Monday, June 2

Not fair! Insurance and c-sections..

I read the New York Times online almost every morning. Usually I start with the US frontpage, but I always meander on over to the the health section. Today, there was an article about insurance for women who have had C-sections. As someone who has struggled to find health insurance after graduating from college and beginning work at a non-profit, I definitely feel like it is really hard to find something that is cheap and yet still worthwhile. I hear my co-workers complain all the time that they're insurance does not cover dental or vision adequately, and yet everyone just has to make due with the current plan.
The article in the Times today was about how women who have had a c-section often find it impossible to get insurance, or are penalized with higher premiums for several years. Some companies will only insure women if they are beyond child-bearing age, or can prove they have been sterilized (post c-section). The rationale for this discrimination? Since having a C-section is more costly than vaginal childbirth, the companies see women of childbearing age at risk for another surgery and thus higher spending on their part.
In the past I have blogged a little bit about women breastfeeding, and the shame culture that pervades producing and raising children correctly. I definitely think that having an elective c-section is not something that should be done lightly, and that the medical community has been less than responsive to women's personal decisions..but c-sections happen, and often in emergency situations. It is kind of ironic that doctors are pushing for more c-sections and a medicalized view of childbirth, and then when women acquiesce (either by choice or necessity) they are penalized! For some women this means higher premiums for 5 years, and others are simply rejected by insurance companies. I realize that c-sections are surgery, but what kind of message are these companies sending? Have a complications-free birth...or else?