Health care these days is so ridiculously complicated - at least for me. And as someone who is about to step into the entirely different world of non-employer-based health care for the very first time, I am rather overwhelmed by its complexity and shortcomings. So it was with great interest - and a little fear - that I read a recent NYT article about women who have had Ceasareans paying higher premiums for health care. Why? Oh, 'cause they might have another and cost more!! Why oh why am I not surprised?
So. I'm picturing this: You get a Caesarean, then you leave your job (where if you're lucky you get benefits!). Now you need to buy health care outside of an employer-protected risk pool, so pre-existing conditions really matter (that pesky problem with our health care system - if you're ill you just might be too ill to cover!). And if a Caesarean is a pre-existing condition, well, you pay more. Yikes. What do you think, mamas? Fair? Worried? Happened to you?
Some tidbits from the NYT Article to get us thinking:
- Although it is not known how many women are in [this] situation, the number seems likely to increase, because the pool of people seeking individual health insurance, now about 18 million, has been growing steadily — and so has the Caesarean rate, which is at an all-time high of 31.1 percent.
- [America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group] has reported that although most Americans with health insurance, 160 million, have group plans through employers, the number needing individual policies will probably keep rising, because more and more people are becoming self-employed or taking jobs without health benefits.
- Obstetricians are rendering large numbers of women uninsurable by overusing this surgery,” said Pamela Udy, president of the International Caesarean Awareness Network, a group whose mission is to prevent unnecessary Caesareans.
The Oregonian's The Mom Beat wrote recently about a local group for mamas hoping to avoid multiple Caesareans. Check it out.