I Will Not Obsess Over Exactly How My Health Insurance is Going to Screw MePosted: 02/09/2013
Neither my husband or I get health insurance through our jobs. This means we’re on what’s called individual health insurance, otherwise known as How We Lost Our Savings.
When we decided to start trying, we were living in LA with no health insurance. I hate paying for things that I’m not going to use, and we were both relatively healthy. (I know, I know, that’s when the bad stuff happens. We were lucky, but don’t try this at home.) Being the Millenial that I am, I took to the internet to find out the best way to go for maternity coverage.
What I found were many, many unhelpful, whiny posts. This will probably be another one of those. If you want a great solution to the problem, this is not the blog you’re looking for. But if you want to commiserate, read on.
California was great. Well, I think they were. We never actually used it for anything. We were on Kaiser Permanente. There was no waiting period for maternity coverage and everything was (supposedly) covered. The premium was something like $350 for both me and my husband. Everything was rosy.
And then, we decided to move to Nashville. That’s where it got tricky. We had to make the decision fast, because we quickly realized that we couldn’t move when we were pregnant. Not because I would be uncomfortable or annoying to deal with, but because pregnancy (this was the shocker for the ignorant late-20-something me) is considered a pre-existing condition. It’s like cancer, but, you know, it ends in 9 months.
So, if I was going to switch plans (which you have to do when you change states and you’re an ‘individual’), I couldn’t be pregnant. That meant we had to wait until we moved.
The ONLY individual plan in Tennessee that offers maternity coverage was Blue Cross Blue Shield. And there is a ten month waiting period. More waiting.
We twiddled our thumbs and saved money. There was nothing else we could do. We’re just rich enough not to qualify for the state/federal coverage (which you should look into, if you qualify) and we’re really happy with our jobs (so no looking around for a job with health insurance).
We’re paying around $500 a month now for pretty crappy coverage. (No coverage for wisdom teeth removal? What?) We also have a $2500 annual deductible, which is why I’m thankful to Zig for coming so early in the year. We have maternity coverage, but I’m terrified that I’m not going to see the tiny print that says: [no midwives] or [you’re on your own for the epidural] or [we won’t pay for them to cut the cord].
It would have made more sense for us to wait until 2014, when pregnancy will no longer be considered a pre-existing condition. It’s like herpes, and almost as gross. There will be more choices, because all plans have to cover maternity, and a more competitive market (thanks, Obama). But we want to get started. Hubs will be 40 when Zig is born and he wants to be able to pick up our child without throwing his back out.
But it’s a good thing to waste my savings on, right? It’s not like we’ll need any money AFTER the kid is born.
WARNING: POLITICS AHEAD
Just have to take a moment for a quick throw-up-in-my-mouth rant about how hypocritical it is that all some people want is for me to have a baby, but no one wants to pay for it. Tennessee is currently trying to get a bill into law that forces women who choose to have an abortion to listen to a description of the ultrasound and take an image of it home with her, even if she declines it. This violates the STATE’s constitutional privacy clause (though, to be fair, it also says “unless you’re a woman of child-bearing age or a gay student“). What a great state I live in.
Back to the point – if someone like me, but in a less bright and sunny situation got pregnant, if someone without health insurance, with just enough money to not qualify for state aid made a mistake or had the condom not work or whatever, if she was forced to go broke having a kid because abortion was illegal (which is what all of this rights-chipping, clinic-closing, Planned Parenthood-demonizing is aiming toward), she could end up homeless, on the street, on (another bad word for many of those opposed to abortion) WELFARE.
I just think it’s ridiculous that people fought so hard against ‘Obamacare’ when a part of it actually makes having a child easier. If Team Anti-Abortion is really serious about wanting fewer abortions, health care coverage is one place to start.
[Another is access to contraceptives and sexual education in schools. It’s ridiculous to disconnect the end result from the instigator. That would be like making it illegal to be fat instead of trying to get people to eat healthier. Abstinence-only education is clearly not the answer. Everyone wants fewer abortions, I just don’t think making it illegal is the way to do it.]
So, that’s my story. I’m basically just keeping my fingers crossed that my health insurance doesn’t try to screw me on my maternity coverage. Which they probably will. And that’s okay. It’s not like I’m trying to buy a house or feed and clothe a child…