 8 months pregnant, uninsured, unemployed, and broke?

She has been working in an under-the-table capacity (call it a very old profession) for a number of years, but because of her pregnancy, she is not currently able to work. Because of the nature of her work, she doesn't have much in the way of a documented income history.

She qualifies for and is in the process of signing up for Medicaid, but that has a 45-60 day lag right now. She will most likely deliver before she's fully enrolled (her due date is in late March).

I would like to help her in any way that I can, but I'm not in Nevada, and I don't know anything about these sorts of resources there (or in my own state, to be honest).

I'm looking for pointers to:
- Any techniques to get Medicaid to become effective faster. Late-stage pregnancy seems like the kind of thing that there should be an exception for, no? Is there someone she (or I) can talk to that has the ability to expedite the process?

- Insurance that can kick in immediately that will cover pre-natal and maternity costs, if such a thing exists. Assume that there are people who care about her who can collectively pay for a few months of such coverage if it's not obscenely expensive.

- Free clinics, etc. where she can at least get some pre-natal care.

- Any other resources that would be appropriate for her situation.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Medicaid is almost always retroactive.

Retroactive Eligibility

Medicaid coverage may start retroactively for up to 3 months prior to the month of application, if the individual would have been eligible during the retroactive period had he or she applied then. Coverage generally stops at the end of the month in which a person no longer meets the requirements for eligibility.

posted by jaguar at 7:11 PM on February 10, 2014

Is she comfortable going to Planned Parenthood? It looks like they have a partnership with a midwifery and they often offer low-cost and sliding scale services to women.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:13 PM on February 10, 2014

This appears to be the closest crisis pregnancy center. Crisis pregnancy centers vary in quality, but some are quite helpful in helping women apply for aid, get housing, etc.
posted by Wavelet at 7:47 PM on February 10, 2014

Is she planning on keeping the baby? If she's interested in adoption, there are agencies that will pay for her healthcare costs and housing.
posted by BlahLaLa at 7:52 PM on February 10, 2014

That crisis pregnancy center linked has bad information about abortions, which means it probably exists mainly as a front for anti-choice propaganda, not as a place to help women.
posted by jaguar at 7:57 PM on February 10, 2014 [8 favorites]

BUT they most certainly would be able to give her practical assistance-the ones I was familiar with were stellar with that. Mileage varies, and all that.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:00 PM on February 10, 2014

So can Planned Parenthood, and they're less likely to judge her for being a sex worker.
posted by jaguar at 8:06 PM on February 10, 2014 [5 favorites]

[Caveat about crisis pregnancy centers noted; let's not get into a further back-and-forth about it here. Thanks.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:14 PM on February 10, 2014

The state has a website and helpline number (2-1-1) for free and low-cost services for pregnant women and new mothers. (The website's available in English and Spanish, and 211 has translators for more languages, if that's an issue.)

Alternatively, she might call the Shade Tree (702-385-0072) to ask about resources - they're explicitly for homeless and abused women, so she might not be able to get placement or case management through them, but they would definitely know what's available in Vegas.
posted by gingerest at 8:47 PM on February 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Food stamps aka SNAP generally has an emergency option, if she qualifies - it's generally 10 days or less as far as I know. It would require following exactly their rules to apply for it - in places I'm familiar with, they only do emergency intakes at specific times of the day (generally early). As far as I'm aware, cash assistance falls into the same thing.

Though in most states, medicaid has recently changed how one applies, often being done separately from cash & food stamps now. BUT... many states have an even lower-income medical below regular medicaid that is generally available only to those who are in the same income range as the cash assistance sort.

Also, WIC office. In my experience, usually done through health department, but that area may vary.

Medicaid should be retroactive - even if she were to go into labor and have the baby at a hospital today. What would usually happen is that she'd immediately go on a list to be sent the appropriate application, and to backdate to then would require that she follow through and send it in - this may have changed due to the recent healthcare changes, I don't know - but I doubt it.

Often the same office that does food stamps will have a list of other local resources available.
posted by stormyteal at 9:21 PM on February 10, 2014

You mention possibly paying for insurance for her. She can purchase health insurance directly from an insurance provider such as Humana or Blue Cross to receive coverage until Medicaid kicks in. She can't be denied coverage due to the pre-existing condition of her pregnancy. The insurance probably wouldn't be effective until March 1. The monthly premium could be anywhere from $100 to $300 depending on the quality of the plan she selected. All plans will have particulars of what percentage of pregnancy and childbirth-related expenses they will pay.
posted by modofo at 9:21 PM on February 10, 2014

Please don't pay for insurance for her until you confirm the information about Medicaid -- it's about 99% likely that any prenatal care she's received three months prior to her application will be covered once she's approved. It's very very likely that money could be more helpful elsewhere, like diapers.
posted by jaguar at 9:46 PM on February 10, 2014

If she is not opposed to getting help from religious organizations, there might be some in the area that provide baby supplies. I used to go to a Catholic church that had an entire service to help new mothers and babies with supplies - it didn't matter what religion or spirituality the women they helped were, they just wanted to help. Nor did they prostelyze.

It might be worth calling around.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:58 PM on February 10, 2014

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