Friday, August 07, 2009

Yeah, Insurance Companies Don't Like to Pay for Babies

Seemingly each week in Malachi's first few months of life, we received a statement from our insurance company regarding some part of the labor-delivery-postpartum process that the company had decided not to cover. Paying for the birth of our third child required most of the money in our checking account, and Malachi came through the birth canal with no significant complications and was healthy and ready to go home in two days. (I can only imagine what sort of medical debt we would have accrued had a C-section been necessary or had Malachi required a trip to the NICU.)

But our experience was mild compared to writer Sarah Waldman's recent ordeals. From Double X, via Slate:

Our six-month-old daughter cost over $22,000.

You’d think, with a number like that, we must have used fertility treatments—but she was conceived naturally. You’d think we went through an adoption agency—but she is a biological child. So surely, we were uninsured.

Nope. Birthing our daughter was so expensive precisely because we were insured, on the individual market. Our insurer, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, sold us exactly the type of flawed policy—riddled with holes and exceptions—that the health care reform bills in Congress should try to do away with. The “maternity” coverage we purchased didn’t cover my labor, delivery, or hospital stay. It was a sham. And so we spent the first months of her life getting the kind of hospital bills and increasingly aggressive calls from hospital administrators that I once believed were only possible without insurance.


Post a Comment

<< Home