The Colorado Independent has published an article chronicling one reporter’s quest to find non-employer-based maternity coverage in Colorado.
In advance of a bill in the state legislature that would require Colorado’s insurance companies to cover maternity, The Colorado Independent searched for non-employer-based maternity health insurance. How did it go? It was unbelievably frustrating.
Posing as a 34-year-old woman from the high country whose COBRA coverage was running out, this reporter perused websites and called agents to explore the options.
The results were discouraging all-around, but especially so for women with previous cesarean section. As one example illustrates:
According to state underwriting guidelines, the Rocky Mountain Health Plan maternity rider is also not available to any woman with a previous history of pregnancy complications, which include for example a miscarriage, toxemia, pre-eclampsia, cesarean section, etc.
Not only that:
But, he [the insurance agent] explained, if the pregnancy has any complications (like a cesarean section or any other complication as defined here by the Colorado Division of Insurance), suddenly the primary policy—with its separate deductible—picks up coverage.
When that happens, he said “your maternity benefit is totally null and void. It’s not being used…. It can get messy. And it’s horrible. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.
“So it’s expensive,” said the local agent, “and it could not work for you in the long run. But it’s sometimes better than nothing if you can afford it.”
This report illustrates what many women with a previous cesarean have experienced when searching for health insurance coverage. Just over a month ago, ICAN mother Peggy Robertson testified on Capitol Hill about her insurance denial (also in Colorado) experience. Peggy was declined insurance coverage due to her previous cesarean and was told her application would be accepted only if she agreed to be sterilized.