Health insurance for women is being denied, or premium-loaded, in the wake of the Cesarean section upsurge.
The New York Times reports “After Caesareans, Some Women See Higher Insurance Cost”:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.
Elizabeth Bonet of Sunrise, Fla., with her daughters Mia, 6, and Eva, 2, was told she would pay more for insurance because of her Caesareans. “It made me feel very helpless,” she said.
“It made no sense,” said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. “I’m in perfect health.”
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.
In a letter to Ms. Robertson, Golden Rule, which sells individual policies in 30 states, said it would insure a woman who had had a Caesarean only if it could exclude paying for another one for three years. But in Colorado, such exclusions are considered discriminatory and are forbidden, so Golden Rule simply rejects women who have had the surgery, unless they have been sterilized or meet the company’s age requirements.
Ms. Robertson said that had she known a Caesarean was grounds for rejection, she would not have even applied to Golden Rule, because the denial may be held against her in the future. Insurers routinely ask applicants if they have ever been denied, and red-flag anyone who says yes.
“My understanding is that once you’re denied it’s hard to get other insurance,” Ms. Robertson said. “Man, is that a scary thing.”
So doctors are raising fees and blaming insurance issues for increasing their C section rate (they somehow perceive it as “safer”, despite substantial evidence to the contrary); and insurance companies are punishing women for having C sections. Yeah, that’ll end well.
At least half of these C sections are not medically essential, but women are told they are by their doctors – and now they struggle to get health insurance at all, unless they get sterilised. Isn’t that just a two-legged kick in the pants for women?