The due date for my second son was March 18th, the same day Obama planned to have the House pass the Senate bill and take an important step in reforming our health care system. When I brought this up to my wife, she smartly said, "Only 5% of babies are born on their actual due date and with all the missed deadlines in HCR so far, I'd say the chances of that happening are rather small."
Well, my second son came March 20th and the next day, the House passed the Senate bill. And with that, I thought that my child would leave the hospital knowing that he will never hear the words pre-existing conditions except in a historical context.
Just 20 minutes ago, my wife got a call from the insurance company telling her that they are terminating our health care coverage for one month because she's not currently working. The reason she's not working, as you can probably guess, is because she just passed a living, breathing human being FROM HER BODY, which can take a little while to recover from.
She began working with her employer, a university in NC, 10 months ago and they require 12 months before paid leave kicks in. It really sucks for us that her leave is unpaid but we found that out early on and planned for it. This termination of health care coverage, however, is quite a surprise as our entire family is on it.
In terms of practical consequences, I think we'll be all right since I think we can afford a stop gap measure of COBRA (an option available only because of Reconciliation which prevented a filibuster) but I haven't yet been told how much that will set me back. Regardless, that money will have to come from savings we were putting aside for upcoming daycare bills. Extra money that would have gone towards our new child but now has to go to an insurance company just to maintain the same coverage.
I'm not asking for anyone's pity. We'll be fine and our situation doesn't compare at all to the horror stories told in other diaries. It's the principle of it (or lack thereof) that really pisses me off. How can 38 Congressmen actually think that the small step we took March 23rd should be completely repealed?
What kind of civilized society thinks it's a good idea to terminate a family's health care coverage RIGHT AFTER HAVING A CHILD?!
Hey Republicans and Republicans who run under the Democratic Party: How is THAT pro-life?
Can't work because you had a baby? Well, we'll just have to terminate your coverage in the meantime.
This almost happened to us with our first child too back in 2006. My wife was on student insurance through her university which has their year (insurance-wise) begin August 1st. My child was born July 29th via C-Section and we spent 4 days in the hospital. Right before discharge, they said there was a gap in our coverage (conveniently right around the birth) due to the start of the new enrollment year and they weren't going to cover ANYTHING. My wife cried for two hours, thinking of a $23,000 bill while I spent 2 hours on the phone with her insurance company. Luckily, it was a mistake which the insurance company admitted and they ended up covering the birth.
Will someone please tell me what value private insurance provides for all this crap they put us through?
UPDATE: I've changed the word in the title from "Terminated" to "Suspended" because I don't think there will be an issue with rejoining coverage in June once she returns to work. My wife came out of the conversation with the word "terminated" but perhaps "suspended" is more correct.
Thank you for the support and I realize that my situation is merely an annoyance compared to what millions of other people have gone through or are going through now. I'm also lucky that we don't have any pre-existing conditions and that this should all be over by June. Many people can't say that I'm truly sorry for what the system puts them through.
We need to keep fighting until there are neither loopholes nor insurance companies to find and exploit them!
UPDATE 2: Nope, just received paperwork which clearly states coverage will be "terminated." I hope in practice, it's more just suspended.