Cesarean Sections = Pre-Existing Condition?


If some insurance companies have their
way, a cesarean section will soon be considered a pre-existing medical
condition, which in turn is going to render millions of women either
un-insurable, or left paying drastically increased medical premiums.
Why do I think this is unfair? Because of my own personal experiences
with the births of my children. Now that I have had two cesarean
sections, is my husbands insurance through work going to change their
mind and tell us one day that I am un-insurable?
This is a reason I support an overhaul of our health care system. The
laws that currently surround our medical insurance, and these big bucks
insurance companies need to be reformed and become stricter, as well as
a huge needed reform to the medical malpractice laws so Doctors,
especially OB/GYN’s can stop practicing something that is now being
called defensive medicine.

I came across an article about cesarean sections being considered a pre-existing medical condition,
and I wanted to share that. There are more than a couple statements in
this article that I find disturbing as a woman in her child baring
years.

“The point of insurance is to insure against
catastrophic care costs. That’s what you’re trying to aggregate and
pool for such things as heart attacks and cancer,” said an Anthem Blue
Cross spokesman. “Having a child is a matter of choice.
Dealing with an adult onset illness, such as diabetes, heart disease
breast or prostate cancer, is not a matter of choice.” – According to 
Anthem Blue Cross.

Having a child, for many women, is just a part of life. While the pro choice movement has made it clear that all women have the choice
to continue or terminate a pregnancy, that choice has no baring on a
woman choosing to have a child. These same insurance companies have no
issue throwing money at viagra and unnecessary medications that are for
men though.  Pregnancy is a normal and until recently a common
biological function for millions of women, why should they be punished
if they make the choice to become a parent?

When a woman isn’t currently pregnant, she often still cannot get coverage. Many insurers consider a Caesarean-section pregnancy a pre-existing condition and refuse to cover women who have had the procedure. From a 2008 New York Times story about a Colorado woman who had Golden Rule Insurance:

She was turned down because she had given birth by Caesarean section. Having
the operation once increases the odds that it will be performed again,
and if she became pregnant and needed another Caesarean, Golden Rule
did not want to pay for it.
A letter from the company
explained that if she had been sterilized after the Caesarean, or if
she were over 40 and had given birth two or more years before applying,
she might have qualified.

Now this boils down to insurance companies making these choices for
mothers, instead of women being allowed to make their own informed
medical decision unless they want to pay out of pocket. Now I can tell
you, after my second child was born, I obtained a copy of what my
insurance was billed for my cesarean section, and 3 1/2 day hospital
stay. $15,600.  Believe it or not, a medical bill like this, in
reality, would bankrupt a family in today’s society. With the current
economy, the unstable job market, and the questionable banking and
housing industry… we shouldn’t have to be worrying about simple things
like our medical coverage.

Now I will bring this back to why we need to reform health care.
Right now in the US we have something I like to call “sick care” not
“health care”. People only go to the doctor when they are sick because
that is what insurance will cover. Preventive care like Chiropractors,
which are proven to help for many illnesses and overall just staying
healthy, are not being covered by many insurances, or you are only
given X amount of visits for a year. I know my insurance only covered
34 visits for a year, and during my pregnancy alone, I went to the
Chiropractor almost triple that amount.
Just another reason there is a serious need for an overhaul.

The number of cesarean sections are increasing yearly. An example,
in 2007 39.40% of all births at Stamford Hospital were cesarean
sections. That increased in the 2008 fiscal year to 43.35%. That is a
huge jump for one calendar year. These numbers are not only sad, but
they are dangerous. The World Health Organizations says that a safe
cesarean section rate for mothers and babies in The United States is
10-15% at most. The amount of cesarean sections has risen in the United
States for 11 years in a row, and I have no doubt it will increase next
year also, dispite large name organizations such as The American
Medical Association saying that the rated needs to be reduced.

What is your take on all this?

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  • feminazi

    In my opinion, all pre-existing conditions are complete b.s., but this one really irritates me. All of a sudden, the insurance companies are allowed to co-opt the rhetoric of “choice” when it comes to having a child? Does that mean that all pregnancy coverage will be dropped completely, because all of us could just choose not to have a baby, thereby avoiding all of those medical bills, to say nothing of the bills that come AFTER the child is born and we need health coverage for those children?

    If this C-section thing holds up, I guess I’m next on the list for a pre-existing condition. I had an ectopic pregnancy that, due to an LPN’s gross negligence, progressed to the point where I had to have laparoscopic surgery. As most people can tell you, this means that my chances of having a second ectopic pregnancy jump significantly. Does that mean I’ll be deemed uninsurable?

    Interesting, isn’t it, that the health insurance companies are only interested in insuring people who never need that insurance.

  • jillunnecesarean

    …and I was glad to see Michelle Obama address it last Friday.