Do you know if health insurance covers car seats? Well, you are at the perfect place to find the answer to such a question.
Your health insurance can be used for more than just doctor visits. Oftentimes there are other health related expenses they will cover, but does that include car seats?
Some health insurance policies cover the cost of a child’s car seat, whether it be a first time mom clause or a statement to provide car seat coverage for all children who need one.
In this article, we will review whether or not government healthcare and car insurance companies cover the cost of car seats as well as discounts and how to get a car seat through health insurance.
Additionally, we will cover if the health department distributes car seats, if your health insurance provides used car seats, and other ways to get a discount on car seat purchases.
Table of Contents
Does Government Funded Healthcare Provide Free Car Seats?
Programs like Medicaid and Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) will supply free car seats for those who qualify.
Medicaid is a federal program but run state by state. There are certain income limits that you must meet in order to be qualified since they are only funded to help those most in need.
If you are on Medicaid, you can take a car seat safety course and then turn in an application for a free car seat to receive one at no cost to you.
Among the many advantages for moms and kids that WIC provides, they also have a free car seat program.
Depending on the state, you may be able to receive a free car seat that you can keep or one that is on loan to you for a set period of time.
Loaners are usually to just help cover your needs until you can afford to get one and can last as little as one week or up to six months.
Will Car Insurance Cover Car Seats?
Your car insurance will only cover the cost of a replacement car seat if you get into an accident. Most car insurance companies will not provide coverage for initial car seats.
However, if you are involved in a car accident with the car seat present, they will cover the costs of getting a new one.
The car seat does not even have to appear to be damaged in the accident in order to be replaced. Since car seats are an integral part of child transportation safety, car insurance companies want you to feel confident in the car seat’s ability to protect your child.
Even if a car seat seems okay after an accident, the structural integrity could be compromised, putting your child at risk.
When you report an accident to your car insurance, make sure to include if there were car seats in the car at the time, so that your insurance can factor the cost of a new seat into your settlement.
Can I Get a Discount on Car Seats through My Health Insurance?
Most health insurance companies do not provide discounts on car seats. However, there are some health insurance plans that will provide free car seats to some of their members.
For example, some health insurance plans will offer first time moms a new car seat for their infant to get them started on their baby’s journey to optimal health and safety.
Other plans may provide special incentive programs that occur during certain times of the year.
Smaller health insurance companies such as Hennepin Health out of Minnesota may have special programs for their customers.
For example, this insurance provider will give away free car seats to any member who completes a car seat safety class and has a child between the ages of 0 and 8.
Check with your health insurance before purchasing a car seat because you may have an option to receive one for free.
How Do I Get a Car Seat through My Insurance?
The best way to see if your health insurance or car insurance will provide you with a car seat is to call their customer service representatives and ask.
They will be able to help you find the information you are looking for.
If they don’t have any car seat programs, they may also be able to direct you toward some local government or charity projects that can help provide a car seat.
Some health insurances require you to take a car seat safety class, while others need proof of income as they can only provide car seats to those in need.
If you are looking to get car seat coverage through your car insurance, talk to your car insurance agent about the steps you need to take when filing an accident claim to ensure that you get car seat replacement coverage.
Does the Department of Health Distribute Car Seats?
In addition to government programs like Medicaid and WIC, some state health departments will also provide car seats for families in need.
For example, the Tennessee Health Department has a list of facilities to which they distribute car seats so that those who cannot afford them will still have a safe way to transport their child.
Police departments, county health departments, public schools, and hospitals are just some of the participating facilities that receive free car seats to be distributed to families who need them.
Police and fire departments may also hold car seat safety days to help educate the public on the necessity for car seats, show them how to properly install one, and offer options on where to pick up a car seat if they cannot afford one.
Does Health Insurance Provide Used Car Seats?
If your health insurance provider offers car seat coverage or provides a free car seat, they will most likely not provide or approve the purchase of a used car seat. A car seat only optimally functions if it is structurally sound.
As such, car seats that have been involved in a car accident or are past their expiration date are not considered safe.
Your health insurance provider aims to ensure the health and wellbeing of your child which includes his or her safety on the road. Health insurance providers that do distribute free car seats will always give out new ones.
The only exception is the WIC program which may provide a free loaner to those in need. Even under these circumstances, however, they will not loan a car seat that is expired or has been in an accident.
Are There Any Other Ways to Get a Discount on Car Seats?
If your health insurance doesn’t provide car seat coverage and you don’t qualify for one of the government programs such as WIC or Medicaid, don’t worry.
There are other ways to help save on the cost of a brand new car seat.
Many charities such as Baby 2 Baby and local church organizations may have car seat drives to support those who need a car seat.
Children’s consignment stores may also carry car seats and usually vet them to make sure they haven’t been in any accidents or expired.
Stores that sell car seats will run sales from time to time and even give incentives for recycling old car seats.
For example, Target accepts old car seats and in exchange, you can receive a coupon for a discount on a new car seat.
Although not all health insurance companies cover car seats, there are some that do so call your representative to see if you qualify.
There are some governments funded healthcare programs such as WIC and Medicaid that provide free car seats for those in need.
Car insurance policies should also cover the cost of a replacement after an accident. Other charities and organizations also help with car seat costs so there are many different ways to help cover the cost of a car seat.
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