I don’t know if you can even buy a private plan in NY state anymore... I thought it’s all through the marketplace (or employers, who I think also go through the marketplace if they are based in NY). Don’t quote me on this but that’s what I thought... anyone know for sure?
I live in NYS and have dealt extensively with health jnsurance, because I have a health condition and need excellent insurance so I can get to top specialists. The only way to get private health insurance is through an employer. I have Blue Cross Blue Shield through my employer, I pay $764 per month. There is a $1500 deductible, and after that I have to pay 10% coinsurance. My husband has a plan through the marketplace.
You can buy private insurance - either through the "market place" if you are eligible for a subsidy or just through a broker.
The difference between corporate insurance and private insurance is that corporate insurance has a much larger risk pool so a large employer can afford to provide better insurance - I.e. the high cost of insuring a 50 year old man is offset by the low cost of insuring a 25 year old.
However, the larger issue is that generally you can't buy insurance except during the Open Enrollment Period which will cover pregnancy and delivery. You can get insurance after the birth which covers you and the child because birth is considered to be a Qualifying Life Event but pregnancy isn't. Think of it this way. How could insurance survive if people waited until they needed expensive health care to get insurance?
I would imagine there are ways to qualify for health insurance if one's income is low and one would be immediately eligible for benefits.
Can you get onto a medicaid plan? They have a higher allowance for pregnancy and some of their plans are quite good and widely accepted even by some Manhattan Drs (Like Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicaid).
A way to potentially get such a private rate is if, say, you were a student, at a school and they had a group student plan. Usually, these are cheap and, again, can be good. Bear in mind you will likely have to deal with copays and deductibles, rendering the price actually higher than the premiums.
You may be better off putting that $1K aside and paying out of pocket until closer to the delivery. You'll want insurance then in case ch"v something goes wrong. Natural birth out of pocket should be under $10K, how much so depending on the hospital. (If you are in NY, you may want to consider a homebirth, should be under $5K out of pocket, including prenatals.)