Saturday, February 2, 2008

Cesareans and Private Insurance

I'd started to work on this project but then life happened and it got put on the back burner. But then it happened to a good friend. So its not on the back burner anymore.

Turns out, if you are looking to get private insurance (you know, the kind that isn't provided by your employer, or the govt., the kind that some politicos want to give you tax breaks or special savings plans to buy) you might well be denied coverage if you've had a cesarean within the past 5 years. Why? Well, because there are too many complications in that time, after that surgery. Interesting. But its just another way, a better way, to have a baby. Even better, if you do agree to surgical sterilization, they'll go ahead and cover you. (So basically, I think the complications they are worried about are future pregnancies and the repeat cesarean that they know you'll likely have, whether you need one or not). Because its so politically risky, insurance companies are not allowed to mandate a TOL (trial of labor) or VBAC, and understandably, they don't want to pay for a bunch of expensive repeat surgeries that aren't necessary most of the time. So, because this is a market economy at times, they just don't provide their service to women with previous cesareans. I don't blame them.

But I have to wonder if anyone is warning women about this unforseen longterm complication of having a cesarean? Oh, it doesn't really matter if you don't have to have private insurance. But depending on the outcome of the current bickering about health care, that might be just exactly what a lot of people have to get. Except a pretty good number of them won't qualify....unless they are willing to undergo surgical sterilization, of course. Is that offensive to anyone other than me?

The great part is, I'm not just ranting about this. I already have one very motivated woman who is really pissed off about this. I need a few more. Who would be willing to talk to the media. It is distinctly possible that this could become a national story...if we find at least 3 women, with good documentation of the insurance policies and the refusal, who are willing to talk about it. And if its spun well, it'll really highlight what a disaster the 30+% cesarean rate really is, in ways that most people haven't even contemplated. So, if you are one of these women, please contact me. Ask around, see if you know anyone who's had this happen, who'd talk to me. Email me, please!

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