Had a C-Section? Good Luck Getting Insurance
June 3, 2008
Yes, Harriet Christian, I'm talking to you -- and to anyone else who's been expending energy for the last 40 years parsing sexism in language and more recently, painting Hillary Clinton as some kind of feminist warrior-princess. Because while you've spent the last 40 years raging over trivialities, and how many six-figure female lawyers are making partner, and about the corporate glass ceiling that means fewer women are able to get multimillion dollar packages for running companies into the ground, real women are bumping up against things like this:
When the Golden Rule Insurance Company rejected her application for health coverage last year, Peggy Robertson was mystified.
â€œIt made no sense,â€ said Ms. Robertson, 39, who lives in Centennial, Colo. â€œIâ€™m in perfect health.â€
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.
Ms. Robertson had been shopping around for individual health insurance, the kind that people buy on their own. She already had insurance but was looking for a better rate. After being rejected by Golden Rule, she kept her existing coverage.
With individual insurance, unlike the group coverage usually sponsored by employers, insurance companies in many states are free to pick and choose the people and conditions they cover, and base the price on a personâ€™s medical history. Sometimes, a past Caesarean means higher premiums.