Low-income pregnant women in South Carolina may be eligible for Medicaid through a program called Optional Coverage for Women and Infants. Medicaid is a comprehensive health care program that's jointly funded by the federal government and South Carolina. Pregnant women are eligible for full Medicaid coverage from the start of pregnancy until 60 days after the pregnancy ends.
To qualify for the Optional Coverage For Women And Infants program, your pregnancy must be medically verified. You also need to meet the income guideline of being at or under 185 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $3,446 per month for a family of four as of 2011. You must be able to provide documentation that you are a U.S. citizen. Acceptable documentation includes a passport, a birth certificate or a certificate of citizenship or naturalization.
Medicaid provides a number of services to individuals who qualify, including coverage for hospitalization, doctor visits, including visits to a midwife or nurse practitioner, preventative care appointments and transportation to medical appointments if needed. Prescriptions, vision care and emergency dental care are also covered. Pregnant women who qualify for Medicaid are eligible for all of Medicaid's services. Although most Medicaid recipients are required to make a co-pay for services, co-pays are waived for pregnant women.
Applying for Medicaid
To apply for Medicaid, you must complete an application, which is available online and at your county's Department of Health and Human Services Medicaid office. You also need to provide proof of the income of all household members for the previous four weeks. This can be a pay stub, a letter from your employer, or your most recent tax return if you're self-employed. You also need to submit proof of your projected delivery date, which you can obtain from the medical provider you saw to verify your pregnancy. Even if you download your application and mail in supporting documents, you must visit a DHHS office to show proof of citizenship. They won't accept copies of citizenship documents.
Your Medicaid eligibility as a pregnant woman ends 60 days after the end of your pregnancy. You may be eligible for other Medicaid program, though, depending on your situation. Dependent children are eligible for Medicaid coverage, for example, if their family income is 200 percent or less of the federal poverty level -- $3,725 per month for a family of four as of 2011. Parents and children in households with a net income of $920 and less than $30,000 may also qualify for Medicaid. Contact your local Medicaid office for information on these programs.