Fired Teacher Delivered Early to Beat Insurance Cut Off

Jeanne Sager

delivery roomA pregnant teacher lost her job, and her insurance was about to go with it.

So she did what any woman terrified she'd be stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills just as she pushed the most expensive thing she'd ever create into the world would do.

She moved up her delivery.

If this isn't a case for national health care, can you please tell me what the temperature is above Whoville this week you grinch?

Rhonda Hartwell was fired, according to the American Federation of Teachers, because she helped organize a union at the charter school where she taught.

She was eight months pregnant at the time, and the loss of the job meant loss of her health insurance too. So she moved up an already scheduled delivery to beat the cut-off date.

Hartwell hasn't returned The Stir's requests for more information on the situation, but we can't help being horrified.

It sounds like Hartwell was desperate. For patients not covered by health insurance, Costhelper estimates the typical cost of a vaginal delivery without complications ranges from about $9,000 to $17,000 or more, depending on geographic location and whether there is a discount for uninsured patients. The typical cost for a c-section without complications or a vaginal delivery with complications ranges from about $14,000 to $25,000 or more.

But the risks of delivering early just to save money are immeasurable.

Babies electively delivered before 40 weeks have proven to have an increased risk of respiratory problems, even if the pregnancy itself was low risk.

Infants born within just three days of the 39-week mark have a higher morbidity, and there is a two- to four-fold increase in the risks of everything from sepsis to lengthy hospitalization.

Has health insurance been the guiding factor in your health care decisions?


Image via canteloupe99/Flickr

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