Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna: Sorry, Your Pregnancy Is A Pre-Existing Condition

Katlyn is having trouble getting health insurance because she just graduated from college and is 15 weeks pregnant. She’s found herself in an expensive situation.

First and foremost, I am 15 weeks pregnant, unmarried, and I just graduated from college. This should be an exciting time for me, as I’m starting two new chapters in my life; unfortunately, enrolling for health insurance has become a burden.

Pregnancy is considered to be a “pre-existing condition” much like diabetes, cancer, or any other kind of health malfunction that would label me as less than perfect. I am a non-smoker, was a varsity athlete in college, and am of average height and weight. I have no other pre-existing medical conditions at all: I have no allergies, no asthma, and I’ve never had any major surgery. When I called Blue Cross Blue Shield, they denied me coverage due to my “condition”. When I asked if this would be a common concern for other health insurance companies, they said, “Yes, you will find this with all health insurance companies.”

So I called other companies. Aetna and Assurant both denied me as well. Every company told me I was more than welcome to enroll AFTER I had my baby. Being 15 weeks pregnant, it would be tough to me to find a job since I am beginning to show, so any hopes of long-term employment with health benefits would be a long shot.

However! There is a glimmer of hope! I can stay on my father’s health insurance for $400 a month through COBRA. Had I not been pregnant, I would have qualified for a health insurance plan for about $175 with BCBS. My boyfriend has health insurance through his company, but since we’re not married, I don’t qualify. I also looked into state health plans, but with my current jobs (all part-time, do not offer insurance) I make too much money to qualify. Fantastic.

Who says health care in the US doesn’t need to be fixed?


Thank you,
Katlyn

Unfortunately HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, says that group health insurers cannot consider pregnancy a preexisting condition, but doesn’t have the same requirement for individual plans. That’s why they’re able to deny coverage in your case. Also, you try to should avoid any coverage gaps because according to iVillage:

HIPAA doesn’t apply to someone who previously had no health coverage at all and then gets into a group health plan through a new job. So if you had no insurance, got pregnant, then landed a new job with insurance, your new health plan would not have to immediately cover your pregnancy. You might have to sit out a preexisting condition waiting period, a period that could be longer than your pregnancy and in the meantime pay for your visits yourself.

We don’t want that to happen to you, even if $400 a month sounds like a lot to pay for health insurance.

Have any of our readers been in a similar situation? How did you get through it? Do you have any advice for Katlyn?

Pregnant without health coverage [iVillage]
(Photo: Jonathan Harford )

Comments

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  1. Buran says:

    Hmm. If you two were to get married soon, would you then be able to enroll on his insurance? (But DO NOT do that if you aren’t sure you want to! Doing it just for reasons like insurance/home/etc. isn’t wise!)

  2. RandoX says:

    I’m leaning toward blaming the victim here.

  3. jurisenpai says:

    My advice? Marry the boyfriend if his health plan will cover you through your pregnancy at a decent cost. A JOP wedding will run under $100 in most states. People have done stranger things for health insurance – I know I considered it when I was uninsured for over a year out of college.

  4. mgy says:

    Is marriage out of the question?

  5. Weird, I thought that as long as you didn’t have a lapse in coverage, the Certificate of Creditable Coverage would have taken care of this. Obviously she became pregnant while covered by another plan…

    (oh, and don’t cry too much about $400/mo…plenty of people I know, myself included, pay quite a bit more than that just for self and spouse through work plans. Considering there’s no employer portion paid here, $400 for COBRA is quite a deal)

  6. opsomath says:

    So…the health insurer doesn’t want to cover her. Of course they don’t. It’ll cost them thousands of dollars. What’s the problem here?

  7. tkerugger says:

    Yeah, I’m sure an insurer would like to take your $175/mo in exchange for the tens of thousands of dollars that a pregnancy costs….

    Sucks for all of us…I go to the doctor like once a year, but I still spend thousands upon thousands of dollars that line the pockets of these corporations. At least they’re trying to save some money buy not writing a bunch of checks to this person’s armada of doctors.

  8. Write your elected representatives. It’s an election year, so they’ll likely be falling all over themselves to make a big show of negotiation a fix to your problem. If said representatives are Republicans, you might also mention Planned Parenthood and their various family planning services, you know, the ones Republicans love to say they hate in order to pander to certain parts of their constituent base.

    It’s worth a shot.

  9. themaskedmarauder says:

    Let’s just throw this out there – how about graduating college, then getting a decent job with health coverage, and THEN gettng knocked up? (Marriage optional.)

  10. othium says:

    @RandoX:

    I’ll have to agree.

    These things happen.

    But it’s not like it wasn’t preventable with proper planning and self control.

  11. Brain.wav says:

    COBRA is good coverage, but it will get expensive quick. Still, given what’s going on, it’ll probably be better in the long run.

  12. barometer says:

    Having kids isn’t something you should just willy nilly decide to do without extensive planning. It’s unfair to the kid. Get an abortion, learn some responsibility, try again later in life.

  13. SkokieGuy says:

    What a sad comment on our healthcare system. A few thoughts.

    If you’re unemployed (i.e. low-income), then Medicaid and / or WIC (nutrition assistance) may be options.

    Also, if you pay the COBRA, (existing insurance) then transition to a group policy, HIPPA prevents them from considering pregnancy a pre-existing condition.

    You could probably get hired at Starbucks tommorow, who offers healthcare for even part time employees. Look into employers and see who has the shortest waiting period for benefits.

    Also, most cities or counties have an office that helps people in these situations. Call City Hall and ask!

    Best of luck for a happy, health pregnancy and let’s hope that our country someday joins every other major country on the planet and makes healthcare a right, not a product purchased only by those that can afford.

  14. scarysnow says:

    Yeah, I mean, it’s not exactly easy to get pregnant. There are steps involved, a few of them even being voluntary.

  15. Being 15 weeks pregnant, it would be tough to me to find a job since I am beginning to show, so any hopes of long-term employment with health benefits would be a long shot.

    You’re telling me that no one will hire you because you’re pregnant? Because that’s what I’m reading.
    Get a job at a place like Starbucks that will provide group health insurance. Problem solved?

  16. @barometer:

    It’s unfair to the kid. Get an abortion, learn some responsibility, try again later in life.

    I really hope you’re kidding – an unplanned pregnancy is unfair to the kid, so just kill the kid and try again later?

  17. scarysnow says:

    @barometer:

    um, no. terminating a pregnancy for personal convenience isn’t exactly a humane option either.

  18. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    “I make too much money to qualify. Fantastic.”

    Yes, that IS fantastic. That means you’re not among the poor, and have the means for pay for insurance.

    I mean, you went to college, right? Varsity athelete? I’m not convinced you’re so poor you can’t afford $400/mo for pregnancy care. It’s not like you should be paying all of that, either. The baby-daddy ought to pay half of it.

  19. RINO-Marty says:

    Barometer – you are an ass. You are subhuman.

    OP – you have an option for health insurance at $400 a month. That’s not expensive. You should consider yourself lucky to have an option at all. Also, maybe think about tying the knot so the kid has a father.

  20. Quippish says:

    I fail to understand why you think a health insurance company would accept $175 over the next 5 months in exchange for paying for thousands upon thousands of medical care for you.

    You are in a poor position but why you expect a random company to foot the bill is beyond me.

  21. SKURRY says:

    My GF is in a similar situation, she went through the state for coverage. She has a job but still qualified.

  22. hills says:

    Pay up the $400 a month – it will be worth it.

    If it makes the OP feel any better I thought about using COBRA for my health insurance (also BCBS) but it was $981 a month…. so I think she is getting a bargain!

  23. ionerox says:

    Does Katlyn’s boyfriend’s work provide for “partner” benefits?

    Before my boyfriend got a new job with health insurance, we were going to add him to my benefits by registering as domestic partners with the city so my health insurance would allow me to change my plan and cover him as my partner. Of course, I live and work in Minneapolis for a large company based out of San Francisco- so there’s a lot of gay-friendly policies in play that also cover straight people.

  24. dorastandpipe says:

    I believe you need to pay the Cobra rates.

    My last baby…2 years ago, nothing special delivery…was $15,000. Luckily, I had insurance, but still ended up paying about 2k out of pocket after deductibles.

    My DH’s company switched insurance carriers in the middle of the pregnancy and we were worried that we would not have coverage, but because we had insurance already on the pre-existing condition, they could not block us on that issue.

    Cobra rates or a marriage you aren’t necessarily ready for, I vote for Cobra…it will be cheaper in the long run.

  25. Snarkysnake says:

    Now just a cotton pickin’ minute here…

    The OP is by her own admission,um, heavy with child. I wouldn’t cover her either-and I hate these companies practices more than she ever will. She should be damn glad that she can get COBRA coverage for $400 (split it with the boyfriend), but sweet Jesus, this is NOT evidence that the health care system is fucked.(It is,but not because of stuff like this)…

  26. SkokieGuy says:

    An employer who doesn’t hire you because your pregnant would be in violation of Federal Law. Of course its relatively hard to prove.

    And to those suggesting abortion, because pregnancy without insurance is expensive, we can also kill older people. Since they tend to have a lot of medical expenses, it will help bring down healthcare expenses and eliminate the donor-organ shortage.

    This should help make health insurance premiums more affordable for all of us.

  27. nsv says:

    I never thought I’d say this, but I’ve got to side with the insurance companies here.

  28. pgh9fan says:

    I’d check to see if the pregnancy is covered under your boyfriend’s insurance even if you’re not. Some plans do allow this. It’s his baby just as much as it’s yours. Certainly once the baby is born he/she will be eligible to be covered. Make sure your boyfriend does the paperwork immediately so that everything is ready to go. It may not help you up to the birth, but it may help after the birth. Baby check-ups–even well-baby ones–are expensive. You’re looking at probably a dozen times a doctor will need to see your little one from the time of the birth through its third month.

  29. hi says:

    $400 a month is expensive. Mine costs $75, and I think thats too much. Get married, buy the insurance, have the baby, get a divorce and take his money like a good American. I’m not very good at giving advise btw.

  30. MissPeacock says:

    @barometer: FAIL. Can a moderator remove this troll’s comments?

  31. Brie says:

    >Have any of our readers been in a similar situation? How did you get through it?

    I peed on the stick and it turned blue around the same time my husband started his new job – one with great benefits, but I was worried that because I was pregnant beforehand, pre-existing, yadayada. Then I realized that there was no official diagnosis to get reported to anyone. Why should the insurance folks think I’m pregnant without a doctor’s report? So I waited the thirty days for the insurance to kick in, then went to an OB, took a pregnancy test and at that point the condition started to exist.

    That was eleven years ago and most of it isn’t analogous to the OP (congratulations though!), but that’s how I dealt with it. Has OP’s pregnancy actually been confirmed by someone official?

  32. PinkNightmare says:

    I was hired for an awesome job when I was eight months pregnant (I wasn’t showing too terribly). I came right out and told the HR representative that I was pregnant and asked if I should mention it right away to my potential boss during the interview. She said NOT to mention it. Twenty minutes into the interview, I was offered the position and, before I accepted, I said that I couldn’t, in good faith, accept the job if I didn’t mention that I was eight months pregnant and would obviously be out on maternity leave. His only question to me was, “Are you coming back to work after your maternity leave?” My answer: “Of course, I wouldn’t be wasting your time or mine interviewing for a job that I’m only going to be at for a month!” In hindsight, I was SHOCKED that there are people who would actually do that!

    To make a long story longer…my point is that there ARE places out there that will hire you if you are pregnant!

  33. simplegreen says:

    make the boyfriend pay half of the 400 bucks per month. Thats the price you pay sweetheart. Next time. condoms. The moment you agree to have sex is the moment you need to be willing to accept the results of your actions.

    I dont mean to preach but just stay with the 400 bucks a month or like other said, get a job. I cant see someone denying you a job because they THINK your prego.

    Any consolation, I had to pay 450 bucks a month for car insurance before i got married. A result of my 360 horsepower habit. I got what i deserved.

  34. nsv says:

    @RINO-Marty: Tying the knot so that the kid has a father is not a good reason to get married. Bringing the kid up in a family that is full of resentment is not a healthy way to go.

    They should get married if they would do it anyway, if they want to do it, if they really genuinely love each other. They shouldn’t get married for the opportunity to raise the kid in a dysfunctional home.

    The father had half the fun and should pay half the expenses. That includes COBRA, which is cheap. I’m healthy and a year ago when I was paying COBRA it cost me $750.

    $400/month for COBRA is a hell of a lot cheaper than divorce.

  35. RINO-Marty says:

    He’s still her boyfriend.

  36. MissPeacock says:

    @nsv: Agreed. The father should shoulder half of the financial burden here.

  37. RINO-Marty says:

    Or she has a new one. Either way. I understand life is complicated and I’m going over the line here a little, but this person sounds like she has reasonable options and highly unrealistic expectations. I say this as a certified despiser of health insurance companies, who should all be nationalized. ;)

  38. @hi: $400 a month is expensive. Mine costs $75

    Your plan through work? Like it or not, your salary is reduced by a commensurate amount (just like people who brag “work pays for my healthcare!”). It’s all about how the company chooses to divy up the cost.

    Since (as I understand) COBRA means the insured person is paying 100% of the premium, $400 is an absolute steal for a low-deductible policy.

  39. elmo3 says:

    I’m not exactly siding with the insurance companies, but I shed no tears for a girl who leads her life like this–makes poor choices–and then expects the world to accommodate her.

    It’s time for the world to show her some tough love. I’m sick and tired of people bending over backwards for others who have made just plain poor choices. Save the tears for those who are truly unfortunate through no fault or poor decision making on their own.

  40. themaskedmarauder says:

    Hey – welcome to the world of consequences. She had the right priorities – they were just in the wrong order. She made the bed; now she has to lie in it – literally.

  41. SkokieGuy says:

    @Snarkysnake: A pregnant woman going without healthcare is NOT proof of our healthcare system being f’d up?

    Assuming the mother and baby both live through the pregancy (if she were to go without healthcare), she will likely end up in the emergency room several times during her pregancy which costs more that scheduled non-emergency treatments. The baby will be far more likely to have life long problems in a pregnancy without full and proper care.

    We pay these costs either way. When the uninsured go to a hospital, the cost of treatment is simply covered by the higher charges for everything we all pay directly, or via high insurance premiums. There’s a reason a single aspirin in a hospital is a $15.00 charge. If she gets $175.00 a month insurance for a $15,000 pregnancy, we pay, via our premiums.

    All the more reason national healthcare makes sense. Let the money we pay (whether premiums, taxes, etc.) go for actual health services and not large percent of healthcare dollars spent on administration of claims.

  42. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Planned Parenthood has a $300 solution.

  43. richcreamerybutter says:

    I’m curious about what the Royal Exalted Republican Dick Armey would say about the situation. Would he invoke his “personal liberties” argument? What would he say if she did contemplate a termination?

    Oh nevermind, he would tell the “whore” to “keep her legs closed!”

  44. ekthesy says:

    This is pretty standard in health insurance (I’m in the insurance business) and it’s not fair to blame the company entirely.

    Pregnancy and childbirth is extraordinarily expensive medically, and if an insurer knows you’re pregnant, they can’t charge you enough in premium to begin to make up for their outlay, nor should you expect them to. It’s just like if you had a disease that was extremely expensive to treat like cancer or AIDS–they won’t insure you then, either.

    I’m in favor of new insurance policies for these situations that charge a premium and co-insurance, maybe 70/30 or something like that…but health insurers aren’t Medicare, and they’re not just going to pay for your exorbitant medical expenses without blinking an eye.

  45. BlondeGrlz says:

    @MissPeacock: Apparently it’s “Be mean to pregnant women day” on the Consumerist. See you tomorrow.

  46. MissPeacock says:

    @elmo3: Who said she made a poor choice? She seems to be happy about it.

  47. donnie5 says:

    Get your graduate degree! Your college demands you have health insurance to attend there, and if you do not, they will give you a pretty cheap option for coverage. Already have one grad degree? Get another.

  48. ekthesy says:

    @Snarkysnake:

    “Damn glad” doesn’t even BEGIN to describe how happy the OP should be to know that she has a COBRA option. Even if she got a new job, if I were her employer I would not be happy putting her on my employee-group health plan, as next year premiums for the entire group will increase due to the new employee’s pregnancy.

    I would be even less happy to be her co-worker and know that her pregnancy is taking money out of my pocket (if I am paying some of the monthly premium).

  49. HIV 2 Elway says:

    My campus gave out free birth control. This chick was reckless and now faces the consequences. Tough shit.

  50. mayrc87 says:

    stop working and apply for medicaid

  51. RINO-Marty says:

    @SkokieGuy: Did you read the article? She can get a plan for $400 a month. She can get a job. She’s not without insurance unless she chooses to be. But I agree with nationalizing heaalthcare.

  52. donnie5 says:

    @tkerugger: What the hell baby did you have? Our first baby was about $2200 and the second a little bit more (inflation?)
    Also, Christ Hospital in Cincinnati will cover your bill if you are an ordained minister. So get ordained online and move to Cincinnati.

  53. mattpr says:

    Another lazy-logic Consumerist health article.

    First off, pregnancy is a pre-existing medical condition. It’s ridiculous to expect a health insurer to take someone who WILL have thousands in medical expenses at $175 a month. Insurance is insurance, not free money.

  54. MeOhMy says:

    sweet Jesus, this is NOT evidence that the health care system is fucked.

    It is in the sense that healthcare is rapidly becoming unaffordable…if it isn’t already. Even if you go on a payment plan with the hospital, you’re talking $15k-$20k for the delivery alone, forget adequate pre-natal care and heaven forbid you need any special care. Now you might think $20k isn’t bad. If we could get people to buy $20k cars we might not be in such a financial bind in the US. But add onto the $20k the new ongoing costs…it’s a mess.

    I’d take the $400 cobra. Sounds like a bargain by comparison. Of course I pay more than this for group health so it sounds like a bargain either way!

  55. morganlh85 says:

    This is why so many people just remain unemployed…you either make a tiny bit of money, then don’t qualify for any benefits, or you quit your job and quality for tons of benefits.

  56. muffinpan says:

    re-enroll for graduate classes. Have the kid, Quit school. Next case.

  57. samurailynn says:

    Marriage is just a technical term that qualifies people for benefits in connection with each other. If you and your boyfriend both agree on this point, then get married and get divorced after you have the baby. There’s no reason you can’t keep your name as is and still say that you are not married to anyone who asks (except boyfriend’s employer). Just plan a little bit now that you have another life that you’re affecting and realize that after you have the baby someone is going to have to take care of it. Will you still be willing to just get a divorce after having the baby? How much is your boyfriend going to be involved in caring for it? Don’t get married for the technicality of it if it’s something you can’t handle emotionally.

  58. Riddler says:

    @RINO-Marty:
    …Also, maybe think about tying the knot so the kid has a father.

    Failure to tie the knot does not mean the “kid” will not have a “father.” Must we presume that where an unmarried couple has a child, the child is fatherless? I never quite understood this line of reasoning. I’ve known unmarried fathers who are much more involved and integral to their child’s upbringing than married fathers who are workaholics or disinterested and never see their children.

  59. Squeezer99 says:

    either get a job with health care coverage, or marry your boyfriend. and learn to keep your legs closed. how come i have a feeling this baby will end up on CHIP/medicaid?

  60. Wheels17 says:

    How about putting the child up for adoption? There are thousands of couples looking for a birth mother with the poster’s background. The child gets a loving home, and the poster gets to move on with her life, medical costs covered.

  61. pmathews says:

    Wait wait wait…she is having a child out of wedlock?!? Oh my, how do these things happen these days. When I was a child like she is, things like this just didn’t happen except to the heathens…I’m just messin with ya.

    Sorry, but I regretfully see the insurance companies point with this. It still sucks though.

  62. astraelraen says:

    Marry your boyfriend. That is all.

  63. jscott73 says:

    My wife and I used midwives with our fist child, way better then the hospital route but it did cost us $3000 but that included a ton of pre and post natal care plus the birth.

    Sounds like COBRA would still be the cheapest way to go.

  64. bravo369 says:

    wow, an insurance company refusing to pay for something. who woulda thunk it. god forbid insurance actually does what you pay them to do.

  65. laserjobs says:

    How F***ing irresponsible can a person be and then expect someone else to pick up the tab. If you are too cheap then forget the doctors and hire a midwife on craigslist to deliver it.

  66. fluiddruid says:

    Get a call center job – make sure it’s as a regular employee, not a temp. They’re always hiring and won’t pass up people with pregnancy.

  67. giggitygoo says:

    I’m not sure what the problem is here. Considering the situation, shouldn’t she be glad to have the $400 COBRA option? That’s more than a lot of uninsured people would have otherwise, and it’s surely a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for all the prenatal and delivery bills. Nevertheless, it is an unfortunate situation. I think the reason so many (myself included) are dismissing this woman is that she seems to feel entitled to someone else bailing her out of a mess she got herself into. I think people would be a lot more sympathetic if her attitude reflected her responsibility and her message focused on finding a solution rather than making the baseless assertion that her case is evidence of a bad health care system. (Not to say that the system isn’t bad, this just is not evidence of that)

  68. PinkBox says:

    Health insurance is certainly a mess. I make a very decent income, but I am freelance. Buying insurance would be very expensive for me, so my only real options are to either go full time with a company, or when I marry my fiance, I can be added to his plan.

    Pretty sad.

  69. ehrgeiz says:

    I’m gonna go with what the others have said, go to the court house and get married and get on they boyfriend’s insurance. Probably your easiest and cheapest option.

  70. RINO-Marty says:

    @Riddler: Yes, agreed. The best solution is for the OP to refuse to marry an involved and loving father and therefore go without health insurance, for spite. That makes sense (bangs head on desk).

  71. Malkin says:

    Consider looking into receiving your care from and midwife and/or a birthing center. Often, all checkups and delivery can be had for a few thousand dollars- much less than birthing with an OB at a hospital.

  72. RudyWaltz says:

    Jesus Christ. “Get an abortion”?! “Keep your legs closed”?! Have I stumbled into some woman-hating conservative convention? God forbid any of you/your wives/family members ever decides to have a baby, because certainly other people on their health plan will be paying for it too. Oh shit, maybe, THAT’S why our healthcare is terrible in general. This is probably the last straw for Consumerist. Unbelievable.

  73. kitw says:

    I’m on my boyfriend’s health insurance plan since my job doesn’t offer it yet. We’re not married, and depending on the company it may be very easy for her to get on the plan as a “spousal equivalent”. On the other hand, she may have to jump through a lot of hoops, our experience has been that it depends on the company and insurance provider.

  74. nedzeppelin says:

    yeah women should just enroll for health insurance coverage the day before their delivery date, then cancel their policy the day after.
    that’s how we keep insurance solvent!!

  75. nixyh says:

    Some doctor’s offices and hospitals let patients just pay a lump sum if they don’t have insurance. My previous coworker was a consultant who didn’t have insurance (through employment or from her husband), so she met with the local hospital to figure out financial options and ended up with a flat fee that covered everything. It ended up being the best financial move for her considering under insurance you’d still have to consider the total cost of copays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket limits (not even including the monthly cost of insurance itself).

  76. nedzeppelin says:

    @RudyWaltz: isn’t it your responsibility to be able to care for a life you bring into the world?

  77. azzy says:

    I went through this same situation with my wife(girlfriend back then) in 2000. We took COBRA. $400 a month. SAME thing. Thankfully the insurance was really good and covered everything, but that $400/mo hurt for those 4 or 5 months.

    Got married later that year and wife/kid got on my plan. Now with two kids we’re still paying nearly $400/mo. Children are expensive, deal with it!

  78. e_cubed99 says:

    I’m not an insurance salesman, but I used to know one. He once told me that if you had pre-existing health care (and could get a letter to that affect) you could not be denied for a new policy. I live in OH so I don’t know if its state law or what, or even if the guy was making it up. Worth looking into though . . .

  79. Elvisisdead says:

    @donnie5: You’ve either never been primary caregiver for an infant or been in graduate school. They’re pretty much mutually exclusive.

    Seems like she has options, but just doesn’t care for the terms. If she’s known for quite some time, it seems to me like the age old saying of the “5 Ps” applies. Poor Planning leads to Piss Poor Performance.

    Think about the S’bucks. They offer health care to part-timers.

  80. Rachael says:

    I agree that health insurance needs to be fixed but in fact, this is not really something I’d trot out as an example. While unfortunate, it isn’t exactly shocking that a company would do this. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but this is why I would be extremely careful about getting pregnant unless I knew that I would have health care coverage. Of course, if it’s not a planned pregnancy this isn’t something you plan for so I sympathize.

  81. somuch says:

    Guys—
    A pregnancy costs $15,000 dollars the same way a hospital asprin costs $15 dollars.

    The actual cost paid by the insurer is more like $2500. That includes all 15 or so pre-natal visits, delivery, hospital fees, anesthesialogy, etc.

    The real costs is newborn’s well-visits, babysitting, etc.

    OP- so been there. I was married, but we were both new graduates. We had international insurance for the beginning of the pregnancy, but we were never clear on whether that was sufficient.
    Take the $400 plan. It’s a bargain, really.

  82. Buran says:

    @othium: Uh… how do you know whether it was planned or not? Maybe it was and she wasn’t expecting the runaround.

  83. Invalid_User_Name says:

    Sorry Katlyn, my cousin got pregnant on her honeymoon and their insurer wouldn’t cover them because she had to have been covered for 10 months prior to maternity coverage. That was 20 years ago. This is NOTHING new.

  84. QuantumRiff says:

    Sounds like a pretty simple math problem.. Insurance through your father is $400/month. You can get it for $175/month. So, look at the difference, $325/month for the next 6 months, $1975. how much does it cost to pay for it on your own, including visits to the doctor, and for some of the more common complications..

  85. nick_r says:

    I think the whole notion of “individual coverage” is kind of a joke. I was turned down due to having had mild asthma over a decade ago. Clearly the companies don’t make much of a profit margin on that plan, so it’s not in their interest to actually provide it to anyone.

    Single-payer FTW.

  86. nedzeppelin says:

    as long as we all admit money doesn’t grow on trees and accept insurance for what it really is,
    basically she’s asking the rest of you to pay the bill for her, and she’ll drop her coverage as soon as she doesn’t need it anymore. she puts a few hundred into the pool of money, and takes a few thousand out… it is *your* money at stake, not some big bad evil corporate fat cat’s personal vault.
    so if you think the insurance companies should be doing this kind of business, fine, but don’t expect your rates not to go way up. in that case, if you feel that compassionate, you might as well just write this lady a personal check to help her out.

  87. rrapynot says:

    I’d rather pay $400 per month instead of $60,000 for a straigh-forward delivery. Add in potential Neonatal ICU costs and you quickly have a bill for $150,000. Alternatively just show up when you are ready to deliver and give a fake name. That’s what most of the illegals do at the hospital I work at.

  88. velvetjones says:

    @barometer: Do I even need to say it? You’re an ASSHOLE.

    For the rest of you jerks: SHAME ON YOU. FIRST, you have no idea how this child was conceived. SECOND, I would bet that a fair percentage of you judgemental ass clowns are the walking this earth because of faulty/non-existent birth control. THIRD, she is a COLLEGE GRADUATE. I think its safe to assume that Katlyn has a good head on her shoulders and a good future ahead of her. We live in a “civilized society” that can mandate Digital TV signals, but that won’t ensure that a pregnant woman can have access to affordable care for her and her UNBORN CHILD.

    Katlyn – I suggest you call your OB/GYN or your hospital and ask them if they have any suggestions for you, you’re not the only one in this situation. (you might find some help at [www.ourbodiesourselves.org]) In the mean time, while you’re still small, start looking for FT employment. I wish you and your new family all of the best.

  89. opfreak says:

    single-payer = code word for everyone should pay but me. social medicine.

    As for this girl…

    I dont feel bad for you, its not like you had no choice in the ‘pre-existing’ condition.

  90. RudyWaltz says:

    @nedzeppelin: This woman is apparently capable of being financially responsible for a baby: she has a supportive family, a boyfriend with a job that has benefits, and a college degree to assist in her career. What she cannot afford is the hyper-inflated cost of medical care/delivery of said baby, which is created precisely through the healthcare system in place. She’s not trying to bum of the system to for life, to pay for a baby with wealthcare, or to fuck any of you over personally.

  91. dearabby says:

    Does BF’s company offer coverage for Domestic Partners?

    My Fiance is covered through my employer as my domestic partner – I work for a large company in the midwest, so it’s becoming more common. We just needed to sign an affadavit that we were co-habitating for at least a year (don’t know if that would apply in this case).
    At worst, the $400/mo COBRA would be a better deal than thousands in health bills/possible bankruptcy.

    Good luck with your pregnancy!

  92. @nedzeppelin:

    as long as we all admit money doesn’t grow on trees and accept insurance for what it really is,
    basically she’s asking the rest of you to pay the bill for her, and she’ll drop her coverage as soon as she doesn’t need it anymore. she puts a few hundred into the pool of money, and takes a few thousand out… it is *your* money at stake, not some big bad evil corporate fat cat’s personal vault.
    so if you think the insurance companies should be doing this kind of business, fine, but don’t expect your rates not to go way up. in that case, if you feel that compassionate, you might as well just write this lady a personal check to help her out.

    That’s a really great point.

  93. RudyWaltz says:

    @velvetjones: THANK YOU!

  94. cef21 says:

    @SkokieGuy: She’s not going without health care. She’s going without cheap health insurance. The cost of having that baby is going to be A LOT more than her $400/month health insurance premium. It sounds like she’s getting a deal.

    I find it incredibly selfish that she’s using this to claim that health care is broken. She’s 5 months pregnant, which means that for a total outlay of about $1600, her doctor visits and childbirth will be covered. She’ll probably have some out of pocket expense as well.

    COBRA is a part of health care that’s actually working.

    In any case, her problem was entirely preventable. Healthcare reform is needed for the person who gets cancer or some serious condition that they don’t have control of. This is just a case of “girl makes bad decision and expects other people to pay for it.”

  95. donnie5 says:

    @Elvisisdead: I have actually had both (two infants, and grad school). But I agree, 5P’s for her. Honestly, she should suck it up and get a full time job. If she does not get hired because she is showing, she can sue them legally.

  96. donnie5 says:

    @velvetjones: While I agree with you mostly, I know a lot of graduates who are idiots. For the right price, anyone can get a degree.

  97. am84 says:

    Either take the COBRA plan or see if your boyfriend can get the baby insured on his plan. My cousin was recently in a similar situation; her employer didn’t offer health insurance but she was able to get her baby on the father’s plan.

  98. tedwardson says:

    I don’t understand… if pregnancy is too expensive a condition to be cost-effectively covered by insurance companies, then why are any women given health insurance? Most people reproduce at some point in their lives, being denied coverage because you’re doing it immediately seems unfair.

  99. matts8008 says:

    Most local birthing centers (not hospitals) have a flat fee system for having a child. A local one is $4000, which includes all visits and the actual birthing of the child.

    This would be less expensive than paying $400/mo.

    Another option would be to get a lower paying part-time job so that you will quality for state benefits like medicade. In most states those with below 30k/year income qualify. Call the local child services office and have them guide you through the process.

  100. dualityshift says:

    @SkokieGuy: we can also kill older people. Since they tend to have a lot of medical expenses

    But I like old people. They’re adorable when they’re grumpy. In fact, they’re a lot like babies. You have to feed them, dress them, bathe them and change their diapers.

    Maybe the OP should give her baby up for adoption, then adopt a couple of elderly people.

  101. dualityshift says:

    @cef21: This is just a case of “girl makes bad decision and expects other people to pay for it.”

    Well said.

  102. velvetjones says:

    @donnie5: true. I also work with a bunch of well paid and well insured idiots.

  103. darkrose says:

    I don’t know about OPs state or if this has been mentioned before, but there is a possibility OP could qualify for state assistance for pregnancy related issues (pre and post natal care too). Something to check out (Medicaid/WIC would be a good place to start)

  104. csdiego says:

    @RandoX: @othium: @barometer: @scarysnow: I thought I was pro-choice, but comments like this are enough to turn me into a raging pro-lifer. Conception, pregnancy and childbearing are normal human bodily functions, not a hobby to undertake when you’re feeling really flush instead of buying a boat or a beach house. Yes, it’s great that we have the option of controlling our fertility, but imposing birth control on everyone until they cant afford a three-bedroom house and have at least a $5000 start on a college fund is just as disgusting as denying the right to abortion entirely.

  105. csdiego says:

    @csdiego: Uh, make that “imposing birth control on everyone until they CAN afford a three-bedroom house”

  106. dualityshift says:

    @csdiego: Conception, pregnancy and childbearing are normal human bodily functions

    Agreed, however, sex for pleasure is a controllable action, and if you cannot afford the consequences, don’t partake in the actions.

  107. caranguejo says:

    Check health insurances that work with Medicare. Usually these don’t have a pre-existing condition clause, at least in MA. But don’t take my word for it since MA is more f**ked up than a soup sandwich ever since they mandated that all residents have insurance. My only other suggestion is to take what you can get.

  108. olegna says:

    It’s crap like this that makes me enjoy the final scene of “Fight Club” (the one where all the financial services industry buildings go down with the Pixies playing in the background).

    And the people on this thread that are defending the system disgust me. People who argue on behalf of this industry and how this system work are part of the problem. Like a bunch of little Ayn Rand squeezebox monkeys.

    And of you think America has the best health care system in the world, you’re a moron. It costs $97 to get an MRI in Japan. Were paying 25% of our costs in paperwork. I suggest you “pull yerself up by yer bootstraps” people actually do a little research. You can start here:

    [www.pbs.org]

  109. RudyWaltz says:

    @RudyWaltz: er, welfare

  110. johnva says:

    If you have the option of $400/month coverage, go for that, no question. That’s an absolute bargain compared to the potential costs if you have pregnancy complications or worse, a severely premature delivery that necessitates the baby spending some time in the PICU or whatever. Almost no medical event is more expensive than a baby being born severely premature with problems as a result. You do NOT want to be uninsured in the event of that happening. So there is zero question that that is the only option, unless she can get hired by someone with a group plan.

    That being said, this story shows one of the major problems with our system of private health insurance in this country. A good argument can be made that individual insurers should not have to take her on as a patient; after all, they are not in the business of being altruistic and it’s not their problem that she’s in a tough spot. The main problem is that preexisting conditions prevent you from switching insurance companies. The options, as I see it, are either to force altruism on the companies through regulation, or to go to universal health insurance so that no one ever has to change companies in their life and deal with this preexisting condition crap. I shudder to think of what will happen if McCain somehow gets elected and succeeds at eliminating group plans.

  111. Nighthawke says:

    HIPAA is the Holy Writ to the insurance companies. They break ANY of the regulations in that act, they can easily lose their license to even go to the bathroom, much less write policies.
    Get with a lawyer on this and get a Finding written up by a savvy Judge.

  112. MasterShazbot says:

    @scarysnow:
    There are steps involved, a few of them even being voluntary.

    Tell that to a woman who is pregnant after she got raped.

  113. SinisterMatt says:

    Yep, they do this. It seems to be a pretty standard protocol, so I’ll side with the insurance company here (gasp!). We ran into this last year. My wife wasn’t pregnant, but we thought she might have been. This corresponded to the time we were looking for insurance to cover us. The policy that we are with at the moment will cover anything after $10,000. But that only kicked in after a year of us being on the policy (to make sure that any pregnancy thereafter wasn’t pre-existing).

    I find it interesting that the OP classifies a pre-existing condition as some kind of a “medical defect.” It seems to me that it is just insurance company code word for “expensive condition” that they will not cover.

    I was under the impression that BCBS didn’t cover pregnancy anyway. At least that was what they told me here in Texas.

    Go with the $400 option, Kaitlyn. And congrats on your new bundle of joy.

    Cheers!

  114. Dr. Futurity says:

    Uhm, I dont understand. Get a job. You have a degree.

  115. johnva says:

    @dualityshift: Sort of. It’s true that that’s the case, but our system shouldn’t be structured in a way where people are stuck with asking a private for-profit company to pay for their care. Healthcare should not be thought of as a profitable industry, but as a social service like the fire department, police, military, etc. We wouldn’t demand that the fire department “turn a profit”; we just pay the taxes because we know that it’s a needed service.

  116. jeffjohnvol says:

    @SkokieGuy: Healthcare a right? Do you mean free healthcare? Blame the lawyers for the malpractice insurance, the doctors for making a living and us for paying for insurance.

    It amazes me how people think healthcare should be free. Idiotic.

  117. awolcfh5150 says:

    Insurance companies are the biggest scam in the U.S. Think about it. You pay in every month. For 50 years no problems. Suddenly a major health crisis and the insurance company drops you. You don’t get a dime what you paid in, they keep your cash, you get screwed! These are reason people end up going “postal”

  118. johnva says:

    @Dr. Futurity: I do think there is a possibility that she just doesn’t want a full-time job because she’s pregnant. That being said, I will give her the benefit of the doubt. The economy is kind of shaky right now, and it’s entirely possible she’s having trouble finding permanent employment in her field (especially if her degree is in something that isn’t immediately “employable”, like English or history).

  119. dualityshift says:

    @johnva: Sort of. It’s true that that’s the case, but our system shouldn’t be structured in a way where people are stuck with asking a private for-profit company to pay for their care.

    So by your reasoning, your government, by default, should be responsible for all your medical needs? Why not make them responsible for our shelter and food/nutritional needs as well?

    Government is not here to control our lives. The purpose of government is to protect the region from both external forces and internal strife.

  120. Tmoney02 says:

    @velvetjones:

    “THIRD, she is a COLLEGE GRADUATE. I think its safe to assume that Katlyn has a good head on her shoulders and a good future ahead of her.”

    Really? Really? Having a baby in an unstable relationship without a steady full time job, let alone one with insurance, and then complaining about how no insurance company will take her 175 bucks for a $15,000+ procedure is having a “good head on her shoulders” and indicates she has “a good future ahead of her”? Really?

    I think it more indicates that a college degree is becoming less meaningful especially in indicating that you are better prepared for the real world. I guess this is why everything is starting to move to masters and professional degrees.

  121. dualityshift says:

    @MasterShazbot: Tell that to a woman who is pregnant after she got raped.

    This statement has NOTHING to do with the OP’s condition. Her actions were willful and she knew the consequences, maybe not all the details, but she knew if she knocked boots, she might get knocked up.

  122. jeffjohnvol says:

    If I don’t have car insurance, and then my car gets totaled, do I have the right to demand for an insurance company to take me and fix my car? Of course not.

    People, you can’t complain that insurance companies don’t want to take on this client with an immediate liability and in the same breath complain that insurance costs so much.

    I agree with all those that say the insurance companies are in the right here. For you others, move to Canada.

  123. johnva says:

    @jeffjohnvol: What’s idiotic is thinking that anyone thinks healthcare should be “free”. Even people who are for socialized health insurance (almost no one is for actual socialized health CARE in the United States) understand that you pay one way or another, whether it’s through taxes or premiums to a private company. We just think that the burden of paying for it should be shared socially so that people don’t fall through the cracks of the system when they get stuck in situations where bad things happen when they’re between insurance, etc.

  124. dualityshift says:

    @Nighthawke: Get with a lawyer on this and get a Finding written up by a savvy Judge.

    As someone who has just been through a legal battle, I speak from a little experience here. If she cannot afford the $400/mo in coverage, how do you think she’ll be able to pay for a lawyer?

  125. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @dualityshift: If she can’t afford $400 a month, how is going to support a child?

  126. samurailynn says:

    @olegna: Unfortunately, Japan’s health care system is at the opposite extreme of the US’s health care system. Hospitals in Japan are privately run and often have to resort to using vending machines to supplement their income so that they can stay afloat. The countries with the best health care systems are the ones with socialist policies. I wonder if we can bring a capitalist system to a happy medium?

  127. Burgandy says:

    So you had your unprotected fun and would like everyone else to pay for it? Am I reading this right?

  128. Dr. Futurity says:

    @johnva: Hey, my degree was in English. When the stakes are this high, you can find a job.

  129. csdiego says:

    @dualityshift: So did you delay sex until you had a house and college fund? No? What if your birth control had failed and you or your partner didn’t want an abortion?

    Oh, I see. It’s none of my business. Hmm.

  130. johnva says:

    @dualityshift: Having the burden of paying for healthcare shared socially is not the same thing as having government “control” our lives. Personal responsibility sounds great in theory, but that leads to the system screwing over lots of people through no fault of their own. I agree that in this case she bears a lot of the responsibility for getting herself into this situation. But you’ve got to admit that it’s a problem that so many young adults end up with a gap in insurance coverage between college and getting their first job with benefits. That creates serious problems with the way our system discriminates against people with “preexisting conditions”. I don’t blame the insurance companies for denying her coverage; they are totally within their rights. I blame our society for making private insurance the only option, and group plans the only option if you have a serious preexisting condition.

    And I wholly disagree with you on the purpose of government. Though if the healthcare situation in this country goes into the full crisis that it’s rapidly approaching, you may well have “internal strife” as a result.

  131. Burgandy says:

    Oh, and as a mom, if you are having issues with comming up with $400/mo, start doing the math for day care (you are going to work right?), diapers (not responsible enough for a daily pill or a condom, we know you won’t be washing cloth diapers), clothes (think 2 or 3 outfits a day), etc etc etc.

  132. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Burgandy:
    /slow clap

  133. @MasterShazbot:

    Tell that to a woman who is pregnant after she got raped.

    I’m sorry, we’re not talking about a woman who was raped.

  134. @Dr. Futurity:

    Uhm, I dont understand. Get a job. You have a degree.

    I agree – Starbucks provides group health insurance, even to part timers!

    Looks like she doesn’t want to work, and is looking for other solutions.

  135. dualityshift says:

    @csdiego: So did you delay sex until you had a house and college fund? No? What if your birth control had failed and you or your partner didn’t want an abortion?

    Oh, I see. It’s none of my business. Hmm.

    Actually, I manned up and took the responsibility. I knew what the consequences of my actions were and dealt with them.

    Quite frankly, you’re right. It’s none of your business. That’s because I didn’t whine about the ‘horrible’ situation I was in because, GASP, the insurance company didn’t accept my application. Instead, I committed myself to working hard, getting a better job, going without, and making prudent financial decisions.

  136. nedzeppelin says:

    @olegna: ok che, thanks for the rant. the rest of us live in the real world and enjoy the services those big buildings in fight club provide, like the ability to own a home, a car, and get healthcare (even if it costs 400 dollars)

    what’s the tax rate in japan?

    if it disgusts you so much, i’m sure we can get contact information for the lady in the story so you can send her a personal check and help her out

  137. wgrune says:

    So let’s say a tornado destroyed your house and you didn’t have insurance. Does anyone think that State Farm would take you on a customer and cover the damage to the house? I think not. Suck it up and pay the $400 per month. There are people who pay this much through their employers anyway…

  138. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: right. people just think if they don’t get a bill in the mail for it, and it’s charged elsewhere, as long as they don’t have to visibly see it it’s “free”.

    socializing healthcare would do nothing to address the underlying costs of healthcare. it would just sweep them under the carpet for us to all forget about until 20-30 years from now when the system is tens of trillions of dollars in debt.

  139. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @olegna: Ayn Rand is a God.

  140. nedzeppelin says:

    @awolcfh5150: if health insurance is such a big scam.. don’t buy it. i won’t make you. really.

  141. csdiego says:

    @dualityshift: Well, great. I wish you luck.

    I can’t tell OP in good conscience to get married just for the insurance benefits. I have too much respect for marriage.

    Here’s hoping universal health coverage will soon make this whole discussion moot.

  142. smartmuffin says:

    It IS a pre-existing condition. How can anyone dispute that?

    Anyone who wants to force insurers to offer “equal” coverage for people with pre-existing conditions is going to completely destroy the entire concept of health insurance. Why bother to be insured at all if they’re required to insure you for equal cost at any time? Just don’t buy insurance until you’re sick or injured.

  143. juniper says:

    I had a friend, who, at 16 weeks, got health insurance just fine by not telling the insurer that she was pregnant. She got the coverage, went to the gyno for cramps, and, whaddaya know? Preggers.

    That being said, look at your cost-benefit analysis – $400/month until you have that kid is still putting you out on top. It’s not as cheap as you’d like, but it’s better than paying $15K out of pocket if everything turns out perfect.

  144. johnva says:

    @wgrune: No, almost no one thinks the insurers should have to take people like this on. I think the sentiment is especially strong that way in this case because everyone views pregnancy as a preventable condition of choice.

    The problem is that that logic can extend to any preexisting condition, including ones that are NOT the person’s own fault. Why should an insurance company have to take on a person with cancer, after all? They aren’t charities. The problem is that we’ve made these for-profit insurers the only safety net people have. That’s a huge problem when people have to change insurance companies, and group plans which don’t discriminate on the basis of preexisting conditions are the only thing that has prevented this from becoming a fullblown crisis already. Republicans want to eliminate those, though, so that people who are sick pay even more than they already do and people who are lucky enough not to get sick pay even less. Survival of the fittest, and all that.

    To extend your analogy, no, State Farm wouldn’t want to take you on and pay for your tornado-destroyed house. But the government would likely step in with some sort of disaster relief, even if it didn’t fully cover things.

  145. B* says:

    Go for the $400 a month. You only have to stay on COBRA as long as you need it, so that will buy you time to figure out a more permanent solution. Also, apply for jobs anyway. Many companies don’t care that you’re pregnant, especially this early. Your part time jobs can pay for insurance in the meantime, but you need to find a job worth your new education.

    And don’t listen to the dolts suggesting abortion, adoption, marriage, etc. You should have planned better, sure, but you have every right to be informed of all of your options. I wonder how many of these commenters were planned and fully funded by their parents? Good luck!

  146. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    $400 a month is cheaper than it will cost to do everything directly, and the risks of complications are high from pregnancy.

    I don’t blame insurance companies from staying away, you have a known expense that is going to be more than your premiums.

    We have to remember, this is supposed to be and still is INSURANCE, and its been twisted to be a health plan to many people.

  147. Keirmeister says:

    It really is annoying reading the snarky comments in these forums. This site is supposed to help people and discuss options, but too many here blame the victim or tell them they complain too much.

    For what it’s worth, the healthcare system in America IS screwed up. And for a recent college grad with no job, $400 is ALOT of money a month.

    I’m assuming the boyfriend is the father. Simply put, he has a responsibility for the child, and could probably put it on his insurance once it is born. If marriage is out of the question, COBRA will have to do while she gets a job to help pay for it.

    It is a sucky situation to be in, but people here should get off their high horses and stop judging others. We’re talking about the human condition, for good or for ill. We’re not perfect and stuff happens. I think the outrage should be focused on a system that won’t support a woman in this situation, considering the insane wealth this country has, and how much money is spent on healthcare with worse results than other developed nations (that consider healthcare a RIGHT).

  148. melink says:

    I was in a similar situation and paid cash for my medical expenses (splitting 1/2 with my boyfriend) until I got medical coverage from my job.

    I’d recommend paying the $400 a month to stay on your dad’s insurance and scramble like hell to find a full-time job with health insurance. Don’t get married just because you’re pregnant – get married when you’re ready. Trust me, $400 a month now is better than a life of misery later. It’ll suck, but it’s temporary.

    Also, while you may not qualify for state-assisted medical care, you might qualify for WIC – that will at least help offset a few necessary items.

  149. bohemian says:

    It is all about the pre-existing thing. If you still have or have had insurance in the last 30 days get moving. Oh and get a certificate of continuation of coverage from your old insurance. That shows a new group insurance coverage that they can’t slap you with a prexisting. Then get a copy of the big book that is the official policy for your boyfriends health insurance. Spend a day reading all the sections relating to coverage, pregnancy, pre-existing, marriage and such.

    There would be no point getting married for the insurance if the insurance has a way to deny you. I know a few couples who got married for the insurance. Some policies might at least cover the kid even if your not on the policy but that doesn’t cover maternity costs. As someone else mentioned some companies have partner benefits if they are progressive enough. The get a job at Starbucks isn’t a bad idea either, but I would guess you need that certificate to rule out a pre-existing there too.

    If you make just a bit too much for medicaid or other state insurance programs and your working a bunch of part time jobs anyway, quit one of them to lower your income so you qualify. The $400 cobra is an option and depending on your real situation it might end up being your best.
    Some hospitals also have package deals for uninsured maternity patients, worth asking.
    Most states really push the pre-natal care thing so there might be some other programs your not aware of.

  150. Lambasted says:

    @giggitygoo: +1 times 100.

    There are many sacrifices one must make when bringing a child into this world. $400/month is just the tip of the iceberg. This is why one must be more careful when engaging in sexual activity. We all know the consequences.

    I hate insurance companies as much as the next person but it’s not their fault she got pregnant. They shouldn’t have to shoulder the financial burden for a choice two other people made. To ask that an insurance company step into a situation at a financial loss to them when it has no current relationship with the party isn’t reasonable. The situation in which I am sympathetic is when someone is already insured and the insurance company won’t cover a treatment or procedure based on a greedy financial excuse.

    I don’t know if you two were going to get married but now is the time if you were. Otherwise, make Baby Daddy cough up some money and get on with whatever you decide to do about the pregnancy one way or another.

  151. B* says:

    @wgrune: Let’s say that a hurricane caused a flood and destroyed everything you own. Would you depend on the Red Cross and FEMA to rescue you and provide food, shelter, medical care, etc. for months or even years?

  152. thancr says:

    Crappy situation but you do at least have the COBRA option from your father. Keep in mind that child birth is usually at least $8000 plus all of your visits before and after birth and this isn’t taking into account any possible complications. $400/month over 9 months is $3600 so it is worth the expense. Good luck!

  153. dualityshift says:

    @csdiego: I can’t tell OP in good conscience to get married just for the insurance benefits. I have too much respect for marriage.

    Agreed.

    However, I can say that in her situation, where it is clear she has no idea of what responsibility is, it would be better all around if she terminated the pregnancy. It’s a better solution than to bring a life into this world that you either cannot, or will not be responsible for, and this OP seems very irresponsible.

  154. monkeybot says:

    When I started looking for individual plans because continuing my COBRA coverage is becoming expensive, the Blue Cross rep specifically mentioned pregnancy coverage. According to him, in the state of CA, the health plan a woman is on at the time of -conceivement- is the plan she will be covered under the duration of the pregnancy. He made it very clear to me and told me if I planned to have children to always call the insurance company beforehand to update the plan to include pregnancy.

    But children aren’t always planned, especially in Katlyn’s situation. I would have to say the $400/month is better than paying everything out-of-pocket.

  155. cashmerewhore says:

    @SkokieGuy:

    I don’t think pregnancy is a EOE protected class. Too lazy to read through all the comments to see if this has been touched on by somebody else.

  156. rouftop says:

    Only in America would we even have this debate. All other sensible countries wouldn’t bat an eyelash at making sure this were covered. And here we are spending tax dollars in Iraq. What a country!

  157. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Umm, actually it would do a lot to address the costs of healthcare. A major source of high “costs” is insurance company profits and overhead. Those account for about 30% of our healthcare dollars. Private insurance has far higher administrative overhead than a single-payer government system. If you had a truly universal coverage system, it would greatly simplify a lot of the administrative stuff because healthcare providers wouldn’t need to deal with such a wide variety of insurance requirements, and wouldn’t even need to track a lot of things individually anymore. The evidence provided by comparing our system to other countries shows clearly that private insurance is actually a more inefficient way to provide care that promotes increased cost.

  158. Ein2015 says:

    @olegna: well at least “Ayn Rand squeezebox monkeys” have enough common sense to wait until they can support a baby to have one, instead of expecting others to do the supporting for them.

  159. superflippy says:

    Put $400 a month in a bank account instead. That should cover most of your pregnancy expenses. Pay out-of-pocket for everything, and turn down all unnecessary tests (e.g. quad screen, GD – both ridiculous if you’re in your early 20′s).

    Plan to have a natural birth (that epidural is really expensive) or even a homebirth with a midwife. If you decide to birth in a hospital, educate yourself so you don’t get talked into an unnecessary c-section or any other unnecessary interventions.

    Of course, you can’t plan for every eventuality or complication, but forewarned is forearmed. If you want to get some really good advice on how to have a low-cost, low-maintenance pregnancy without health insurance, read the forums at [www.mothering.com]

  160. dualityshift says:

    @Beki: Let’s say that a hurricane caused a flood and destroyed everything you own. Would you depend on the Red Cross and FEMA to rescue you and provide food, shelter, medical care, etc. for months or even years?

    Nope. Based on FEMA’s past performance, I’d be better off taking care of myself. Your argument isn’t sound, comparing Government controlled disaster management organizations to “FOR PROFIT” insurance agencies. It’s like comparing Microsoft to the Society for Cancer Research.

  161. TinyMantras says:

    I’d have to agree that COBRA is the best option here – which I tell you as a self-employed mother of one child (married to a self-employed man) who has explored several insurance options. Steep as $400 seems, it’s nothing compared to the larger costs.)

    The only thing I’ve seen available to help uninsured pregnant women is Maternity Card, which I think negotiates with hospitals for you to cut the bill down to something closer to the reduced rates that insurance companies get.

  162. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @johnva: The three great American lies:
    I never do this.
    The check is in the mail.
    I’m from the government, I’m here to help.

    You’re delusional if you think any government run system is more streamlined than the privately or publicly held counterparts. Remove the incentive for profit and you remove the incentive for efficiency.

  163. Edge23 says:

    >> Fantastic.
    >> Who says health care in the US doesn’t need to be fixed

    How about this novel concept:
    - Don’t have sex before marriage or use protection or get married or get a job

    Why should I as a single person have to pay more in premium to cover discounted premiums for you?

    I’m all for requiring companies to provide insurance to unmarried pregnant women, but they should be able to then set the appropriate premium rate.

    A single woman is at less risk for complications than a pregnant woman. Yes, it is about money.

  164. johnva says:

    @AustinTXProgrammer: The problem is that insurance is a poor way to pay for healthcare. Everyone needs ongoing health CARE, not health insurance. Insurance is one of the main reasons that health care is so expensive.

  165. Orv says:

    @fluiddruid: That might not help. A lot of low-end call center type jobs have a six month waiting period for health insurance coverage.

  166. johnva says:

    @superflippy: Absolutely terrible advice. If she has the $400, she absolutely needs to take the COBRA coverage. The problem isn’t so much the cost of a normal birth so much as the potential cost if there are serious complications. Why on earth would you suggest she take on that massive financial risk for basically no gain (since you’re suggesting spending the same amount the insurance would have cost on the birth anyway)?

  167. Beergoddess says:

    RE: getting grad degree, I believe most states require a parent’s insurance to continue to cover a full time student until age 24. That may be an option in continuing current coverage.

    On the other hand I am covered under my husband’s policy (I’m self employed) and I wish we paid only $400/month for my coverage.

  168. Orv says:

    @nedzeppelin: Yeah, because countries with socialized medicine don’t have big buildings, and people there don’t own homes and cars. *snort*

    I’m always amused by the myopic patriotism a lot of American conservatives have. They seem to think people in the rest of the world live in grass huts and forage for nuts and berries, in spite of the fact that the economies of a lot of those countries are now kicking our asses.

  169. ohiomensch says:

    Ok, first off, I didn’t read every single comment, but some of you folks I did read, shame on you.

    The facts in this post are not complete, but if I read it right it sounds to me like she had coverage through her father’s plan till she recently graduated from college. Since she is still eligible for cobra, (at our company, you have 90 days from termination of your plan to opt into the Cobra) it doesn’t sound like there has been a lapse in coverage. So if in fact this plan was in place, and she is looking to replace that coverage, it is not a pre-existing condition as there was no lapse in coverage. I am not sure why the company was telling her that it was a pre-existing condition, unless they were trying to get her to look elsewhere because they don’t really want to cover her. Non-group plans are expensive, have high deductibles and in this case she is probably better off with the Cobra, the baby will be covered on the boyfriends plan at birth so she really only has to cover herself.

  170. johnva says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: I think you’re just a troll, but for what it’s worth you are making a purely ideologically driven statement that has absolutely zero basis in fact. In fact, government-run healthcare in our own country is more efficiently administered financially than for-profit insurers! For-profit insurers pay out only about 70% of the money they take in in benefits. Government insurance, like Medicare and the FEHBP, pays out far more.

  171. Orv says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: You can believe that if you want, but you’re going on faith, not facts, there. Studies have found that both Medicare and the Canadian single-payer system have lower overhead than the U.S. health care system. It makes sense if you think about it. All that profit that goes to shareholders in the U.S. system is money that people payed in that never goes into providing actual health care.

  172. Beergoddess says:

    @ohiomensch: Good point but she would have to go to another group plan for the preexisting condition to be waived under the new policy. An individual policy would not recognize the creditable coverage under her previous policy.

  173. number13 says:

    i am currently thinking about quitting my job, and have been looking into individual health insurance. one of my top choices was blue cross blue shield’s simply blue plan, until i saw the last bullet in their “benefit highlights” list:

    - Childbirth labor and delivery is not covered

    that’s not quite a highlight to me, even though i do not plan on getting pregnant right now…

  174. csdiego says:

    @dualityshift: Abortion is a good choice to have, but I don’t think she should be forced to get one just b/c she doesn’t have a husband, a house, and a college fund. If those are her only two choices under the current rules, then we need to change the rules.

    I just don’t see getting pregnant as “very irresponsible”. I think it’s the natural result of a natural act.

  175. dualityshift says:

    @number13: that’s not quite a highlight to me, even though i do not plan on getting pregnant right now…

    Apparently, the OP didn’t plan on getting pregnant either.

  176. msthe8r says:

    While I’m sure that NONE of you folks who are calling her “decision” to get pregnant at this point in her life “irresponsible” had sex prior to marriage, as someone whose birth control failed (WITHIN the context of marriage) I can promise you that our little blessings sometimes have a way of arriving whether we plan them or not.

  177. Noris says:

    Have to love all the morons trying to give her advice on her family situation when all she wants is insurance advice.

    Also, gotta side with the insurance companies. She basically wants money for nothing. Why should a company take her on when she’s a guaranteed loss?

  178. johnva says:

    @Orv: The myopic patriotism always makes me laugh too. That doesn’t bother me so much; they are just uninformed and base their beliefs on their ideology instead of facts. What does annoy me is when conservatives attack MY patriotism or loyalty if I dare suggest that there is anything at all deficient about America and the way we do things here.

  179. mizmoose says:

    Ok, I know I’m asking for it here but — Pregnancy is a *choice*. You chose to have sex. Diabetes, cancer, whatever, are all *diseases*. Nobody does things with the knowledge that tomorrow they could wake up with cancer.

    Anyone who would get pregnant without making sure they could first take care of the fetus wasn’t thinking things through. I’m not even going to start in with the “and if it was an ‘accident’.” There lies fire and wailing and brimstone.

    (As a disabled person, I am perpetually pissed off at the disability rights given to pregnant people. Unless you’re having health issues with the pregnancy, just being knocked up does not make you ‘disabled’ or in need of special parking places or other crap. You chose to have sex, you get the consequences. Deal with it!)

  180. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @johnva: @Orv: It is faith based. Faith in Mother Econ, she is always right.

  181. VikingP77 says:

    She shouldn’t have to marry her boyfriend to get insurance people! That is wrong! My insurance is trying to deny some of my claims because now depression can be a pre-existing! BS! This is pure BS! Oh and United Health Care still hasn’t paid a bill of mine from 2 years ago! 2 years I’ve been fighting them! Insurance…necessary EVIL!

  182. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: what’s your source for all this? and please don’t give me a trial lawyer lobbying website.
    profit margins for insurance companies are in line with other industries.
    when the government takes over, why do you think a monopoly would result in lower costs? they would STILL have to do paperwork even if they took over. in fact – the government would probably be filling out a lot more of it.

    just what we need. walter reed access for everyone!

    let’s see, the govt couldn’t handle medicare, couldn’t handle social security, and now you want to give them full reign over our health and well-being… great idea.

  183. Orv says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: The problem with “mother econ,” in this case, is that the free market does a lousy job providing health care. We don’t trust “mother econ” to provide us with military defense or police services, either, because we recognize those services also aren’t provided well by the market.

  184. nedzeppelin says:

    @Orv: huh? non sequitur with the post i was responding to. he said he loves that scene cause he hates what those buildings stand for, and the whole “system” and the like.

    i’m also pretty sure those socialist countries with big buildings still have big buildings that process credit ratings.

  185. Tmoney02 says:

    @msthe8r:

    Such things happen. The problem is she put herself in a hard position and is then complaining that there isn’t an easy solution.

    Thats what you get if you strip all the other emotional baggage of the story away, and thats what is getting on peoples nerves. Having kids isn’t easy, and its time to learn she will need to make hard choices and even…gasp…make a few sacrifices.

  186. nedzeppelin says:

    @Orv: oh, and america still has the largest economy in the world so i can’t make sense of your last sentence..

  187. nedzeppelin says:

    @Orv: the free market provides good healthcare in the US, it’s just that it’s hard to stress such a system with the fattest people on earth.

    america, the land of entitlement..

  188. consumersaur says:

    Can she chargeback her pregnancy? That seems to be the solution here…

  189. Me. says:

    This happened to me, except the little bundle of joy growing in me after graduation was cancer.

    Because I let my insurance lapse after graduation (I was going to get my “real” job soon that would surely have given me insurance), I’m now stuck in this insurance death trap.

    My cancer is now gone but the headaches and stress about insurance will be around for the rest of my life.

  190. irid3sc3nt says:

    You made it all the way through high school and through most of college and right before you graduate, you get pregnant? That’s probably the worst planned/unplanned time to do it. Suck it up and pay for the COBRA insurance or give the baby up for adoption. There are plenty of nice folks who can’t have babies who would love and can afford yours.

  191. @othium: @RandoX: Come on, you don’t know enough about her situation to be casting those stones.

    You might qualify for a state-sponsored plan (Medicaid/SCHIP). Many states have plans for pregnant women, mothers and children that have a sliding premium based on your income. If you don’t have a job currently, you might qualify. Contact your state’s family services department to find out what their SCHIP program is.

  192. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Orv: But we do. The US government provides incentives, in the form of defense contracts, to companies to develop new weapons. What do we get? First rate munitions. Provide an incentive and people will respond. Give them a hand out and they become dependant.
    Similar incentives could be provided for health care in the form of tax breaks. But some of the burden must be beared by the consumer.

  193. @number13: some plans allow you to add maternity coverage if you become pregnant–this depends on the state and the plan itself (BCBS plans are different in each state, it’s not one company).

  194. Norcross says:

    Well, insurance was part of the reason why my wife and I got married when we did. We were gonna wait until after she finished school, but since she couldn’t get insurance anymore, we tied the knot.

    Baby was concieved 14 days after the marriage was. Party.

  195. ahwannabe says:

    It blows my mind that marriage is being treated as such a big, huge, scary commitment, while creating a new human life is just, oh well, an accident.

  196. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: My source is that I’m informed. Read up on the subject before you go doubting the factual claims I’ve made. You can disagree with my conclusions and my political choices, but you’re not entitled to your own set of “facts”. You can start reading here.

    BTW, Walter Reed is run by the Army, not the VA or Medicare. I think the problems there are mainly the result of an organization (the Army) attempting to do something that is only secondary to their core duties. The VA is actually very good now, and provides very modern and high quality care. There is also nothing wrong with Medicare and Social Security, except a demographic bubble and the fact that healthcare costs are still spiraling.

    And what evidence do you see that competition has kept costs down? The evidence in fact shows the opposite. Healthcare costs keep going up, despite all the “competition” we have. Insurance is the reason that an aspirin in the hospital costs $13 or whatever. Moreover, insurers take a lot of money out of the system in the form of profits. The fact is, this system has failed to keep costs in check. We pay more than anyone else in the world for healthcare, and we get lower quality care than in many other countries. We ESPECIALLY get lower quality care if we happen to be poor and can’t afford health insurance.

  197. dualityshift says:

    @csdiego: I just don’t see getting pregnant as “very irresponsible”. I think it’s the natural result of a natural act.

    Getting pregnant isn’t irresponsible.

    Getting pregnant, with no job, or prospects, no health coverage, and whining that no one is giving her a ‘free ride’ is immensely irresponsible.

    As for your natural act… Each natural act has its own set of consequences. The lion kills the gazelle to eat it; a natural act that has a number of consequences, i.e., possible motherless baby gazelle out there, etc.

    The difference is, humans took ourselves out of the ‘natural’ world. We comprehend our actions and (SHOULD) know the consequences.

  198. cmdrsass says:

    @consumersaur: I believe the answer you’re looking for is “credit union”.

    In all seriousness, pregnancy is a choice. At least that’s what’s been pounded into our heads for years. So, either make the choice to end it and try again when you can afford it, or make the choice to keep it with all of the financial hardships that entails.

    No insurance company will take this on, so your best option is to pay for COBRA. You could also pass the burden on to the taxpayers by taking advantage of various state-sponsored programs for expectant mothers.

    Oh and don’t forget to sue your baby daddy for child support.

  199. Orv says:

    @nedzeppelin: [www.medicalnewstoday.com]
    “The administrative structure of the U.S. health care system consumes a large share of health spending. In 1999, administrative spending consumed at least 31.0 percent of health spending, according to a report in today’s New England Journal of Medicine. In contrast, administrative costs in Canada, which has had a national health program since 1971, are about 16.7% of health spending.”

  200. Tom Servo says:

    Our compassionate health “care” system in America … what a joke.

  201. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @johnva: My source is that I’m informed
    With credentials like that you should be published. I suggest you pick a basic marco economics text and hit the books. Provide the evidence you calim shows that competition is counter productive. I will offer up the example of the personal computer to show an industry where increased competition has made home computers faster and more affordable for the consumer.

  202. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: The U.S. economy, while still the biggest by GDP, is less productive per capita than a number of other large countries now (for example, including the UK I believe). Also, the U.S. economy is not the biggest in the world if you consider the EU a single economy. (Going off of the top of my head on these numbers, and it is close).

    @HIV 2 Elway: Defense contracts are essentially the same thing as single-payer healthcare, only for defense. The single-payer is the government, with the defense products being provided by private companies. Glad to know you support socialized healthcare.

  203. Orv says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: Yes, but that’s a flawed analogy. In a single-payer system companies will still be competing to provide medical equipment, just like defense contractors compete to provide munitions. But we don’t have a private defense market where people contract with an army of their choice. We have a single-payer defense system, if you will, where the government provides one military for everyone. ;)

  204. olegna says:

    Ned Zepelin sez: what’s the tax rate in japan?

    Your answer (can’t you look this stuff up on your own?)

    About 15%-50% depending on individual income, which covers everything.

    OK, Ayn, let’s be clear. A lot of Americans would be happy to pay more in taxes if it meant universal health coverage instead of wasting a trillion dollars (of borrowed money) rebuilding Iraq so that they can one day have the universal health coverage they had.

    You and people like you need to do your homework instead of labeling anyone who criticizes America’s PRICE-CONTROLLED healthcare system.

    It’ a knee-jerk to call me “Che”. Let me explain something to you about Capitalism: If I’m a huge purchaser of pharmaceuticals, like Medicaid, and I go to a pharmaceutical company and say “I guarantee that I will buy XX million bottles of XX drug, but you have to give me a economy-of-scale discount” the laws of Capitalism say that the purchaser has negotiating power because the purchaser is going to buy in bulk. (You see, in Capitalism, if you buy six pairs of tube socks, the price of each tube sock is cheaper than if you buy one pair of tube socks. So there’s your lesson on the free market for the day: when Bush prohibits Medicaid from negotiating economy-of-scale, he’s actually engaged in corporate communism. )

    I could go on, but, again, you need to do research and you can start by studying the link I provided you instead of calling me “Che” just because I’m fed up with paying a 25% premium on paperwork for my $9 band aid at my local hospital, which my insurance company will fight me for for the next six months.

  205. dualityshift says:

    @ahwannabe: while creating a new human life is just, oh well, an accident.

    In most cases it is, or at least unplanned, and chances are most of the commenters posting here were conceived in Daddy’s T-Bird, listening to Led Zepplin. Daddy wasn’t thinking, ‘Time to get this girl preggers!’ No, he was thinking, ‘Geez, I hope those beers I had don’t affect my ability to keep it up.’

    The issue isn’t planned/unplanned. The issue is now she’s bearing child, it’s time to grow up and take responsibility for your actions. Whining that ‘pregnant’ is a pre-existing condition will not fix things for this girl. Instead, she should be making some sort of budget plan, and be collecting 1/2 of that money from Mr. Baby Daddy.

  206. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Orv: One example doesn’t confirm or deny a trend. You’re also not considering quality of care. Don’t many Canadians, who can afford it, come to the US for care because the wait there is so long?

  207. Orv says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: Go read the cite I provided and then explain to me why you know more about this than the New England Journal of Medicine. Just because you’ve read Ayn Rand and passed Economics 101 doesn’t mean you know everything about health care.

  208. Orv says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: It’s true that some people come to the U.S. for elective surgery because it’s quicker. And some people in the U.S. go to Thailand for elective surgery because it’s cheaper. I’m not sure that proves anything.

    Look, if people want to pay for better care I’m not going to stop them. All I’m suggesting is it would be cheaper and more humane overall if we provided a level of universal basic care to everyone.

  209. johnva says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: Your mistake is believing that all industries are alike. Capitalism and the free market work great at providing consumer goods like personal computers that are optional purchases. Healthcare is not like that, because it’s not really optional and because it’s kind of random and out of your control how much of it you’ll need. It either “loses” money or screws a lot of people out of needed care. Did you read the link I posted above? It provides a lot of evidence that competition can actually be counterproductive in healthcare. Do you think it would make sense for your town to have 10 different competing fire departments?

  210. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: @Orv: Defense contractors do have other markets. Many do market to other Armies as well, primarily Israel. In small arms, product that doesn’t meet military spec is sold as consumer ammunition. In high tech applications, many breakthroughs made in developing advanced weaponry is also applied in consumer electronics.
    /this is deviating and doing so quickly

  211. meisenberg says:

    We’re blaming the health care system for personal stupidity??????

    C’mon…what ever happened to “taking responsibility” for one’s actions???

    Ohhh, I get it…since they didn’t plan to get pregnant, I guess they didn’t have to make any other plans either!

    Wake up dummy…you and your boyfriend are losers and need to recognize that you are both adults making choices and if you fail to plan, you plan for failure!

    Live with the consequences now and don’t expect my sympathy!

  212. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Pregnancy is expensive. If you can’t afford it or don’t have health insurance, have the boyfriend wear a condom.

  213. anarcurt says:

    Seems to me that little Juno should find herself some adoptive parents or stop the bitching.

  214. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: guess who runs the army genius??
    and who runs the well-funded medicare and social security programs? nasa?
    we’re already projected to be some 30 or 40 trillion in the hole just on those 2 programs in the next 30 years.
    hey, what’s another 40 trillion on top of that right? politics makes for good finance keepings!!!

    here’s my suggestion for a deal:
    if we socialize healthcare, and i have to pay your doctor bills, then it’s only fair that the government should tell you how much you are allowed to weigh, what you should be eating, how often you are exercising, and that you may not drink or smoke. deal?

    insurance isn’t meant to keep health costs down.. that’s not the point of insurance. health providers and medical companies control the costs. insurance is a pass through.
    and socializing healthcare coverage would do NOTHING to address any of that. we’d just pay out of our ears in april.

    paperwork wouldn’t disappear if the govt took over. in fact there’d probably be more of it. if it were as simple as getting rid of extra unneeded employees to cut overhead, don’t you think some company would have already done that to take a huge competitive advantage?

  215. csdiego says:

    @dualityshift: Exactly, we took ourselves out of the natural world, which means that unintended pregnancy doesn’t have to mean starving to death or preventable birth defects or years of destitution unless we want it to. In a democracy, we’re all supposed to be making the rules. Government isn’t some kind of “they” out there, it’s all of us. And if we think [publicly funded] prenatal care is more important than [privately acquired] hookers ‘n blow, we have the power to create universal health care or forbid insurance companies from excluding preexisting health conditions.

  216. henrygates says:

    She may want to contact her boyfriend’s health insurance company. If he places the baby on his insurance upon birth, it may cover the pregnancy retroactively.

  217. carbonmade says:

    @PinkNightmare: You weren’t showing at 8 months? Wow, you must have had a tiny baby. I don’t think I’ve met anyone who isn’t showing very much at 8 months! (My wife is 8 months and looks it! She’s cute as a button, though!)

  218. msthe8r says:

    @Tmoney02
    I’m well aware of that. My advice to her personally would be find out if this is covered by the boyfriend’s insurance because the baby is his, or for heaven’s sake take the COBRA even if she has to charge it. It’s a much better deal than she thinks. The hospital bill for the birth of my teenage son (not the “surprise” one, the planned one) was $15K all by itself. I never did see the bill for the prenatal care.

    I was just addressing the folks who seem to think that she couldn’t have gotten pregnant unless she meant to or was being irresponsible. As you can tell from their comments, it’s entirely possible that she didn’t even know that birth control CAN fail.

  219. katylostherart says:

    welcome to the ridiculous states of america!

  220. nedzeppelin says:

    @olegna: listen up che,

    if americans were all in favor of paying for your doctor bills, then wouldn’t it have already passed into law? i guess you’re wrong about that.

    also, the tax rate was a rhetorical question, einstein.
    i understand economies of scale.. what’s that got to do with anything?

    why would the govt negotiate anything? politics is not about financial responsibility, it’s about waste, corruption, cronyism, and appearance, not results.

    funny that with a president and congress with all-time low approval ratings, you want to hand your health over to them.

  221. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Orv: The article only address admin issues, nothing is said about quality of care. I’m not going to get into a show me your credentials argument but if I’ve taken one thing from my exhaustive pursuit of economics and finance; it’s that human’s respond strongly to incentive and become dependant on handouts. And it’s with that mindset that I oppose any sort of handout. I actually have a very well written article in my hands on the econ of health care. It’s been a few years since I’ve read it. If any of you are interested in checking it out, I remember it being rather unbiased, I’d be happy to put it into a pdf for you.

  222. nedzeppelin says:

    for anyone who thinks it’s such a disgrace that her neighbors won’t pay her doctor bills, it’s a simple as you
    writing out a check to miss katelyn.
    i’m sure she’d be happy to accept your help.

    case resolved..

    after all, you don’t hate babies.. do you?

  223. jimconsumer says:

    I wasn’t going to say anything until the “who says health care doesn’t need to be fixed” comment. You know, if you had done this right – married your boyfriend, established a stable household conductive to raising children, and THEN got pregnant – you wouldn’t be in this situation. There are problems with health care in this country, but this isn’t one of them. You aren’t entitled to a cheap or free pregnancy just because you breathe air. It is perfectly acceptable for insurers to say, “Sorry, honey. We’re not going to just hand over several thousand dollars to you and put ourselves on the line for hundreds of thousands should there be expensive complications.”

    Your options here are to pay for the COBRA coverage; pay for the pregnancy yourself; get married; or, in some states, register with your husband as a domestic partner and potentially qualify for coverage under his insurance that way (thank you, gay movement). Or you can mooch off the taxpayers if your income is low enough and get state coverage, but that’s not really fair to the rest of us given you can probably afford the COBRA payments. I’m not saying it will be easy, but you sound like an educated person so I’m sure you can figure a way to pay for this yourself, even if you have to go into a little debt to do it.

    Now that I’ve been mean to you, let me explain my past: On the night I asked my wife to marry me, she became pregnant and we put the wedding off for a year so we could have our child. Yeah, we did it back-asswards, too. This meant she would not be covered under my company’s insurance plan, so we saved up and paid cash for the birth. All told the cost was just under $5,000. There were no complications, so we lucked out. Key is, I didn’t complain about “the system” not footing my bill. I knew I fucked up by having a child out of wedlock so I worked my ass off, put in a lot of overtime and paid for it out of pocket.

    Our second child was born via a mid-wife at her own facility and was less than $2,000 (but we were married and had insurance this time). If you’re comfortable with a mid-wife and willing to take the risk that there won’t be complications, do it and pay cash. It’s not an awful lot of money.

    My recommendation? Pay for COBRA or get married. God forbid you take the gamble and have the child without insurance, something goes wrong and you rack up a quarter million dollar bill, then what will you do?

  224. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: I’ll post this again for you, in case you missed it: Physicians for a National Health Program. They link to a LOT of peer-reviewed articles that have studied the economics of this. And they have a convenient FAQ for you that summarizes the arguments for a national single-payer plan. The fact is, our current system is the most bureaucratic one in the world. We have administrative functions duplicated across numerous different insurance companies. And we’re losing a lot of money that could go to care to unneeded profits in the insurance industry.

  225. sprocket79 says:

    I’m fairly certain that even with income issues that Medicaid will provide insurance for pregnant women. You should talk to a social worker, don’t just look up stuff online. Government healthcare is incredibly complicated, so it’s better to talk with someone who works with it on a daily basis rather than attempting to figure it out yourself.

    Your best bet is to go to your county hospital because they have an obligation to treat all patients regardless of insurance. They should be able to get you on your state’s version of Medicaid and may have some local programs to help you pay for your care while you are pregnant. I used to work at the county hospital in my area and this was very common. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help!

  226. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: so do you know what the profit margin in the insurance industry really is?

    and do you know what proportion of that comes from investment income, not underwriting income?

    it’s great that there are some physicians out there who want to socialize healthcare. probably because it means a more steady flow of cash from taxpayer dollars into their pockets. like unions.

    why would foisting healthcare upon government make it LESS bureaucratic? the current bureaucracies that burden the insurance system are imposed by the govt… sarbox anyone?

    also, those profits go somewhere. investors, your retirement fund, employees… don’t fall for the hollywood line of big evil corporations headed by some slavemaster who pockets all your money into his private offshore bank account

    why not socialize the drug companies?
    why not socialize everything?
    profit is evil, after all.

  227. thalia says:

    That’s weird. I’m with Regence BlueShield and it’s true that they won’t cover you for any pre-existing conditions, but they highlighted that pregnancy didn’t count as a pre-existing condition in their book.

  228. 3under3 says:

    Find your local WIC offices, because you are probably eligible for their help.

    I was referred for WIC when I was in a similar situation, and they were very helpful with linking me up with a whole slew of services that I qualified for. Good Luck!

  229. thalia says:

    @jimconsumer:

    You know, if you had done this right – married your boyfriend, established a stable household conductive to raising children, and THEN got pregnant – you wouldn’t be in this situation.

    Harsh. You have no clue what her story is. Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (without the stereotyping this time) before unleashing your Far More Knowledgeable Than Thou attitude.

  230. jimconsumer says:

    @sprocket79: Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help!

    She should be embarrassed to ask for help. We all should be. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t ask. If the choice is having the baby in a back alley, then by all means, ask for help. But we’re talking about a college graduate here. She can come up with $400 a month to pick up that COBRA coverage. The taxpayers should not be footing the bill for a pregnancy that she can afford and if she chooses to push the bill onto us because she doesn’t want to make the sacrifices necessary to afford it, then damn right she should be embarrassed.

    This idea that one can mooch of others and remain proud is ridiculous. Everyone who can’t pay their own way should be embarrassed. That embarrassment drives people to find a way to take care of themselves.

  231. PurplePuppy says:

    For those that are stuck with the “preexisting condition” label:

    2) High-risk pregnancy “emergencies” may still be covered
    2) Low-risk pregnancies have better outcomes from homebirth with midwife
    3) Consider a health savings account
    4) Only get the tests you “need”

    I found out that health insurance makes a distinction between prenatal care and medical emergencies such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, etc. These serious conditions are covered because the threaten you life AND are not preexisting even though the pregnancy is.

    The cheapest option for me is to hire midwives, have the kid at home (near a hospital) and get ambulance transportation to the hospital if the midwife detects a problem. At that point, I’m covered.

    Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy, all the tests you need can be preformed by the midwife. You don’t HAVE to have an ultrasound every month. Discuss with a professional what you really NEED.

    If I had paid the $300 per month through my work to get the best coverage, I still would have had to pay for prenatal and midwives myself. Instead, I opted for the high-deductible plan with a health savings account. Under this plan I have $130 EXTRA put in my health savings account to spend TAX FREE on midwives and such (I can’t even imagine how expensive the other plan must be for my company if they’re willing to bribe employees to take the HSA).

  232. johnva says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: The U.S. has very low quality of care with comparison to a lot of other countries that pay much less than us for what they get. Not only is our quality far from the best, we get by far the worst value for our healthcare dollars.

    The big thing a lot of people miss is that there is vast inequity in the level of care available to different people in the U.S. You can get great care here if money is no object for you (or more likely, your employer). But statistically, what we get is quite poor because there are millions and millions of people that can’t afford much of it at all and have no insurance because their employers don’t provide it. Would it be okay if half of Americans got terrible quality of care as long as the upper half got better than anyone else in the world? We’re rapidly moving in that direction.

  233. smash says:

    I think some of the responses here are just plain ignorant. I hope that if any of your daughters get pregnant, you won’t treat them half as bad as you’ve treated this girl. It’s not 1956 anymore, and women can make their own decisions, much to some of your chagrin.

    ALSO, in case anyone forgets, birth control is not 100 percent effective. Even the pill is only 98% effective. That means that, god forbid, there are women out there who take the pill EVERY DAY and still get pregnant. If this woman is living with her boyfriend, I find it incredibly difficult to believe that she would be engaging in unprotected sex all day every day. That’s just ridiculous to believe.

    Yes, the insurance company is in the right. I agree with that. But I disagree with everyone here who has attacked this girl for her “choices”. She DID make a choice — she made the choice to HAVE her baby, regardless if her situation isn’t the best. And yes, it’s now time for her to suck up her degree and get a job at Starbucks because babies can’t earn their own money. It is ridiculous to tell this girl to marry her boyfriend for the insurance and to “give the child a father”. It is ridiculous to tell the OP to “get an abortion” because for one thing, she can’t. She’s 15 weeks along. And for another thing, SHE MADE HER CHOICE. Now she’s trying to figure out how to do it. She doesn’t need your crap or your judgmemnt. She just needs advice on how to pay for her health insurance.

    I’m certainly glad all of your children were planned children and that you had them when your 401k was at an all-time high and your house was halfway paid off. But not everyone has children under perfect conditions and those children come out just fine.

  234. jimconsumer says:

    @nursethalia: Harsh. You have no clue what her story is. Try putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (without the stereotyping this time) before unleashing your Far More Knowledgeable Than Thou attitude.

    You clearly didn’t read the rest of my post. I AM Far More Knowledgable Than Her on this issue. I’ve been there, done that; she hasn’t. My post was not a Holier Than Thou rant. It was point blank advice based on my own experience.

  235. jimconsumer says:

    @smash: But not everyone has children under perfect conditions and those children come out just fine.

    Actually, you’re wrong. Some of those children come out just fine. A large majority of them do not. Go look it up; children born to single mothers are much more likely to get into drugs, die at a younger age, fail in school, etc.

  236. AndyRogers says:

    Wow – There are alot of really, REALLY ignorant comments on this topic. Yes, her situation sucks but ONE, okay TWO, people and TWO people only put her in this situation. What happened to personal accountability, in this case “wrap it before you tap it” or any other snarky “use birth control” mantra? Friends, the system is not broken… people’s morals, decision making ability and sense of accountability are. A modicum of prior planning would have saved a ton of stress here.

    At the end of the day, we (are lucky enough to) live in a capitalist society. Like it or not (olgena and others, I’m looking in your direction). Healthcare providers reserve the right to deny (individual) coverage to anyone – as business this is their right. There are alternatives but she clearly makes enough money to not qualify for state assistance, etc.

    She has a perfectly viable opportunity: $400/m for COBRA. She has another one: marry the guy. If you love him enough to let him knock you up and to carry his child, you love him enough to tie the knot. This is what previous generations did.

    Nationalize (read: socialize) healthcare? No way. I don’t like the DMV (which is what happens when you socialize “drivercare”).

    Most of all – congratulations and good luck. Make the right choices for your baby regardless of cost. This is the burden of parenting.

  237. statnut says:

    @barometer: Hows the air up there on that high horse?

  238. Orv says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: OK, but here’s a question for you: If quality of care is so much better under the U.S. system, why is average life expectancy higher in Canada? It’s not like people there live vastly different lifestyles or are from vastly different genetic stock.

    It’s hard to find objective evidence that the U.S. system is superior. We spend more on health care per capita than any other country, yet we die younger. All you can muster to defend the status quo is your religious devotion to conservative economic theory.

  239. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: The profit margins are irrelevant, though they constitute waste. I’m just saying that the facts show that when it is funded by private insurers a much smaller percentage of your healthcare dollars go into actual patient care. The rest is profit or overhead. That is simply a fact, and it’s a major reason why prices keep rising (providers have to raise prices in order to get some decent reimbursement from insurers).

    I’m glad to know that you’re willing to do your part as a capitalist drone and pay through the nose for health insurance so that the shareholders of insurance companies can do well! I don’t care about them making profits. I think the goal of the system should be to provide healthcare to as many people as possible while keeping the aggregate costs as low as possible, not to create a profitable industry.

    I don’t think profits are evil. I just think that they are wasteful in the context of health insurance and don’t do anything to improve the quality of health care in this country. I’m not a socialist…I just want us to use solutions that work instead of relying on blind ideology. I don’t want the actual healthcare providers and healthcare product companies (like drug makers) socialized, because I actually do think the profit motive drives innovation there. But in insurance? What “innovation” is there in insurance? Their innovations are all about new ways of screwing more people financially and siphoning off an ever-increasing slice of the healthcare pie. Basically, there is no point to for-profit health insurance unless you’re just ideologically opposed to government solutions.

  240. dscherck says:

    First of all, if the person in question reads this, CONGRATS! Babies rock. My wife and I are expecting our first currently and are super excited.

    Now, that said. If she really wants good and cheap pre-natal care but can’t get insurance, she needs to contact a Catholic church asap. They’ll put her in touch with the local pro-life groups who will be more than happy to help her find free or cheap pre-natal care, find baby items for her, and really just be there for her.

    My wife has great insurance, but I wanted some more options, so I talked to my priest who put me in touch with some local groups. While we didn’t end up needing any of their services, they were willing to help with pre-natal care, helping find doctors that would work out payment plans, etc. :) They’re a great resource and really do want to help. :)

  241. pantsonfire says:

    Someone may have already suggested this in the comments somewhere so I’m sorry if this is redundant. If you move in with your boyfriend his insurance might, depending on the plan his employer chose, allow him to add you as a domestic partner. I used this method to get insurance for my girlfriend before we were married. Good luck.

  242. Orv says:

    @AndyRogers: Your DMV comparison made me laugh. I moved from a state where all the DMV offices are state-run to one where DMV offices are privatized. The customer service at the privatized offices is much, much worse. The lines are longer, the fees are higher, and no one you talk to can answer any of your questions…which come to think of it, is a lot like dealing with a private health insurance company, isn’t it? ;)

  243. AidelMaidel says:

    PCAP – aka Pregnancy Medicaid. Every state offers it. It’s fairly easy to get in large states like NY or CA. It’s easier to get then regular medicaid because there is expanded eligibility. It is a federal program administered by your state. Every state must offer it. Google “Pregnancy Medicaid (Your state here)”

  244. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @Orv: This will have to wait for another day. Real work needs to get done. Good talk, +1 for not resorting to name calling

  245. olegna says:

    The comments by the self righteous “individual responsibility” idiots on this thread are nauseating. I’ve lived in two other countries with WAY better access to affordable health services than I had in the USA when I worked my ass off in a restaurant.

    America deserves the health care system it has. Don’t change anything. Comments like I’ve heard on this board make me root for the Republicans. I hope they stay in power for the next 100 years. Outlaw abortions, reduce taxes to zero, privatize everything, and if you’re homeless “fuck you, you lazy fuck”.

    What a wonderful society you people want.

  246. dualityshift says:

    @csdiego: we have the power to create universal health care or forbid insurance companies from excluding preexisting health conditions.

    Are you kidding me? Your comments just become more and more asinine. Businesses have the right to deny anyone service. Insurance companies are a business, therefore, insurance companies have the RIGHT to refuse business to anyone.

    I still stand by my opinion that she should terminate. If she cannot afford the COBRA health care, how can she afford a baby?

    @csdiego: Exactly, we took ourselves out of the natural world, which means that unintended pregnancy doesn’t have to mean starving to death or preventable birth defects or years of destitution unless we want it to.

    You’ve missed my point by a parsec. By being out of the ‘natural world’ humans have placed ‘accountability’ to their actions. Your point puts morality in a place it really shouldn’t be. Is it more moral to terminate a pregnancy, or allow a child to be born into poverty or abuse?

  247. RickBlaineUSA says:

    Consumerist: When did you start linking to articles from the Onion?

    The title of this article should be: “Person Makes Imprudent Decision Then Tries To Turn $1,000 into $25,000 By Making Four Phone Calls, and Fails.”

  248. sethom says:

    seriously that COBRA is cheap for $400/month. I’m paying close to $600 for myself wife and kid for a PPO.

  249. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: right, profit is “waste” and not the incentive that created the world’s greatest economy in only 200 years. spoken like a true socialist.

    i like profit. profit is what funds all the stocks and mutual funds so i can retire some day without having to wait on the govt to dole me out a SS check – which will be completely screwed by the time i retire anyway.

    if i have a beef with the cost of my insurance, i know who to properly blame… healthcare providers and litigiousness, not insurance. insurance is simply a pooling system to help you pay the costs you incur, not a way to address those costs.

    what’s the innovation in insurance? how about case management, legal defense, claims handling, and most importantly actuarial rate setting?
    do you know how to calculate how much to charge yourself if you were to self insure? i doubt it.
    although what would the govt need those “wasteful” administrative overhead expenses for, right? the govt isn’t concerned with financial solvency, we know that much.

    that profitable industry employs hundreds of thousands of people, funds millions of retirements, and so far it’s kept me healthy. sounds good to me.

    care to address my new deal?
    if the govt takes over paying for everyone’s healthcare, are you prepared to allow the govt to tell you what you can eat, how much you can drink, what activities you can participate in, and how much you should weigh?

    i’m all for social healthcare if we tax by the pound. but we don’t.

  250. dualityshift says:

    @Orv: OK, but here’s a question for you: If quality of care is so much better under the U.S. system, why is average life expectancy higher in Canada? It’s not like people there live vastly different lifestyles or are from vastly different genetic stock.

    I will give you a few reasons:
    Better gun control.
    Less dense population
    Differing lifestyles (we’re less couch potato than our American brothers.)
    Superior Genetic Stock – the aliens gave us that. ;) – just kidding.

  251. johnva says:

    @olegna: It’s sad, isn’t it? I agree that Republicans who support “reform” like John McCain’s deserve this broken system and the consequences it will produce. It just sucks that they are forcing everyone else to live with that mediocrity, too, just because they refuse to reexamine some of their ideological assumptions even in the face of overwhelming evidence. If this country doesn’t get back on track soon, I may seriously have to consider leaving. And I’m not saying that because I want to whine about not getting my way, but because I’m afraid of what the future holds for Americans if we continue these policies. But I’m not ready to give up yet.

  252. nedzeppelin says:

    @olegna: in our wonderful country, anyone who feels the desire to help out people like katlyn can write her a check, and are free to do so.

    but they don’t want to.. when they feel charitable they open your wallet, not their own.

  253. smartmuffin says:

    Required reading for anyone who thinks greedy health insurance companies are so terrible in comparison to government-run systems.

    [www.slate.com]

  254. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: All of those “innovations” you cite are about screwing people. I stand by what I said. Yes, profit is waste if your goal is to provide healthcare to everyone for the lowest cost possible. That is not the goal of insurance companies. More accurate assessments of acturial risk are innovation, I agree. It’s an innovation that is designed to screw more people. The innovation is aimed at producing more profits, not at the American people getting cheaper healthcare.

    You are still ignoring what I’m saying because it doesn’t fit what you want to believe. I never once said that government wouldn’t have administrative overhead. I said that it would be less than the aggregate total of the administrative overhead for the whole health insurance industry.

    As for your “deal”, don’t you think that’s already happening with insurance? Insurance is controlling people’s lives just as much, by charging much higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs to people who live in an unhealthy way and get health problems as a result. Of course, they also screw people who have health problems through no fault of their own (for example, people with genetic conditions), and for the same reason (they cost more). So yes, I would take that deal because I think it’s better than what we currently get.

  255. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: I’m perfectly willing to pay more taxes to get better healthcare, especially if it meant I was no longer paying anything to private health insurance companies. Your position is based on personal greed.

  256. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: screwing people?
    you didn’t answer whether you had the education required to set sound rates for yourself. if you can’t do it, why do want someone else to do it for free?

    profit is not waste.. profit goes back into our pockets in the form of wages from employment and interest in our investments.

    i like how legal defense, claims handling, and expertise are “about screwing people” to you.
    and we all know the govt never screws anybody.

    it never ceases to amaze me how many people trust the govt to run every aspect of their lives.

    oh no, lifestyle changes are most certainly NOT imposed by insurance companies. they charge you more for being unhealthy – as you should be. you’re going to incur more costs than people who lead healthy lifestyles.
    i’m saying if the govt forces me to pay your medical bill, you should be FORCED to weigh a certain amount, not drink or smoke, and not eat unhealthy food.

    it actually doesn’t surprise me that you might actually be in favor of such fascist measures.

    it’s not about “screwing people” it’s about charging a rate proportional to the amount of costs you’re likely to incur. nothing sounds more fair to me than that.

    medicare and social security are financial failures. i’ll be damned if you’re going to hand big brother one more gigantic responsibility

  257. johnva says:

    @smartmuffin: Read my link earlier, which refutes the disingenuous arguments in that article. The article ignores a lot of the real reasons that insurers increase costs, which are indirect rather than direct.

  258. Jenng says:

    OK the Government does such a great job running everything else clearly they would do a STELLAR job at running our health care… NOT!!!

    Talk to someone in another country who has dealt with socialized heath care and then see what your opinion is on it. It too needs work just like our heath care system does.

    As for the OP, 15 weeks prego…so almost 4 months, so you have now had four months to figure out what you were going to do for insurance once you graduated from college and were no longer eligible to be covered under mom and dads plan. This shouldn’t have been news to you?! $400 is a steal for Cobra. I’m in HR and trust me you are getting a pretty good deal. When we did lay offs at a company I worked for in 2001 we had employees who were stuck with COBRA payments well over 1,000 a month. So count your blessings.

    If you choose to opt out of COBRA and don’t qualify for any state plans I would suggest you contact your care giver and negotiate cash rates for payment. Most Dr.’s will negotiate with uninsured patients at a much lower cash rate, and most will let you be on a payment plan. Good news for you… you have options and claiming that this is a failure of the health care system is not one of them. Congrats on your pregnancy and may you and your baby be healthy!

  259. smartmuffin says:

    @johnva: You’d seriously rather just write the government a blank check and HOPE that they provide you with great health care than have the freedom to shop around and select a private insurer of your own choice?

  260. pyro789x says:

    @Buran

    I think they kind of owe it to the baby if they aren’t going to get an abortion to get married. Honestly, I have no sympathy for their situation. It’s my personal belief that you should never have a child with a boyfriend or girlfriend under any circumstances. If you’re not sure about each other enough, if you don’t love each other enough, if you’re not financially secure enough, if you’re life is too unsteady to be married to this person, then you have no business having a child with them. Children deserve more than that, don’t ruin their lives by putting them in a deeper relationship than you yourself are willing to commit to. I think it’s rather self serving of you to tell them not to get married if they don’t feel their ready but not to demand that they have an abortion if they aren’t ready to get married.

  261. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: really? you’re willing to pay higher taxes, but you’re not willing to pay high insurance premiums.
    that sounds downright retarded.

    my only guess is you must be fatter and unhealthier than the average american (which is pretty fat and unhealthy), so you think it would be a good deal to have your neighbor pay your bills for you.

    meanwhile, your tax money would be paying for everyone else to go to the ER every time they get a cold, while you wait in line to hear whether that lump in your nut sac is cancer or not.

    to anyone who says this is about greed, i IMPLORE you to start writing checks to people like the woman in this story. they need your help. so why are you sitting around chatting online with all that money in your bank account when you could be helping people out?
    you greedy bastards!

  262. robkonz1 says:

    I sell insurance and i hate when people call to get a disability policy and after writting up the app they tell me they are preg and want to make sure it will cover that. Of coarse not. Can you get in a car accident and then call Geico and get car insurance? NO. Dumb people.

  263. AmbiUbi says:

    I can empathsize with this girl. Fortunately I’ve been on my husband’s health insurance for years now, so I’ve been able to get coverage for my unplanned pregnancy….

    However, I can’t get disability because of my “pre-existing” condition….and I get no paid maternity leave. It will have to be all out of pocket. Since I bring home 3/4 of the household income, let’s hope I don’t need to have a C-Section…

  264. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Actually, I don’t think it’s fair to charge people a rate that is proportional to their probable costs. That’s the major reason why I’m so opposed to for-profit insurance. You see, I don’t believe it should just be about spreading risk. I also think COST should be spread equitably to everyone. The reason I think that’s more fair is that people do not control many of the factors that are related to their health. They do not control their genetics, which is a huge determinant of healthcare costs (maybe even the biggest one). But insurance makes people pay more for being unhealthy regardless of whether the reason is something under people’s control (like obesity or smoking) or not (like genetics). THAT is what I believe is most unfair…that people who are unlucky enough to get cancer at age 20 get stuck with paying higher rates for the rest of their life just as if they had caused their bad health by smoking a pack a day.

    I also don’t believe that if costs were equal for everyone that that would encourage people to live unhealthy lifestyles. I actually don’t believe that restrictive measures would be necessary, because believe it or not, I don’t think most people want to be unhealthy. There are plenty of other motivations besides just cost that should be sufficient to discourage smoking and obesity. And anyway, obesity rates in countries with socialized health care are not higher than here.

  265. brianala says:

    If you think $400 for insurance is a lot of money, how on earth do you think you will be able to afford to take care of a child?

  266. johnva says:

    @smartmuffin: You are totally missing the point. The point is that lots of people in this country don’t have the luxury of “shopping around” for good health insurance. Either because it’s too expensive or because they are medically disqualified from getting any individual coverage. I’m not saying that government health insurance would necessarily be preferable for people who already have good health insurance. I’m saying that it would be preferable in the aggregate because it would cover people who can’t get good health insurance.

  267. smartmuffin says:

    @johnva: So those of us who are able, those of us who can provide for ourselves, should be punished to meet the needs of those who cannot?

    If ever there was a time to copy-paste a giant monologue from Atlas Shrugged, this is it…

  268. DjSnipSnip says:

    Health insurance is a scam… It is much more expensive than going solo. People get scared going without: if your reader contacts the hospital she plans on delivering her baby, she can pay a fixed amount for the whole thing as self pay that would turn out much cheaper in the end than getting insurance!! I have a friend who did that and the whole delivery cost less than $10K. If you calculate how much your paying in premiums+deductibles+crap they don’t cover, you’ll end up ahead.

  269. dumblonde says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to berate her based on a bad decision. Now she’s pregnant and needs to deal with it. I say stick with your dad’s plan until the baby’s born, pay the $400 a month and then change plans.

    I just graduated from college in 2007 and am in a similar situation. I’m not pregnant but our insurance dropped me from my dad’s group plan when I turned 23. Right now, I can’t get anything but a part time job because I will be attending grad school. I had to switch my insurance to one of those direct plans. It pays about $120/month and doesn’t screen for pre-existing conditions which I’m lucky for because I have asthma and a psychiatric condition. But I’m pretty much screwed bc I need to take a prescription every day so i don’t go crazy and my new plan won’t cover medicines. I went from spending $50 a month on my pills to over $200. No plans except group plans cover prescriptions in my state. It’s ridiculous. I’d be willing to pay more a month if I can get my meds covered. They’re really screwing over society. Imagine a bunch of crazy ppl running around bc they can’t afford their meds.

  270. DjSnipSnip says:

    Forgot the other option, Canada or Mexico, whichever is closer ;)

  271. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: You sound like a typical conservative, since you think everyone is motivated by personal self interest. And no, I’m not fatter than the average American. But keep on thinking that if it helps you maintain the illusion in your head that people who are unhealthy deserve it somehow.

    What’s retarded is your assumption that taxes would have to rise by as much as people are currently paying for health insurance. If everyone had health coverage, people would actually get preventative care and overall costs would probably drop. You do know, don’t you, that you’re already paying for all the people who don’t have health insurance, right? Providers have to write off the losses caused by caring for those people, and raise prices on everyone else to cover it. That in turn creates a vicious spiral where even more people can’t afford health insurance, and so on.

    A government system is NO different from what we currently have with private insurers, except that everyone is in one big pool and the funding would come from a payroll tax instead of premiums. Just admit that either a) you’re greedy and don’t want to pay more than you personally require in healthcare, or b) you just ideologically distrust the government and that your position is based on faith. If you really think everyone should pay their own costs, why not abolish insurance altogether? Just make everyone pay their own way. And if you didn’t save enough to cover something that happens to you, tough, you should have been more responsible.

  272. smartmuffin says:

    @dumblonde: Imagine a bunch of crazy people running about because they’re on meds they don’t really need. Oh wait, you don’t have to imagine.

  273. WEGGLES90 says:

    I don’t see what the complaint is… they aren’t being unreasonable to accept someone who is pregnant. You need to think ahead for these things…. also this is why I love canada.

  274. BlackestRose says:

    Check state law. Some states have laws superseding HIPPA. For instance in Massachusetts, pregnancy cannot be considered pre-existing for individual or group. It’s *really* important to understand what’s legally due to you.

    Also, you may look for insurance co-ops through different groups. For instance, look into any professional associations you could join. Sometimes they have good insurance you might be able to hook into.

    Look into financial alternatives. When I had my first child, I found WIC a great financial help. You may also be eligible for food stamps. I, too, had just graduated from college and both programs did exactly what they were supposed to do and helped my hubby and myself through a rough patch.

    (For all you naysaying, blame-the-vicim, libertarians, that safety net we used for 2 years, gave us stability at a time we needed it and allowed us enough time to get our feet under us. Since then we’ve put back in far more economically into the country than we took out – about 50x more.)

  275. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: no, i don’t think you’re motivated by self-interest. in fact this is a perfect opportunity for you to prove it to all of us, by writing katlyn in the story a check to help her cover her pregnancy.

    you must hate babies if you don’t, you greedy selfish bastard.

    taxes would probably have to rise by more than current healthcare costs, since let’s face it, not everyone who is sick right now (or even just thinks they’re sick) is going to the doctor to do something about it. when you’re financing their trips to the ER, whether it be for a real condition or just the sniffles, you’re going to pay every time.

    you sound like a typical socialist. “compassionate” – with other people’s resources.
    maybe you and i have something in common after all, if i feel charitable i open my wallet. if you feel charitable, you open my wallet.

  276. nedzeppelin says:

    @elrefai: if health insurance is more expensive than paying for everything out of pocket, then just don’t buy health insurance, and pay for everything out of pocket.
    more power to ya

  277. johnva says:

    @smartmuffin: Yes. You agree to pay for people who are less fortunate than you, in exchange for everyone else having an equal duty to pay for you in the event that you get unlucky and have a major health problem. That’s the whole idea of insurance, socialized or private. The only difference would be that government insurance could prohibit price discrimination on an unfair basis, for example based on genetically-based preexisting conditions.

    Ayn Rand was a reactionary idiot, BTW. Her ideas are half-baked and don’t bear any resemblance to the real world. And I’ve read quite a few of her books.

  278. JackAshley says:

    Having not read any of the previous comments, I’ll say it: Become a Canadian! At the 25k-35k earning bracket, the average american actually pays MORE in taxes after social security is taken into consideration (source: The Economist – link not available)…difference is that in Canada having a baby is free! (if you dont count 18 years of rasiing + college)

  279. smartmuffin says:

    @johnva: I’ll agree that her ideas don’t bear any resemblance to the real world, but that’s not a flaw with her ideas, it’s a flaw with our society. The looters and the socialists are winning.

  280. jimconsumer says:

    @johnva: Your position is based on personal greed.

    Oh, so a person is greedy for wanting to keep more of his own money, that he earned himself? Your position is based on insanity. As for you gladly wanting to pay more taxes instead of paying a private insurance company: Drop your insurance, then, and pay doctors directly. You’ll have the same effect – paying more for health care – without fucking over the rest of us.

    @dumblonde: I don’t think it’s fair to berate her based on a bad decision.

    Why not? We’re all supposed to go, “Oh, good for you, sweetie, you’re having a child out of wedlock. That’s wonderful.” ?? No. That kind of shit is why people continue to do this. If more of us confronted this bad behavior and called it what it is, more people would think twice before engaging in behaviors that may result in an unmarried pregnancy.

  281. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Everyone can ALREADY go to the ER for “the sniffles”, for free. They can’t refuse treatment to people based on lack of ability to pay. You are already paying for all those people. If those people had health insurance, they could go to a primary care doctor instead, which would be way cheaper. AND they would actually get decent continuity of care and preventative medicine, which would lower costs in the long run.

    The fact is, there are a lot of people who can’t afford health insurance right now. What do you suggest we do about that? Nothing? If we do nothing, then your health insurance is just going to get more expensive to cover them. At least a payroll tax-based solution is equitable and ensures that virtually everyone pays at least something.

  282. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: depends what you call “unfair”. i’d say if you’re certain to incur more costs, why shouldn’t you pay more into the system than the next person?
    that sounds plenty fair to me. you pay proportional to your risk

    me paying the same amount as the alcoholic drug addict chain smoking 400 pound guy next door is what i call unfair.

  283. failurate says:

    @opfreak: I thought it was a code word for “Our groups are too small for our group insurance to be effective. Let’s make a huge ass group.”
    If you think single payer is wanting something for nothing, you are wrong. We all still have to pay, but as one huge ass group.

  284. olegna says:

    yeah and i don’t want my tax dollars to go to a trillion-dollar war in Iraq, or to finance debt to China, but until I left the USA I had no choice.

    This whole argument posed by certain people on this board is completely retarded. Instead of paying taxes for a simple universal health care system (which every developed and many developing countries have: a private/public system that costs less and produces healthier people and societies) they want to fork over money to enormous, international financial corporations and waste huge amounts of money on administrative private bureaucracy. And then they have the audacity to call that freedom and capitalism.

    I say HELL NO. We progressives have to take back the true meaning of capitalism and freedom away from the brainwashed squeezebox monkeys that have co-opted the meaning. I do not support corporate welfare, price fixing, no-bid contracting and all that other corporate communism that is lauded by the ARKADA (Ayn Rand Kool Aide Drinkers of America).

    PS:

    Percentage of GDP Spent on health care:

    UK = 8.3%
    Japan = 8%
    Germany = 10.7%
    Taiwan = 6.3%
    Switzerland 11.6%
    USA = 15.3%

    And for all that extra money Americans spend on health care, this is how the US compares to other countries:

    Life expectancy:

    Japan: 82.1
    UK: 79
    Germany: 79
    Switzerland: 81.3
    USA: 77

    Infant Mortality (per 1000):

    Japan: 2.8
    UK: 5.1
    Germany: 3.9
    Switzerland: 4.2
    USA: 6.8

    Our health care system, compared to other developing countries, is LITERALLY killing us.

    And, by the way, FICA IS A TAX.

    I don’t care what Republicans try to say when they exclude these payroll deductions. FICA is taken from my paycheck to support old people today. It’s not “an investment in my future” that I’ll get back. It’s simply a semantical argument so that pro-business types can feel good and say to themselves “but the poor don’t pay taxes.”

    That’s bull crap. Whenever I switch jobs, I have to calculated 35% will be taken away from my paycheck-to-paycheck existence. So poor people with shitty jobs work their asses off. These aren’t people standing around for handouts.

    And people who demonize the poor and staunchly defend our system ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. You guys keep pushing and pushing and someday history will repeat itself and you will find yourself on the business end of the pike. Trust me. The French Revolution started with bread.

    So what is it: do you want to sign on to a social contract, or is it “all men for themselves”?

    Be careful how you answer, because the have-nots always outnumber the haves. By attrition, you will lose and history will re-set and we will live to repeat these mistakes again.

    Or we can grow up, be true and mature about the balance between rugged individuality and social contract.

  285. SpecialEd says:

    Checking into insurance and possibilities are part of the responsibility of becoming pregnant. The health care system works fine for most responsible people.

  286. johnva says:

    @smartmuffin: Uh, yes it is a flaw with her ideas. She fails to account for human nature, just like the retarded communists she was reacting against in her books (she hated communism because the Soviets screwed her over). The fact is, most people do not agree with her ideas that everyone should be a rugged individualist and that all contributions to others should be voluntary. That idea doesn’t work because too many people are greedy by nature, and would contribute nothing or very little to others if they could get away with it. Voluntary charity is great, but it’s not sufficient to address problems on the scale of our healthcare crisis.

  287. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: i’m pretty sure the ER can refuse to treat you for sniffles.

    i’d also like some sort of substantive proof that people do that en masse right now.

    if there were no personal share of cost in healthcare, what’s to prevent everyone from flooding the ER anytime they feel like it? how is that going to help the people who have real emergencies?

    oh no, i suggest we do a lot about it. like address the ACTUAL reasons healthcare itself is so expensive, and not the intermediary. first and foremost, healthcare is expensive because we have so many state of the art drugs that cost companies billions of dollars to produce (and may not end up working or be approved by the FDA), litigation and the threat of litigation, and most importantly, because america is full of fat, lazy, unhealthy people.

    not much we can do about the third one.

    my suggestion is people lead healthier lifestyles, and that healthcare costs be completely tax deductible. beyond that, donate to charity.

  288. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @smartmuffin: Dude, you’re my hero.

  289. nedzeppelin says:

    johnva – i’m still waiting for your decision.. are you going to write a check out to katlyn today to help her with her pregnancy costs, you greedy selfish bastard?

  290. snowmentality says:

    @dualityshift: Again. How do you know this wasn’t a planned pregnancy? Why are you trying to shame her as a slut who has to “take the consequences” for having sex?

    What if she had a job with insurance, got pregnant, and lost the job? She’d be in exactly the same situation.

    Jesus Fuck, people. What is WRONG with you?

    I am so fucking done with Consumerist. You people are assholes.

  291. civicmon says:

    Most states have low-cost guaranteed health insurance for kids and expecting mothers, I highly recommend looking into that, they can usually pair it with your existing doctors as well.

  292. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Yes, it does depend on what you consider “fair”. Your version of fairness differs a lot from mine, obviously. You keep talking about all these things that you consider immoral or unhealthy lifestyles (obesity, drug addiction, smoking, etc) to justify your greed. Guess what? In a single-payer system there is no reason it couldn’t work just like it does today, with smokers and the obese paying a penalty tax or something. You could still penalize unhealthy lifestyles if you like. I’m just opposed to people being penalized financially for things that have nothing to do with their lifestyle choices and a lot more to do with luck (like genetics, or getting hit by an unidentified hit-and-run drunk driver and having lifelong complications). Do you really think it’s fair to say to a kid who is born with a genetic disease “guess what? You get to spend tons more than everyone else on healthcare for life, just because of the way you were born”. We already outlaw similar discrimination, for the same reason: for example, insurance companies can’t charge black people higher premiums even if their actuaries determine that blacks are more likely to cost them money.

  293. donkeyjote says:

    Lie and say you didn’t know you were preggers.

    Then again, you would have to have done that before you started calling around for insurance, for plausible deniability’s sake

  294. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: my version of fair is that if you’re going to describe yourself as a selfless compassionate angel that you should literally put your money where your mouth is and start helping out people like katlyn today.
    but instead of helping her finance her pregnancy like you claim you want to do, you’d rather sit on your duff and preach to people online about how greedy THEY are for not wanting to finance your so-called compassionate ventures

  295. RedOrDead says:

    Katlyn needs to see a lawyer to ensure proper coverage for the child. Dad is not legally entitled to claim this child as a dependent if he does not live with the child more than half the year or does not cover more than half of the child’s expenses. I work in benefits administration and the insurers that we work with require a court order before we can enroll non-dependent children. An employer may initally allow Dad to add coverage for the baby, but when Dad cannot prove that he claimed the child on his taxes and there is no court order mandating coverage, insurers can drop the child from the policy. Some of them even do it retroactively. If you’re not going to get married and you’re not going to live together, you need a court order to make sure that you don’t have problems with insurance coverage at a later point in time.

    It is also important to understand that in many states, an unmarried woman has sole custody. It depends on the laws in your state, but adding Dad’s name to the birth certificate does not necessarily establish paternity, nor does it automatically give Dad any rights to legal or physical custody. Depending on the character of the father, this may be desirable, however it may have unintended legal consequences if Dad dies unexpectedly. It is important to get to a lawyer and understand your rights and responsbilities before something bad happens.

  296. nedzeppelin says:

    @snowmentality: well, that would be pretty poor planning to plan the pregnancy first and the insurance later, i guess.

  297. opfreak says:

    I love liberals who say this girl had no choice in having a baby.

    Outside of the outliers…

    in most cases, a choice was made.

  298. Tmoney02 says:

    @snowmentality:
    “Jesus Fuck, people. What is WRONG with you?
    I am so fucking done with Consumerist. You people are assholes. “

    If your letting 1 person in 300 comments get to you I’m not sure you belong on the internet anywhere…well maybe Disney.com

    The reason the majority of the people on here are upset as I see it boils down to this: (as I mention earlier and has become buried)

    The problem is she put herself in a hard position and is then complaining that there isn’t an easy solution.

    That’s what you get if you strip all the other emotional baggage of the story away, and that’s what is getting on peoples nerves. Having kids isn’t easy, and its time for her to learn that she will need to make hard choices and even…gasp…make a few sacrifices.

  299. smartmuffin says:

    @johnva: Life is unfair. Eventually we just need to accept it. Making it MORE unfair for those who DON’T have problems is not the solution. Equal unfairness for everyone is the essence of communism.

  300. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: I never once suggested there be NO personal share of cost. I do think things like fixed copays are a good idea to prevent outright abuse of resources. Again, that’s not an argument against public health insurance, because it could be structured in a way very similar to how private insurance works now.

    Also, all of those reforms you’re suggesting to reduce costs? Much easier if you have a single-payer system. Part of the problem right now is that we can’t enact the necessary reforms because our regulations are so twisted and state-specific. With single-payer there would be a centralized plan to reduce costs.

    @nedzeppelin: I have already said I’m willing to pay higher taxes to cover the uninsured. You are the one who refuses to. I’m arguing for a change in the overall social contract.

  301. alice_bunnie says:

    $400 a month? Crap, 14 years ago I paid $350 a month for COBRA when I was pregnant and single. And, then had a $700 deductible and 20% copay, and I was making the equivalent of $25,000 in today’s dollars. Don’t be such a cry baby! Jeezus.

  302. alice_bunnie says:

    FYI $350 in 1994 is $489 in 2007 dollars… I did the calculator.

  303. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: yes, you want to charge everyone else for your supposed “selflessness”

    you don’t need to pay higher taxes years from now, you can start socializing medicine one person at a time, starting with yourself.

    we still haven’t heard anything about you rushing to cut a check for the lady in the story

    greedy. selfish. bastard.

  304. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: what about people who can’t afford fixed copays??

  305. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Listen, I never said that this situation wasn’t this girl’s fault (which is why I’m not writing her a check). I’m saying that the overall structure of our system should be changed. That’s all.

  306. rellog says:

    @olegna: I, as many others on this thread, am not defending the insurance comapny. I think that the whole system needs an overhaul.
    But that doesn’t negate the irresponsible behavior of the OP.
    Yes accidents happen, but you have to take precautions for unexpected events and avoid risky situations that arise. For example, I didn’t have insurance for several years. During that time, I didn’t go skiing, ride a motorcycle or participate in risky activities that I could get hurt doing. She knew the risks and didn’t plan accordingly.

    She should either
    a.- get married, even if it is a sham wedding
    or
    b. pay the $400/mo

    Either way, she is MUCH better off than many people wading through the mess that is out healthcare system today.

    FYI, she also has a third option…. get a midwife. Unless there are complications, a homebirth is a very real (and much cheaper) alternative to going to the hospital. A close friend of mine did it and it was a fraction of what a hospital would have charged. No, she won’t get an epidural, but she’ll get very personalized care at a discount rate. Heck, hospitals kick most women out after the second day anyway…

  307. ahwannabe says:

    @smash: Why is it “ridiculous” to expect someone to get married? Again, why is marriage considered such an undesirable condition, while single parenthood is just peachy-keen? Why is unthinkable to commit oneself to a spouse for a few years, when one has already committed themselves to a CHILD for the rest of their LIFE?

    I cannot bring myself to feel sympathy to the plight of any single parent when they reject the most logical solution to the problem. You can divorce a spouse. You cannot divorce a child.

  308. rellog says:

    @johnva: Actually, hospitals CAN refuse care for ANYONE not in a life threatening situation. Ignorant people usually choose to be so… do some research.

  309. johnva says:

    @smartmuffin: Life is unfair, you’re right. I just think that you guys have a misguided sense of what’s fair and what isn’t (and I think that in most cases your idea of “fairness” is equivalent to “I’ve got mine, so screw everyone else”). Personally, I think corporate eugenics is a bad idea (which will be the eventual result of these Republican policies). I will continue to fight any system that treats people differently based on how they were born. And I think enough people agree with me that once they understand the issue they will help us to enact this reform.

  310. DjSnipSnip says:

    @nedzeppelin: I already am :) I didn’t pay for insurance all last year and I am going on vacation this July with the savings :)

    Having said that, I don’t think that it is the optimal solution, I just don’t think paying $1K/month on premiums alone for myself, wife, and 4 month old baby is sane (all healthy with no background history of anything). I think it is a shame the US can’t provide BASIC health benefits (at least to kids and seniors) where many other poorer countries do.

  311. rellog says:

    @snowmentality: If it was a PLANNED pregnancy, she should have had her ducks in a row before getting pregnant. I don’t know what’s worse… the moronic jerk-off republicans that cry “personal responsibility” for everything…. or the half-wit uber-liberals that make excuse after excuse to explain why so ditwit screwed up, or is lazy, or whatever. How about somewhere in the freakin’ middle where reality lays!

  312. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: so you won’t write a check because she put herself in this situation??? that’s EXACTLY what you’ll be paying for when you get your precious govt-unfunded healthcare. and a lot more – all those other people who drank, ate, or smoked themselves into the hospital.

    so why do you want to cut them checks, and not this lady?

    i think you just don’t have any courage in your convictions, and you’re really just a greedy selfish bastard.

  313. Jim says:

    I skipped reading all the comments because of all the blamers, but here’s my thoughts:

    Our first was born 2 years ago when we had no insurance. Find a center in your town (ours was called simply the Pregnancy Resource Center). They’ll do checkups (not meant to replace doing it with an actual OB/GYN, but might let you have fewer visits to pay for), ultrasounds (again, not replacements of those by an OB/GYN, but supplemental), and generally make sure you and baby don’t have any major problems.

    They also provide a lot of freebies – diapers and wipes, bottles, we even got a bassinet – in exchange for watching some videos and “taking lessons” on how to care for yourself and the baby. That saved us a lot of money!

    When the time comes, be upfront at the hospital about your lack of insurance. We told them we didn’t have any, we’d be paying cash. They knocked 20% off immediately. When they brought us the revised bill, the account clerk mentioned they sometimes do 30%, even 50%! I asked her how one would qualify for 50%, and she asked “Would you like me to recalculate it at 50%?” I said I would like that, she took the additional 30% off and brought it back. We paid $2,800 for labor and delivery and our 4-day hospital stay.

    So if you didn’t catch that, we simply asked and got almost $3,000 to disappear. Tell me THAT doesn’t indicate that “health care in the US doesn’t need to be fixed”.

  314. nedzeppelin says:

    @elrefai: good for you, seriously. that’s the good part about not being required by the govt to pay for your neighbor’s healthcare. if you’re healthy and don’t think you’ll need or want insurance, you don’t have to pay for any

    god bless america.

  315. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: I’m just saying it’s not an all-or-nothing thing. A heckuva lot fewer people can’t afford a $10 copay to see a doctor than cannot afford thousands of dollars a year in health insurance premiums.

    I’m actually being pretty moderate here. I’m not proposing to socialize healthcare providers, or drug companies, and I’m not proposing “free” care with no copays. I’m not even suggesting that the government care should encompass anything more than basic medical needs. You guys (conservatives and libertarians) are the extremists. All of your arguments on the basis of personal responsibility and such are bogus, and are really just an attempt to not have to be responsible for anyone else.

  316. aighmeigh says:

    I was in a similar situation–pregnant and uninsured and with too high an income to qualify for state insurance. Luckily, the state of Nevada had a program to help people who had to pay for everything out of pocket–still expensive, but less than it would have been otherwise. I ended up having complications with my pregnancy and was hospitalized for a total of 15 days, had a C-section, and our daughter was in the NICU for 3 weeks (the family is fine now, thankfully). Grand total of over $150,000 between the two of us. Amazingly, after a few months of getting strung along, the state paid for everything that happened from my hospitalization on since I was then considered unemployed and without income.

    Check with your state, county or United Way to see if they have any alternative programs, or fork out the $$ to stay on your father’s insurance. Better to be safe than bankrupt.

  317. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: what about those people who can’t afford a $10 copay?
    how are you going to determine how much each person should copay? wouldn’t people at the bottom tiers still be free to run to the ER anytime they want and clog up the system?

    i don’t think you’re being moderate at all, since you don’t seem to want to play any part in backing up your stance, just that hypothetically one day in the future you’d be willing to pay more to help other people out, even though here you sit today, unwilling to pay more to help other people out.
    nobody is stopping you from donating to this woman’s cause, or those like her.

    err not that i’ve said anything about personal responsibility up to this point, but what’s so bad about it?

  318. johnva says:

    @rellog: I’m aware that hospitals can refuse people who aren’t in life threatening situations. They still pay plenty to take care of the people who ARE in life threatening situations and can’t pay.

    I actually agree with you on the need for moderation. I’m not in any way being an apologist for this woman. I do think her decision was kind of irresponsible (though she will take the COBRA coverage if she’s smart). I just don’t think our current status quo is anything like a “moderate” solution to the problems with our healthcare system. And all I get is flack from Republicans and extreme libertarians about how people should be solely responsible for themselves. I’m not suggesting throwing personal responsibility out the window, but I AM suggesting that we should have some shared responsibility for other people in our society.

  319. DjSnipSnip says:

    @johnva: Also, NO GOVERNMENT LOBBYISTS..

  320. mikelotus says:

    @barometer: clearly there is at least one other woman that should have gotten one that did not

  321. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: You are really being dense, you know that? I NEVER ONCE said that I thought I should pay for this woman’s pregnancy. Or even that a government healthcare system should pay for it, though let’s assume for the sake of argument that they would. You, not me, jumped immediately to the idea that I think the government should pay for all healthcare with no individual cost responsibility the moment I suggested a socialized system. I’m not even proposing that.

    The whole point, since you don’t seem to understand it, of insurance is that you pay for others who currently need more healthcare than you do IN EXCHANGE for them paying for you when you need it. I’m saying that I would pay for her care in exchange for her paying for part of mine down the road. Not that I would just pay for her care for nothing.

    If you disagree with this principle, then you disagree with the whole idea of insurance. Not just government single-payer insurance.

  322. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Even if some people couldn’t afford a $10 copay (and I think those people are few and far between if it was a serious medical need) then that situation would be infinitely preferable to our current situation, where those people’s costs are essentially unlimited. You could also get creative and meter the copay amounts to income or something, so that the “pain” is equal for all. They do that in some countries with traffic tickets.

  323. That’s f***ing criminal.

    I don’t care what anyone says, for-profit healthcare companies are much more evil than any phone company could ever be.

  324. DjSnipSnip says:

    I dread the day health insurance comes the way of auto insurance. Where people are forced to get insurance or face financial penalties: read about MA new health care law.

  325. johnva says:

    @elrefai: That MA law is going to be a failure because it doesn’t do anything to remove the private insurers from the equation or directly control costs. Unfortunately, it’s pretty similar to Obama and Hillary’s plans (which I don’t really support, since I don’t think they go far enough). Politicians are afraid to directly confront the insurance industry, which is why you get laws like that one.

  326. axiomatic says:

    Just shameful. American insurance is the worst.

  327. NYGal81 says:

    News to this young woman–insurance will ALWAYS cost more if you have a maternity rider on it. She should feel lucky that she can get insurance AT ALL.

    I haven’t heard of a major brand insurer (i.e. Anthem, Humana, etc.) that doesn’t require a full 270 days of maternity coverage prior to the payment for any prenatal/delivery services being covered. 270 days = 9 months. You’re basically pre-paying for the high cost of the bills you’re going to incur, one way or another.

    Calling a confirmed pregnancy a “pre-existing condition” is no different than calling lower back pain or hypertension a pre-existing condition. It is a condition that existed before you applied for coverage by the insurer. People with pre-existing conditions are statistically far more likely to incur higher health care costs, so they universally pay more. Anytime you become a routine user of your benefits, you’re going to pay more. Pregnancy is one of those situations. Like it or not, this is the way insurance operates in this country. Do I like that my rates get jacked when I use my benefits? Nope. But does it make sense why they get jacked? Yep.

    You have a COBRA option–take it and consider yourself lucky. It’s not cheap, but it’s available. Don’t go through this un-insured.

  328. AndyRogers says:

    @Orv: Laugh all you want, my analogy, in my experience is startlingly accurate. I had an HMO once and I was in the Army (HMO) and I’ll tell you this: I don’t care how much it costs, I WILL pay for a PPO Healthplan NO MATTER WHAT. Waiting in line for 3 hours to see a primary care PHYSICIAN’S ASSISTANT (that’s right, not a doctor, a guy in a polo and khaki’s who has the educational equivalent of a high school athletic trainer, give or take) to tell me that, yes, I had indeed sprained my ankle and refer me to an orthopedist. More lines, etc. Sounds alot like the DMV.

    Sure, nationalize healthcare if you want. But give people with firing brain cells the right to opt out. I’d rather not wait 10 months for a malignant tumor removal surgery in Great Britain when I can have it tomorrow here.

  329. pal003 says:

    Another reason why the US need Universal Health care. It has just become too difficult to attain or afford any healthcare if you lose your job or turn 18, or are not a full-time student.

    It’s ridiculous that politicians and lobbyists let corporations put profit before the health of a citizen. I can’t believe we don’t support care for pregnancy. It is so shameful in the US today.

  330. Jessicah says:

    There*s alot of comments here. I just want to chime in by saying that when I had my first child in 2005, they gave me a pamphlet to take home. Do you know that it costs $118,000 to raise a child from 1-18 on minimum necessities alone?

    And this was in 2004/2005, I imagine it*s alot more now. If you can*t afford $400 a month now, what are you going to do the next 18 years?

    When I had my son in 2005, a huge box of pampers was $27.00, I had a daughter in 2007 and the same box of pampers is $44.00. A can of formula that was $17.99 in 2005 is now $24.99.

    I worked until the day before my son was born. I even cut two weeks off of my maternity leave to go back to work. I paid a little over $200 for my work healthcare.

    For 30 days, my child was covered under my insurance. When he was born, he was sick and he couldn*t keep any food down. For the first 2 months of his life, he had to go to the pediatrician*s office every week to check his weight gain.

    After the first 30 days, there was a small period of time when he had no healthcare. This was no more than a week, but, I had to shell out $179 for prescriptions for him because he was on kiddie zantac and albuterol. And the cost for the pediatrician to weigh him, and write it on a chart was $336.

    I didn*t even complain because this is my child. That*s what I*m here for. Of course, it was a little depressing to watch him spit out 2 or 3 doses of of $119 liquid zantac.

    My husband and I are no older than 23. We both work good jobs and have a house. In fact that*s what I came in here to tell you about.

    I work for UPMC. I realize that the chances of you living in Pittsburgh are slim. There probably is something about the same where you live. But we have a financial aid program that you can qualify for if you make less than $75,000 a year, and are not on any government programs. You can apply for this program run through the hospital system, that will cover your hospital bills for a full year after you are approved, and it goes back a year also from the date you are approved in case you ditched any bills. It*s a bit of paper work. But, the hospital social workers will come to your house if you can*t make it to the hospital office.

    If they offer the program or a similar one through a hospital around your house, that will save you the $400 bucks a month you*re worried about. I have no idea what you expect to do for the other $120,000+ you*re going to have to spend.

  331. mikelotus says:

    @AndyRogers: Who waited 10 months for a malignant tumor removal in Britain? Some people go longer than that in the US if they don’t have insurance and therefore don’t go to the doctor. About 27K people die each year in the US due to no health insurance. How does that compare to other places?

  332. nedzeppelin says:

    @mikelotus: did they die due to no health insurance, or did they die from some illness or disease

  333. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: metering the copay amounts requires extra administrative overhead. and those people paying little or nothing still have unlimited reign over burdening us with their costs – including if they wanted to run the ER with the sniffles

  334. nedzeppelin says:

    @johnva: actually that’s EXACTLY what you said. i think you are being the dense one here. maybe you didn’t say YOU should pay for her pregnancy.. but you said WE should. don’t you understand what govt-unfunded healthcare is?? you want to socialize healthcare, but you think that means nobody has to pay for it? i think you’re purposely being obtuse. obviously if you had your way, we would all be paying for this woman’s pregnancy. try to be consistent, at least.

    having said that, WHY won’t you put your money where your mouth is and just help her out on your own?

    you have no place calling people greedy and selfish when you only want to take other people’s money to fund your “compassion”

    insurance is not an exchange system. that’s retarded. insurance is a transfer of risk. if you get sick, the company pays for it. there’s no “i’ll scratch your back now if you scratch mine”. that’s a 3rd grader’s way of explaining insurance. whatever happens to bob or joe and their claims or insurance policies has no effect on me

  335. nedzeppelin says:

    johnva, if you really want to make a deal with this woman to exchange her pregnancy costs in return for your sickness costs in the future – then you are being selfish and greedy, and expecting something in return for helping her.

    that being said, why don’t you contact her? maybe she’ll make you a deal and agree to that.

  336. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Yeah, it’s true that that would take more overhead. You’d have to do an honest analysis to see whether it would be better to do that, just not charge copays, etc. I’m flexible – I think we should got with the best solution. But I don’t think any conservative politician is interested in looking at things like that. They simply serve their insurance industry masters – period.

  337. B* says:

    Another note for the OP, if she is crazy enough to have read this far: I hesitate to bring this up considering how many nasty trolls are on, but if, God forbid, you have a miscarriage/stillbirth, you will want to have COBRA. Trust me, the last thing you want to worry about is how to pay for a D&E.

  338. johnva says:

    @nedzeppelin: Me writing her a check has nothing to do with “putting my money where my mouth is”, idiot. I’m not just volunteering to pay her whole bill. I’m volunteering to pay a tiny fraction of her bill…her costs divided by 300 million.

    My entire point this whole time has been that insurance SHOULD be about transfer of cost, not just risk. Traditional insurance is a farking retarded way to pay for healthcare. THAT IS MY POINT. And insurance DOES transfer costs already, not just risk. It does this because they can’t perfectly predict risk. I’m saying that the cost sharing should be built into the system as an explicit goal instead of it being a side-effect. BTW, group plans are the ones where cost sharing takes place…not individually underwritten ones. That is the reason why I oppose individual plans.

  339. josh42042 says:

    get married, and get on your boyfriend’s insurance. either that or get an abortion, and try to get pregnant again when you have insurance.

  340. velvetjones says:

    @Tmoney02: There should be an easy solution to this, don’t you understand? Would you rather she do this “the hard way” and struggle and sacrifice and suffer? We all benefit when people like Katlyn succeed. It is a sad day when you start turning your back on society’s most vulnerable.

  341. @SkokieGuy: You actually think nationalized health care would result is less paperwork/bureaucracy? with private health care 25% may go to administrators, get the government involved and it will be alot more.

    Nationalized healthcare isn’t a bad idea, I just doubt it can work in America

  342. johnva says:

    @hypochondriac: Then why is the overhead of Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA so much lower than the overhead of private insurance? It can work here, and it DOES work here. We just have to be willing to raise taxes to properly fund it.

    Yes, I do think it would result in less paperwork, if that was an explicit goal of the system. Providers would only have to deal with one payer instead of a multitude of insurers. These overhead cost difference don’t even for the effect of insurers on prices (ie, the cost to the PROVIDERS of dealing with all the administrative and clerical work).

  343. Jetgirly says:

    @dumblonde:

    I just completed my second university degree (it was a second Bachelor’s that you can only get if you already have a first degree). In addition, I spent my last semester volunteering in Mexico while still paying full-time tuition and doing all my classwork online. One of the things I did before I left was get all of my insurance in order, so that I wouldn’t experience a lapse in coverage between the time I graduated and the time I started work, especially since I was in Mexico and my travel health insurance would be invalidated if I didn’t have a valid plan back home. I interviewed for the job I wanted before I left in December, was offered it in January by email, received the contract and returned it by courier in March, and will be returning home to a 51K salary when I start work in August. Getting this stuff together is not that difficult. I know that the months leading up to graduation can be hectic, but I managed to get all my ducks in a row even from Mexico. There’s really no excuse for this girl not thinking ahead and planning things like employment and health insurance in advance.

  344. differcult says:

    @barometer: I wish your mother had an abortion.

  345. differcult says:

    @josh42042: I wish your mother had an abortion.

  346. CK76 says:

    Homeboy needs to step up.

  347. libbybee says:

    Wow, some of the comments on here are incredibly disgusting.

    I really enjoy Consumerist, but if this is the typical response to any sort of posting by a woman, even one who may have made a bad decision, I’m done here.

    None of you are actually answering the question, which was advice on how to work through this, not “judge me and my baby daddy and the choices we’ve made”

    You know, I’m not a Christian, but the whole “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” thing really is appropriate in this case.

    Katlyn, I would suggest paying for COBRA–you really are getting a steal on that rate, and if it’s really pinching you hard, ask your boyfriend to help pay, or see if the baby is at least covered under his insurance. Otherwise, depending on what state you’re in, you may qualify for state family health insurance.

    Pre-natal care, try Planned Parenthood. They’ll at least examine you and give you the vitamin hookup you’ll need.

  348. csdiego says:

    @dualityshift: “Business have the right to deny…” Which is why maybe we shouldn’t leave basic health care up to businesses. There is plenty of economic evidence that doing so doesn’t lead to an efficient outcome, if your goal is the best possible health care for the greatest number. There’s enough argument on this issue here that I don’t think we need to add to it, but I mean what I say here.

    I didn’t miss your point about nature at all. You want to limit the consequences of our removal from nature to the ability not to have sex, therefore children, when conditions are not optimal. Actually, that’s something animals themselves control to some extent in nature, but OK. But our removal from our natural state means more than that: given that our use of agriculture and technology means that we have way, way more than we need for survival, we have the power to prevent unnecessary misery, the kind OP and her baby would go through if she did not have health care. Use it or don’t use it, but you and I and everyone else have that power.

  349. SinisterMatt says:

    @donkeyjote:

    Isn’t that fraud? If the insurance company found out, they could sue you, no? At the very least ,they would drop you so fast your head would swim. And they’d probably make you reimburse them for any coverage that they already paid.

    Cheers!

  350. Ducks69 says:

    Katlyn,
    I work with insurance companies directly everyday. May i ask what stat you live in? It matters on HIPAA guidlines…
    HIPAA does state that Pregnancy adn Genetic Information are never Pre-X!

  351. mstarot says:

    OP should either pay the $400, get married and then go on hubby’s insurance. Or find a full-time job w/health benefits. Don’t see why she can’t marry the baby’s father to get health benefits-heck I know of people that get divorced just to keep their social security.

    If she doesn’t do any of these options, then find low cost ob/gyn clinics where you pay on a sliding scale (at least get that all important ob visits). If still unemployed and no insurance–most hospitals have a program where at least the hospitalization part can be paid thru a financial aid program. If under a cetrain income, the hospitalization would be free–just not the drs, labs, etc.

  352. Osi says:

    State of AK gov workers had Aetna for insurance, we paid about $800 total a month, of which $400 or $300 is paid by employees.

    Aetna (via our contract) does not consider pregnancy a “pre-existing condition” and it is covered. Sounds like the insurance is committing fraud. Taking money and not providing coverage paid for …

    Another clear cut court case (like most articles on this site).

  353. jimconsumer says:

    @mikelotus: About 27K people die each year in the US due to no health insurance. How does that compare to other places?

    Of their own doing. If you’re legitimately too poor to pay for it, you qualify for free health care in every state in the nation. If you don’t qualify, then you can afford your own, but if you’re too stubborn to pay your own way and want to avoid the doctor and buy more shit for yourself, I have little sympathy.

    Everyone I’ve seen whining about not having insurance either has the income to pay it but prefers to spend their money on toys instead, or really is too poor but won’t apply for state benefits.

  354. opfreak says:

    @libbybee:

    “You know, I’m not a Christian, but the whole “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone” thing really is appropriate in this case.”

    so you are applying christian princples only when they help your argument?

    If so then they should have been married before having sex.

    I hate that people pick and chose christian belifes to attack others. Using it as some sort of sheild.

    Yes the christian thing is to help her out. However it would also be to try to get her to see the error of here ways.

    please dont preach what you dont belive.

  355. Kajj says:

    @RandoX: I’d be interested in seeing statistics of victim-blaming for female OPs versus male OPs.

  356. @opfreak: single-payer = the standard system used in every developed country except for this, piss-poor, arse-backward, sorry excuse for a superpower.

    My parents married after my brother and I were born, it mad no difference in our upbringing.

    Katlyn, graduate school is a fine idea. All the best!

  357. Kajj says:

    @opfreak: Please learn to spell before you lecture others about their “belifes.”

  358. opfreak says:

    @Kajj:

    omg spelling police.

    instead of discussing ideas, you attack the person, how big of you.

  359. Ooh! Ooh! Check with your school’s alumni organization to see if they have a group health insurance plan you can get on. Mine does, and joining the alum organization costs me like $49 for lifetime membership. Worth a shot!

    Here’s an example:
    [gradmed.com]

  360. PurplePuppy says:

    Seems there should be two catacories for comments: “helpful” and “everything else.”

    Sometimes the “everything else” is fun to read, argue with, and laugh at, but I for one would actually like to offer up the kind of advice she actually asked for.

    For the record, the pregnant gal said essentially this: “Here’s my situation. Here’s what I’ve decided to do in this situation. What’s some advice on how to save money and live well in my situation with these decisions I’ve made?

    Telling her that she made the wrong decision might be invigoration to your moral senses, but it’s not the question she asked and she’s not likely to read it.

    I think that’s the biggest “suckyness” around here is that we’re always veering off-topic.

  361. HungryGrrl says:

    Should have played dumb about the pregnancy until she got coverage.

  362. stlcitygirl says:

    It’s impossible to blame the healthcare companies for not wanting to cover you. In states where you would automatically be covered (New York and New Jersey come to mind), your premiums would be a little under a $1,000 a month.

    COBRA is the cost of the health care coverage to employer plus up to two percent in administration fees. She’s making out like a bandit.

  363. smartmuffin says:

    @libbybee: If you don’t want to be judged on your choices, you probably shouldn’t reveal them on a public forum with the implication that you’re somehow being victimized.

  364. rdm says:

    I don’t know what the complainant thought. You can’t get cancer and then buy insurance later, why should the insurance company pay thousands and thousands of dollars for almost the literal definition of pre-existing? You can’t just be reckless like this and expect corporations to foot your bills later.

  365. @dumblonde: I agree with you on the meds – I’d be SOL if I didn’t have my meds! There would be nothing better than my twitching and spacing out all over the place because of seizures.

  366. smartmuffin says:

    @rdm: Keep in mind that this is only a temporary inconvenience. Both Clinton and Obama have stated that they wish to force insurance companies to accept the customers who “need it the most,” those with pre-existing conditions.

  367. taggart says:

    Wow, I’m surprised no one has suggested going outside the establishment on this blog.

    Find a midwife. Have a home birth.

    A homebirth will be less than the price of your 400/month COBRA (home births run about $2000-3000 with all prenatal care usually included in that cost)

    You are young, and chances are your body is in the best condition it every will be to give birth. the probability that your pregnancy will be without problems is great. For young and healthy women, pregnancy shouldn’t be a medical condition, it’s a natural condition.

  368. MoreIceCream says:

    That ain’t no Etch A Sketch. This is one doodle that can’t be undid, Homeskillet.

    Love that line.

  369. lizk says:

    Been there, except for me it was a surgery, not a baby. A Certificate of Creditable Coverage should cover this, as long as the dad’s insurance coverage didn’t lapse for 62 days (I’m pretty sure that’s the limit). The Certificate of Creditable Coverage got my surgery covered, so my co-pay was “only” $2500 vs. paying $15K out of pocket. Worth the phone call and fax.

    I’d also recommend checking out a clinic/birthing center run by midwives. A lot of times they’ll do what’s called “global billing,” which hospitals won’t do. With global billing, you go in for all of your prenatal exams and you can give birth at the birthing center, and at the end of the pregnancy you get a bill for ALL of the services. It can be easier to pay out of pocket when you know how much it’s going to be and you have several months to plan. Give that a shot.

  370. AndyRogers says:

    @libbybee: Uhhh – clearly you didn’t read the 340 comments prior to posting. No less than 50 posts, including my own, said, and I’m paraphrasing, “TAKE THE COBRA.”

    Now, I reserve the right to judge and be judged. You can take the feminist, women-is-always-right approach, as you did, or you can ask yourself why this is even an issue. Here are the facts:

    1) She can’t get individual health insurance on her own.
    2) She’s unable or unwilling to retain employment with group insurance. Several have suggested employment as places such as Starbucks. There COULD be a bit of a bias, since before she mentioned being pregnant she mentioned being a recent grad, against taking such menial employment. Beggars can’t be chosers.
    3) She has a (relatively expensive when compared to group rates such as BCBS through an employer) viable option through her father.
    4) She didn’t even address the possibility of marriage with her co-procreator.

    We’re talking about a life for which the two of them are completely responsible. Regardless of religious affiliation they have the MORAL responsibility to make EVERY decision framed by the fact that they have created a life and now must make appropriate decisions. They’ve already chosen poorly. Yes. They have. There are no such things as accidental pregnancies, only NEGLIGENT pregnancies. We are defined by the choices we make, right or wrong.

    I feel for her and I feel for her child. Growing up in a single parent household, statistically, stacks the deck against him/her. I only hope her decision making improves. This one is a no brainer.

  371. pigeonpenelope says:

    @RandoX: i agree with randox too.

    it isn’t fair to ask a company to start spending thousands on your pregnancy when you jumped right in for coverage after the fact. just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean the world needs to jump in and take care of you. i’m sure this sounds harsh but it isn’t everyone’s place to eat costs because you didn’t make a wise decision.

  372. pigeonpenelope says:

    @AndyRogers: i couldn’t have said that better.

    this isn’t a case of the world is against the female. this is a case of negligent behavior and the effects of such.

  373. MelvinaVeto says:

    You might try setting up a small business and joining the local
    chamber of commerce. in NYC, that is a “group plan” and thus you get
    out of the embargo. I have done this successfully myself.

  374. DJFrustration says:

    You should seriously consider a midwife as should most insurance companies. Birth at a hospital can regularly run in the $15-30k range. Birth at a birthing center or at home with a certified nurse midwife is approximately $4k and its a much healthier experience. The OP sounds like a wonderful candidate for a midwife being in excellent health.

    Go see “The Business of Being Born” and you’ll see why more women are going the midwife route!

    Some helpful links:
    Q&A w/ Midwife
    [thebusinessofbeingborn.com]
    Find a Midwife/Doula
    [thebusinessofbeingborn.com]

  375. LUV2CattleCall says:

    This is why more girls should take Tina Fey’s advice: Your mouth can’t get pregnant…

  376. synergy says:

    I was about to refute this woman’s claim because I have BCBS and it clearly states that pregnancy isn’t a pre-existing. However, I scanned to the end and read the reason her situation is different. Yeah, I get BCBS through work which is a group plan.

  377. synergy says:

    Amazing at the number of comments that make it sound like there will be death involved if heaven forbid she doesn’t see a doctor. I’m not saying that there isn’t, but in a majority of the world women do not see a doctor when they’re pregnant. Yes, they die more than in the U.S., but that’s not the majority. Otherwise the world would not be overpopulated. Talk about exaggerating.

  378. target_veteran says:

    If you can’t afford the $400 COBRA, look into home birth. There may be state/federal programs that can help, or you might be able to find a midwife who works cheap/gratis in situations like yours, or will work with you on extended payment. You don’t need a hospital and millions of dollars of medical equipment to do something mammals have done for millions of years.

  379. target_veteran says:

    Oh, and countries like Finland have a much lower infanct mortality rate than the US, largely due to home birth.

  380. FlyingMonkey says:

    My sister and her boyfriend found out that they could legally register as Domestic Partners in their state which allowed my sister to be added to her boyfriend’s insurance without them having to get married first. Maybe that’s a possibility for Katlyn and her boyfriend.

  381. brakemans says:

    It’s just a suggestion, but Planned Parenthood doesn’t only offer abortions, but also discount prenatal care, and since you’re pregnant….

  382. sickofthis says:

    @jscott73: “My wife and I used midwives with our fist child”

    I didn’t know you could get pregnant that way.

    OP: “First and foremost, I am 15 weeks pregnant, unmarried, and I just graduated from college.”

    That should tell you all you need to know about whether the OP has a “good head on her shoulders.” F’in breeders.

  383. dumblonde says:

    @smartmuffin: Obviously not the right forum to enter into this discussion but my medications helped me get through college a graduate instead of kicked out because I didn’t have the strength to even get out of bed in the morning. For your sake, I hope you’re not a Scientologist.

  384. ShariC says:

    I completely support health care reforms and a socialized medicine program. However, since no one I vote for ever gets elected and the majority has spoken, that’s not the way it is.

    I wonder why this young woman didn’t seek out health care coverage before she got pregnant. It sounds like she only asked for it when she needed it because she didn’t want to pay monthly fees when she was healthy and unlikely to use the coverage. Insurance doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to sign up at the 11th hour and benefit from the premiums of others who have been forking over their money every month for years when they didn’t need it.

    The system sucks, that’s true. But, this isn’t a case where you can blame the insurance companies. If everyone did as this woman is attempting to do, there wouldn’t even be the weak system in place that we currently have as you’d have all sorts of people expecting thousands of dollars of care for only several months of payments.

  385. gooshwa says:

    How can anyone in the US still not be in favor of universal health care administered by government, given situations like this?

    In Australia i am covered (as all citizens and people with residency are) by medicare, it’s not a perfect system but here your pregnancy care is free and excellent.

    I also choose to pay for health insurance (as this cuts down wait times and our medicare doesn’t cover dental, and you don’t have to pay part of the medicare fee in your tax) and i pay about $85 a month and thats with top cover that means my first 8 nights in a private hospital are $50 a night! and if i call an ambulance it’s covered by the plan.

    Also the rules on conditions that are excluded are less strict, however there are waiting times before you can claim pregnancy related expanses like private obstets etc, however you are fully covered by the public system with a choice of obstetric led units, midwifery birth centers (with obstetric cover) and even hospital supported home birth in some places.

    So i still can’t fathom the argument that you will be stuck with shit doctors in a system of universal healthcare, if you know and understand the system you actually have quite a few choices for quality health care, and you can still whip out your cheque book if you don’t want to wait or want a particular doctor to care for you in a private hospital. Also most GP visits are free under medicare! (this is however under threat, you still have to fight to keep the universal healthcare once you get it unfortunately).

  386. gooshwa says:

    ALSO: If i were in this situation i would definitely go with a midwife (we are excellent at caring for woman and newborns) midwives have far better outcomes than obstetricians in the care of normal healthy women. If i lived in the US and i were a millionaire i would still go with a midwife, speaking as someone who has done the research (for a living).

  387. ppiddyp says:

    I’m willing to give the OP the benefit of the doubt. Just because she’s unmarried doesn’t mean her relationship is unstable. There’s no reason to automatically assume that this is unplanned. Even if it is, maybe her birth control failed. You’re a fool if you think that doesn’t happen ALL THE TIME. Finally, I think the decision to have an abortion is something you can’t begin to appreciate until you’ve been there. It’s all well and good to say you’d get one, but it’s entirely different when you have to make the decision to kill that little blob of protohuman.

    I’m also guessing most of the asshats making comments about how she should have waited until X, Y and Z either don’t have kids and don’t understand how the world works, or they’re really bitter about how their kids have changed their lives.

    There’s NO GOOD TIME TO DO IT. Right out of college with no job? Just started a job? Oh now THAT’s career suicide. Been in the same job for two years? Now it’s time for graduate school. Ok, now you’re 27, in a new job, and oops, you’re still living in a crappy apartment and getting knocked up now is still career suicide. Pretty soon, you’re over 30 and oh by the way, your chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome or being infertile are going up.

    There’s no time when having kids is a ‘smart’ decision. Period. Daycare for our 1-yo son is a thousand bucks a month. Non-parent friends kind of make this sucking “ooomph” sound when they hear that, and that’s probably below average here in my midwestern city. Frankly, that’s nothing compared to the physical and psychological torture that is parenting. Don’t get me wrong, it worth it many times over, but anyone who thinks insurance is her biggest worry has never had kids. :)

    IMO, as soon as you’re mature enough to know you want a kid and able to care for it, the time is as good as any, because it doesn’t get easier as you get older. People have a way of rising to the occasion, anyway.

    That said, the OP should probably have gotten the insurance thing squared away sooner. She NEEDS to get it or she’ll wind up broker than broke. The father needs to pay for half of it. The insurance companies aren’t in the wrong (they’re businesses and this is a losing proposition for them). And although she has a ‘cheap’ ($400*7mo=$2800) option, the fact that a pregnant woman can get into a situation where no one will cover her medical bills in a sign that health care is broken. The societal costs of uninsured mothers are vastly higher than the cost of providing free care.

    We pay more per person and live shorter lives than most of the western world. That’s the only fact that matters in the private-vs-public insurance debate, IMO.

  388. MissGayle says:

    “But it’s not like it wasn’t preventable with proper planning and self control.”

    There is no such thing as 100% effective birth control.

    For 100,000 years of human history and evolution, women’s childbearing age has been in their teens and twenties, and by the time you get to thirties, you’re eggs are becoming defective and by the time you’re over 35, you still have another 35 years to have a career but you’ve pretty much blown your natural childbearing years. For thousands of years of recorded human history, it has been the norm for teens to get married, have children, and become productive members of society. Feminazis think they can wave their magic college diplomas and make history and biology go away, but in real life it doesn’t work all that well. And telling girls to wait until after they have a college degree and are settled into a career (ie, AFTER their natural child-bearing years are OVER) to get married and have sex is just a stupid plan from the get-go. It’s the feminist pro-materialism pro-commercialism anti-family paradigm that treats younger women as if it’s some strange thing for them to get pregnant, and the completely greedy and irresponsible insurance industry that denies people their basic human right to health care that is the problem, not her pregnancy. She is the one behaving normally here, and her rights are being trampled on by greed-mongers who are only interested in taking advantage of her for a profit and don’t give a rats rear end about her health or her baby’s health.

  389. MissGayle says:

    It does not cost “$118,000″ to raise a child to age 18 – that’s a load of bologna. That more than my husband makes in two years of full time employment, and we have four natural born children and one legal ward – and the mortgage takes 1/3 of his take-home pay. We live comfortably on the rest. That’s just another scare-tactic they’re using to try and social-engineer the “lower classes.”

  390. Elvisisdead says:

    @juniper: Well, and I don’t mean to be a dick here, but that’s called insurance fraud. Insurance companies don’t have the resources to investigate if you knew before hand. If they did, they’d turn your friend over for fraud. Now, I’m more compassionate than to say she should go to jail, but she shouldn’t get coverage if she knew about it and lied. It’s just screwing the rest of us. Same with auto insurance fraud.

  391. Elvisisdead says:

    @AndyRogers: I’m so calling my wife “Teh co-procreator” from this point forward. Especially when we hang out with my daughter’s two godfathers.

  392. ShadowFalls says:

    You may want to look into your state medicaid, many states will provide healthcare to pregnant single mothers for the term of their pregnancy and a little while later as others have mentioned.

  393. Amy Alkon000 says:

    there is a possibility OP could qualify for state assistance for pregnancy

    So, the rest of us should pick up the cost of her irresponsibility? Nice!

  394. Amy Alkon000 says:

    She is the one behaving normally here, and her rights are being trampled on by greed-mongers who are only interested in taking advantage of her for a profit and don’t give a rats rear end about her health or her baby’s health.

    I pay for my health care, and I waited until I was 35 to get a dog so I could be sure I could pay for any possible medical catastrophe it would have. It’s a now-rare thing called “personal responsibility.”

    Oh, but now that I’m reading your comment above, I’m wondering, what about my “right” to have you pay for my health care for free? Don’t you give a rat’s “rear end” about my health?

    What age bodies typically got pregnant is not the question here. Since she isn’t going to be squatting under a tree to have the thing, she should have taken some responsibility here. But, no, here we have a college girl who has little ability with logic or economics. Fantastic. What are they teaching them in college these days? How to throw back Jell-O shooters?

  395. rjflyn says:

    One thing is the OP legally pregnant as far as the insurance companies go. This is something that comes in to place as well. Has she been to a physician or other practitioner and been officially declared pregnant or is she just by her own admission.

    My step daughter had an issue with a miscarriage last fall where it occur just as she got a job, got insurance. She was about 9 weeks along but since she had not seen a doctor- when here most will not see you until you are 3 month in any way you are not legally pregnant and hence it was not a pre-existing condition.

  396. SinisterMatt says:

    I don’t mean to be a stick in the mud, but in order to qualify for medical insurance at a place like Starbucks, don’t you have to work there for a period of time, something like 90-120 days before you qualify for insurance?

    Here is another option, that seems to be a solution to what the OP is looking for. I have no idea what it is or how it works, but I recall looking at it at one point for my wife, and it seems to be legit and could help our friend Kaitlyn. It’s called the Maternity Card (I have no relation to the people that do this, I just remembered looking at it).

    [www.maternitycard.com]

    Cheers!

  397. I switched jobs while the DW was pregnant. We had to carry the COBRA (which was more expensive than mentioned in the OP) until the new insurance kicked in.

    I’m in agreement that if she had health insurance while at school (either on her parents or through the college) and if her boyfriend’s employer will extend benefits to her as his domestic partner, that’s the way to go, even if they (including papa here) have to pay for COBRA to bridge the gap.

    As an aside, COBRA isn’t as easy as you’d think. There’s a series of forms, notifications from previous employers and payments that have to be done just right before your coverage starts. While the coverage is retroactive to when your previous coverage expired, you can find yourself having to pay for everything in the mean time and filing claims later when your coverage is active.

  398. mariospants says:

    I suppose there are problems with the Canadian system, chiefly brain drain to the states, but we haven’t had to pay a dime to have our kids delivered, get myself an mri on my knee, take the kids to the doctors, etc. etc. My work also gave me an option for additional coverage at $10 per month that paid for the upgrade to a private birthing room, too.

  399. aighmeigh says:

    @SinisterMatt: She just needs to make sure that there are providers in her area that actually take that discount plan before she invests her $$ in it. Their BBB report is a bit dodgy.

  400. TheNerd says:

    Find a non-profit hospital, and settle on a payment plan BEFORE you go into labor. Also, don’t let them give you any extras: bring in your own kleenex, ibuprofen, diapers, baby wipes, etc. If you can think of it, bring it in. They can and will charge you WAY TOO MUCH for each and everything you use during your hospital stay. Make sure they aren’t sneeking anything onto your bill without your approval – read it before you commit, so you can contest any unapproved charges.

    Not all bills are unmanagable. With my local hospital, as long as you stay in communication with them about how much you are able to pay, and then give them a little something each month, they are very understanding. I’ve even had a friend have one of her two foot surgery bills completely forgiven by them, because of her low income!

    Yes, the health care system in our country is SICK. But with a little planning, you may be able to pull through.

  401. TheNerd says:

    Amy Alkon: when you lose everything you have to bills from a condition your insurance company won’t cover (even though they should), don’t come crying to the state to help you. People like you deserve the current health care situation.

  402. eblack says:

    You probably shouldn’t have gotten pregnant if you didn’t have a plan to pay for it and the medical bills it generates.

    Just FYI.

    If you can’t afford it, abort it.

  403. JadoJodo says:

    Marry the father of your child.

  404. strathmeyer says:

    “Who says health care in the US doesn’t need to be fixed?”

    I agree, we need some major government programs to eliminate this sense of entitlement.

  405. missyssilly says:

    Even having health insurance does not mean that you will have coverage! Take me for example; when I found out I was pregnant my husband and I were thrilled. We have had BCBS insurance for years and we reread our benefits and found that the whole thing was covered. I ended up having a high risk pregnancy but that was also covered according to our benefits. So, our son is born we are happy and a couple weeks later we receive a $8,000 bill! Of course we freak and call up the hospital and ask what it is all about. They tell us our insurance denied the ultrasounds and non-stress tests that were done before my son was born because my pregnancy was not high risk. We contacted our doctor who sent the insurance a letter telling them that it was high risk and had the hospital resubmit the charges. To make a long story short 15 months, 23 resubmits, 4 letters, one collection agency, and over 1000 minutes on the phone BCBS FINALLY paid the bill they should have paid in the first place!

  406. wesrubix says:

    I have to applaud consumerist here for posting this story: Katlyn is a good friend of mine, and I’m frustrated and saddened to hear she has to deal with the failing of health insurance in this country.

    There is a potential alternative I’ll be sure to share with her, which is filing for a domestic partnership with her boyfriend. I know my employer supports domestic partnership insurance; the township/municipal government of her boyfriend’s residence will need to support that form of living arrangement. Once they file the paperwork at the local government of his residence, he has the opportunity to get her qualified for insurance.

    As for pregnancy being a detractor from one’s potential of being hired, it could be considered discrimination, but it will depend heavily on the context of the workplace (e.g. a workplace of mission critical and sensitive material may not support hiring a person who is pregnant given the expected interruption in 9 months).

    I’ll encourage her to write in a follow up. I really want people to continue to be aware of the failing health insurance industry in the US. We have a right to our care; care that should be provided without concern for profit or bottom line.

    The primary goal of health care should consist only of the well being of its people. Anything otherwise is an omen of slow, steady disaster.

  407. wesrubix says:

    I thought of another option:

    Katlyn could enroll in a graduate school to maintain her full-time student status through the summer. While it will postpone her path into the working world, she will be eligible to remain insured under her parents’ insurer.

  408. wesrubix says:

    I actually have good news! I commented on this story thinking she submitted it yesterday. Old news for a slow dog.

    Anyway, Katlyn worked at the college of her undergraduate study, and her manager wanted to hire her as a full timer.

    While, she lucked out, there still exists a problem of people falling through the cracks of the US Health Insurance Industry.

    I’m glad though, that my friend’s in a better position now.

  409. gnappulicious says:

    wow. a few things:

    1. many of you are blaming the woman for being pregnant as if she got pregnant by divine intervention. there’s a man involved in this, and i don’t see anyone hating on him. women don’t “get themselves” into pregnancy alone.

    2. assuming the pregnancy was unplanned or planned is not the issue. the issue is that our society will allow its some of its most vulnerable people (those carrying the future of this country) to be uninsured to begin with. you all act like you are where you are in life because of the so-called bootstraps theory (as in, you did everything because you worked hard and deserved what you got). you didn’t become who you are independent of a society, and likewise it is all of our responsibility to look out after each other.

    3. unrelated to this issue but to those who were mentioning being responsible about pregnancy: you’d be surprised how awful sex education is in this country. my high school’s version of sex ed was showing us slides of genitals infected with stds and playing meatloaf’s “paradise by the dashboard light”. i’m not kidding. birth control wasn’t mentioned, and no doubt kids since then (i’m 27) have heard more of the same, what with bush’s abstinence only education funding for sex ed. have any of you heard the recent statistic that 1 in 4 teenage girls has an std? that’s effed up. don’t tell me that a 13 year old knows how to make an informed decision when she’s being fed crap.

    4. one more unrelated point: for those advocating abortion, more than 90% of counties in the u.s. don’t have an abortion provider. some states only have abortion providers one day a week that are flown in from other states. do a little homework about the state of reproductive rights and maybe you’ll be more sympathetic. imagine if this were your sister or daughter that people were talking to as if she were an irresponsible whore.

  410. Anonymous says:

    What I find disgusting is that if you work, you pay thousands of dollars for “poor” people to have health insurance which covers childbirth for free, yet you have to pay an extra $400/mo on top of the taxes to get any coverage. Shame on the government for not stepping up and fixing this problem!

  411. webweazel says:

    I have some advice which may be helpful. First and foremost(!!!) is the health of you, your baby, and how your pregnancy progresses. I was in the same situation a few years ago when living in Georgia. Someone suggested talking to the local welfare office to see if they had anything to help. Ugh. Welfare office. But I went. They had a “healthy baby” plan for those without insurance in the state. They realized that healthy kids start with good preventative care before they are even born. Checkups, tests, hospital birth, everything was covered. (Temporary food stamps were also available so the mother could eat healthy.) I took them up on it, and signed on with a birthing center. Everything was covered until a few months after the baby was born. Then, I could sign up for regular welfare, (which I did not do) or have other private coverage take over and cover the baby, too. Swallow your pride and give the welfare office a shot. Try other “public health” agencies in your state. It doesn’t hurt to do some digging and ask!

  412. floofy says:

    I feel for the girl. I really do. I am 9 weeks pregnant, work in a straight commission sales job that has been really tough in this economy and losing my health insurance. I worry every day about getting fired. I have to take shots of a blood thinner lovenox 2x a day during this pregnancy that run about $3000 a month without insurance. I am all for universal health care. Either that, or we need a serious fix to our system that includes AFFORDABLE trips to the Dr. or procedures that don’t bankrupt one of the 7 people in this country who have insurance. Why should it be a privilege to have insurance and not a right? Obviously we Americans have shown that we can’t handle this ourselves. It’s time to let the govt step in.

  413. floofy says:

    Sorry, typos above. I fear losing my health insurance due to low sales in this economy. Also it’s one in 7 people who do NOT have health insurance. Maybe that was a freudian slip about one in 7 people having insurance. Seems about right…

  414. Fairest says:

    I really can’t believe some of the comment that were made regarding this issue. For all of you that act like you are so perfect and would never be unmarried and pregnant, please get a life. It could very well happen to you. To those abortion suggestors: What if your mother decided to have an abortion when she was pregnant with you, married or not, because it would have been to expensive? You would not be here to open your big mouths. I am in the same situation as the original writer of the blog, and I work full time, everyday, and I don’t qualify for any assistance and don’t have insurance. But you look around and see all these women with no job, sit at home everyday watching soaps, no responsibilities at all, and they can get public and state assistance. You have got to be kidding me. And by the way, yeah, there would have been plenty of ways to prevent my pregnancy, but now that my baby is conceived, I don’t wish that I had used protection, and I sure as hell don’t wish he would go away.