10 June 2008

Insurance companies are evil

Again, sorry. I'm not normally this slack with my blogging. I do feel like I'm heavily pregnant with this damn thesis. I'm about 7 weeks from my due date and it's getting pretty hard to do anything these days without thinking about the birth. My head, hands and feet are swollen with visions of edited chapters, all of the typos still to correct and the insane amount of formatting still left to do.

Anyway, I've been wanting to write about this for awhile but couldn't find the time until now.

Apparently, the push (to not push) for caesarean births has finally come to a head. As impatient obstetricians continue to corral pregnant women into operating theatres, it seems that some American insurance companies are actually refusing to cover women with a history of caesarean births. As we all know, insurance companies will not come near anyone with anything remotely recognisable as a 'preexisting condition', it seems that given the impressive list of health risks associated with caesareans, insurance companies are keeping their hands off.

Women who had had caesars are being charged higher premiums or being denied insurance altogther. This covers both elective and emergency caesars. Given that the caesar rate is at an all time high--31% (eek!)---it is women who are suffering now. That doctors overuse the surgery and often do not allow women who have had previous caesareans to deliver vaginally (VBAC), women are now being labelled as undesirable insurance candidates by no fault of their own.

Some insurance companies have not excluded the procedure from coverage completely: One insurance company, Golden Rule, said they would pay for a caesar only if they would not have to cover another one for at least three years. Similarly, Blue Cross Blue Shield said they would cover caesars but only at the cost of a 25% increase in premiums for the next 5 years.

Nevertheless, in being denied medical insurance women and their babies are being placed at enormous danger. After all, it is only recently that the rates of maternal and infant mortality have increased since 2005 and the US has the second worst rate for newborn deaths of industrialised nations.

Does anyone have any experience with this? Have you been denied insurance?

Sources: http://www.msmagazine.com/news/uswirestory.asp?ID=11061

1 comment:

Marjean said...

This is great info to know.

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