When you're pregnant, you go to the doctor (or midwife) ... a lot. By the last month or so, when you're doing weekly and sometimes twice-weekly OB appointments, it becomes what you plan your week around.
All this health care comes at a price, though, and it's a price many of us are sheltered from. Both times, my insurance didn't even charge a co-pay for prenatal appointments and covered the entire hospital bill. I knew I was lucky to have such great health insurance; it made my pregnancies much more worry-free. But not everyone shares that good fortune.
Blogger Casey Mullins, of Moosh in Indy, is one such person: She's currently facing her second pregnancy without any health insurance. She recently shared her story with Pundit Mom and The Stir writer, Joanne Bamberger.
After years of infertility, Casey and her husband found out she was pregnant again this past August. Here's the catch: Her husband's job doesn't offer benefits, and since he's an attorney, he makes too much money to qualify them for any currently available public health care programs. Yes, that's right -- not all lawyers are rich! And once they pay their enormous student loan payments, there's not a lot left to live on, and certainly not enough to pay for health insurance. Health insurance which, I might add, no one will sell her now that she's pregnant.
She found a midwife, who will see her for a flat fee of $3,000, and a hospital, which will accept another $3,000 for delivery up front. Which would be great, if there were no complications. Unfortunately, Casey suffers from hyperemesis gravidarum, also known as the mother of all pregnancy nausea; think morning sickness, but really really bad and all day long.
She's able to get care from a clinic, but that means a hefty cash payment, and she has had to often forgo the IV hydration that helps her survive the severe nausea.
Joanne makes a great argument for health care, and I'll say this: this is a couple that did everything right. They went to school, got married, and have made sacrifices so she can stay at home with their child. They live simply and stick to a budget. I don't understand how it's somehow the end of American democracy to make sure people like this can catch a freakin' break.
Do you think pregnant women should be denied health insurance?
Image via Hafdis /Flickr