Affordable Prenatal Care Options
in San Francisco

We all know prenatal care is important, but let's face facts: It's not always affordable. Moms-to-be who are under- or un-insured are just as much in need of medical supervision and care as those who have great health care plans. Worse yet, some women who seek health insurance in response to a pregnancy are shocked and horrified when they learn that many insurance companies consider pregnancy a "pre-existing condition" and will not cover it. A lack of funds shouldn't put you and your baby at risk. If you have questions about the way you feel or what to do about the many many symptoms associated with pregnancy, you do have options and people to talk to.

Local Health Resources
Affordable Health Care Plans
Other Options To Consider

And what about after your baby is born? If you live in San Francisco, you should be smiling about now. San Francisco is one of the only cities around that offers baby's first well-baby check up for FREE. The Universal Home Visiting Program provides a nurse who will make a house call, answer questions, provide insight, and be a stress-free voice of knowledge and understanding in those first few scary weeks of a newborn's life. This service is absolutely free and, in the bay area, only available in San Francisco. When you've given birth, be sure to ask your doctor/doula/mid-wife/attending nurse about the program.

Local Health Resources

Planned Parenthood Golden Gate (
The San Francisco Health Center branch of Planned Parenthood is located at 815 Eddy Street and offers all the things you've come to expect from Planned Parenthood, all at low or no cost, including pregnancy testing, pregnancy options (including adoption and abortion), counseling, and prenatal care (as long as you are eligible for Medi-Cal).

ACCESS: Women's Health Rights Coalition (
While ACCESS focuses most of its attention on women's rights to choice, they also offer the valuable ACCESS Hotline (800-376-4636 or 800 376-INFO), which provides free and confidential information about birth control, pregnancy options, and prenatal care, along with the many other health concerns of women. They also help to access public insurance programs such as Medi-Cal, Family PACT and AIM.

San Francisco General Hospital (
The Women's Center at SF General (1001 Potrero Ave.) provides complete quality obstetrical and gynecological care for those women who qualify for Medi-Cal. The Women's Health Initiative program ( also features the Women's Options Center, for those who wish to discuss the many options of pregnancy, including abortion and counseling in a safe and comforting environment.

St. Luke's Hospital (
The Women and Children's Services program at St. Luke's (located at 3555 Cesar Chavez Street) boasts having some of the lowest cesarean and episiotomy rates in the nation, as well as a full program of prenatal care, and a full staff of physicians, obstetrical nurses and midwives for those qualified for Medi-Cal.

UCSF Women's Health Resource Center (
If you are qualified for Medi-Cal, the Women's Health Resource Center, located at 2356 Sutter Street (First Floor), is a valuable resource for prenatal care, as well as the many other medical needs of women. They also offer classes on pregnancy, delivery and care of your newborn.

Affordable Health Care Plans

Medicaid (
Medicaid is a state-run federal program for low-income families and individuals. One of the nice things about Medicaid is that it will cover pregnant women, and if you are on Medicaid when your child is born, your child will also be covered. Medicaid also features the Family PACT program, which is designed to increase access to family medical care for low income peoples. For information on Medicaid eligibility and coverage in California, you'll need to contact the California Department of Health Services ( or call 916-440-7400).

AIM: Access for Infants and Mothers (
AIM is a California state insurance program designed specifically for pregnant women of middle income. As an added bonus, once you are enrolled, your baby is eligible for the Healthy Families program, which covers children and teens up to age 19. If you make too much to qualify for Medi-Cal, but can't afford standard insurance (or if your maternity care deductible is over $500), this is probably an option worth looking into.

Medi-Cal (
Medi-Cal is a California-specific health program that is lower cost than many insurance company plans, and is part of the California Department of Health Services ( or call 916-440-7400). Medi-Cal offers several plans that can aid you in prenatal care and other health issues, and is accepted at most hospitals and clinics, and by most doctors and midwives.

WIC (Women, Infants and Children) is a federal grant program focusing their aid on the low-income and nutritionally at-risk. WIC can offer supplemental food, nutritional education, and screening and referrals to other welfare and social services. Pregnant women are covered until 6 weeks after delivery, or until pregnancy ends. Infants and children are covered until their 5th birthday.

Maternity Card (
For those women lacking in maternity medical coverage, Maternity Card offers a low-cost alternative that can reduce the cost of doctor visits, testing, hospital stays, lab work, and many other aspects of prenatal care by up to 60%. They also have a 24 Hour Nurse Hotline and counseling.

AmeriPlan (
Not an insurance plan, AmeriPlan is a discount service that can save you anywhere from 25%-80% on medical services and fees, including prenatal care, with a relatively low monthly fee for individuals or families. Not being an insurance plan means not a lot of paperwork to deal with, which is a huge time saver and headache reducer for most people.

Other Options To Consider

Midwives (
Midwives are a fabulous resource for low-risk pregnancies (which make up the vast majority of pregnancies). They typically cost less than your standard doctor's fees (many offer a sliding scale and accept Medicaid and other insurance plans). They are often more personable and more well-focused on the general well-being of mother and child than most hospital environments can allow, and by delivering with a midwife in a birthing center (or even at home) you can not only give birth in a much more relaxed and comfortable environment than a hospital, but you can also cut the costs of delivery in half.

Sliding Scales
Hospitals don't like to advertise it, but many will allow for payment plans and sliding scales for services, including prenatal care and delivery. Don't be afraid to ask.