• Preparing for a newborn

    Expecting a baby can be both an exciting and a busy time in a parent's life. Whether this is your first baby or you're adding to your family through birth or adoption, you'll have lots of decisions. Who will be your pediatrician? Use our Find a Doctor tool to make sure your doctor and hospital are in your network.

    Expecting a baby boy? You'll have to decide whether to circumcise your son before you take him home. Premera covers circumcision for your son.

    Remember to select and install an infant car seat. State law requires you have an approved, non-expired car seat properly secured in your car before your baby can leave the hospital by car, so plan ahead.

    Note: Refer to your benefit booklet for benefit details and cost-sharing information.

    Feeding options: Breastfeeding or formula?

    If you decide to breastfeed, your Premera health plan also covers the purchase of a standard electric breast pump, or rental of a hospital-grade pump. Check your benefit booklet for more details.

    If needed, breastfeeding help is available. You have access to lactation counseling from a licensed nurse, doctor, or hospital program. Ask your doctor or hospital for the name of a lactation consultant. Also, La Leche League offers support to breastfeeding moms, and has regional helplines in all states.

    If you choose to use formula or need to switch to formula, check with your pediatrician. They'll help you select the formula that is right for your baby.

    Preventive Care at Birth

    Preventive care services at birth or within a few days after birth are available in all our health plans. Many plans cover these preventive services without cost to the member, when an in-network doctor, hospital, or clinic completes them. These services include blood tests at birth or a few days after birth for things like sickle cell anemia and hypothyroidism, and a Phenylketonuria (PKU) screening done between 24 and 72 hours after birth. In addition, your baby will likely get their first vaccine, safeguarding them from hepatitis B.

    Premature and ill babies

    If your baby is premature (born less than 37 weeks into a pregnancy) or ill, they may need to stay in the hospital longer. Depending on their medical problems, premature or sick newborns will be moved to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) for special treatment.

    Nearly all hospitals have a NICU. However, if your baby needs specialized care, discuss options with your doctor.

    Hospital postpartum centers

    Many hospitals with maternity programs have postpartum centers. If your hospital does, you'll be asked to bring your baby back to the hospital for a follow up visit a couple of days after you go home. They will check the baby's weight and check for jaundice.

    If you are breastfeeding, this is a good time to ask questions or get help.

    Baby's first pediatrician visit

    Typically, your baby's first visit to the pediatrician is 3-10 days after birth or as your doctor recommends.

    It's a good idea to prepare a list of questions for this visit. You may have questions about feedings, bowel movements, umbilical cord care, and more.

    Enrolling a newborn baby on your health plan

    Your baby automatically has coverage for the first 31 days of life. In order to continue coverage for your newborn beyond the 31-day window, you must add the baby to your medical plan. Contact the Benefits Service Center at:

    Enroll your newborn within 60 days after birth. If you do not take this step, your newborn will not be covered past the first 31 days and the next opportunity to enroll for coverage will be for the new plan year beginning April 1.

    Well-baby care

    Well-baby visits, immunizations, and preventive screenings for baby are covered under your health plan. Many plans cover immunizations and well-baby visits with no cost to you. We cover all immunizations recommended by the Center of Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) for newborns and children. Your doctor will go over immunizations and discuss any concerns with you. You can also refer to this handy chart from the CDC.

    At well baby visits you can expect the doctor to give your baby a full checkup to make sure they are growing, gaining weight, and developing normally for their age.