Reply turned post, damn insurance companies style

This is a reply turned post from a comment on Raising Women’s Voices piece about women getting denied maternity coverage by their insurance plans. It also gives the back story as to why I regretted not having any rotten tomatoes with me when I was sitting front row at a panel at school recently, and the medical director from our local Blue Cross Blue Shield was sitting right in front of me.

It is horrible that these plans do not cover maternity. It is a not very thinly veiled plan to not cover labor and delivery, which is increasingly becoming more expensive, especially as cesarean rates climb.

50% of pregnancies are unplanned. Blue Cross and Blue Shield didn’t let me add coverage for my pregnancy when I found out that I was pregnant. I had recently lost a job and couldn’t afford COBRA. So, I got attracted by the low price of an individual plan, and didn’t know until the fine print that I would have to pay hundreds more a month to cover a pregnancy I wasn’t planning.

I would have to take a negative pregnancy test at a doctor’s office and pay for a few months of insurance before I was allowed to get pregnant and have that pregnancy covered. It didn’t matter that I only took a home test, had never been seen by a doctor for the pregnancy, and had a miscarriage with a previous pregnancy. It didn’t matter that I was ready, willing and eager to pay for the maternity coverage. I was berated by the BCBS representative for my lack of planning.

Some insurance companies are also refusing to cover women who have had a cesarean. In my area, 40% is a pretty typical cesarean rate at the local hospitals.

So, if you rule out women who are paying for individual plans who weren’t planning their pregnancies and women who have had a prior cesarean, there are a lot of births for insurance companies to turn down. Not to mention the millions who have no health insurance.

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Reply turned post, damn insurance companies style

  1. I have to ask, do you really think ICAN is a place that gives you info you can trust? I think they are a bit militant. They scare me a little bit cause they all seem so damn angry. I guess I will take another look at it.

  2. MomTFH

    Well, ICAN definitely has an agenda and an angle. They have great information on their website right now about what hospitals in the United States allow VBACs, however, and that is a great resource for moms with prior cesareans who might want to try for a trial of labor.

  3. this approach just doesn’t seem ethical! I’ve not heard of this sort of thing, but can’t say I am surprised.

  4. MM

    Pinky,
    When you say that you find women in ICAN angry, have you ever considered why exactly that is so? What do you suppose that bothers you?

    Do you suppose some of the women come across as angry because so many have been coerced into surgery they didn’t want or need? Or do you think the anger might stem from being practically, for all intents and purposes, forced into surgery for future births that is totally unnecessary because their local OB or hospital doesn’t “do” vbac?

    I happen to think that once you get to know the women of the discussion boards that there is more to them then just the anger.

    As for your comment about ICAN being militant, would you consider LLL militant? Because the two organizations are very similar, in my opinion. Both exist on the same premise–to improve the lives of women and babies.

    But that’s just my .02.

  5. MM

    Also, I have to point out, the women who make up the discussion group are not the ones who create the white papers, press releases, etc that ICAN puts forth. I have heard this confusion before and it needs to be cleared up. They are simply the voices and faces of women who have had to deal with surgical birth in a world that thinks it’s no big deal.

    The board of directors are the ones who create the information, website, press releases, etc. If you you have an issue with what they say, you should bring it up to them. You’d be surprised at how open to suggestions they are if it means getting the word out to more women.

  6. you’d be suprised re lll and being considered militant….i’ve read a few threads here and that on that topic

    and re insurance and maternity, i’m personally covering about 2 weeks of my leave (which i know i’m damn lucky to be getting any paid leave) b/c i didn’t know last year that there was a 90 day waiting period from the time you start paying before you are eligible for short term disability….i didn’t look into it at the time b/c i wasn’t planning my pregnancy until this year….so you can get screwed eevn with a planned pregancy

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