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Affordable Health Insurance For Pregnant Women Question & Answers

2014 May 7
by Sarah Fields

Joseph asks…

Health Insurance in Georgia that cover pregnant women?

Are there any health insurance in the state of GA that cover women that are pregnant?
The reason why I ask this is because my daughter and I have been over seas for the past few years and we had health insurance and dental insurance but I never once heard of this until now…

Sarah Fields answers:

Virtually all group plans will cover maternity; almost no individual plans will, and those that do tend to be extremely expensive. In light of another poster’s answer, insurers vary in whether they treat pregnancy as a preexisting condition. Your real hurdle is finding an affordable individual plan that even offers maternity benefits.

Nancy asks…

Could someone explain Sandra Fluke deal to me ?

I do not understand what she is asking. Is she asking that women get free birth control ?? is it for her or all women ?? is she married or in a relationship ?? Isnt abstinence the best birth control ??

what exactly is she asking for here ?? I do not understand everything.

Sarah Fields answers:

Absolutely.

Congress passed and Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act, which overhauls our healthcare system. One facet of the new changes set to come up is that the legislation will mandate that employers will have to include contraception as preventative care without co-pays in their insurance plans. Churches that have a moral opposition to birth control are exempt, but religious non-church institutions (like hospitals and universities) will have to abide by this mandate. That was the cause of outrage from some who felt that the Obama administration was trampling on religious liberty by forcing religious institutions to do something to which they felt morally opposed.

Obama then issued a compromise- religious institutions would not have to provide contraception, and instead, insurance companies would have to offer it directly to employees, thus circumventing the moral quandary of having to tacitly condone contraceptive use. The move was praised by some (including the Catholic Health Association), and was seen as not enough for others. Congressman Issa held a hearing on the contraception mandate that included only men, and refused ranking committee member Elijah Cummings’ request to allow Georgetown student Sandra Fluke to give a testimony at the hearing, saying “As the hearing is not about reproductive rights and contraception but instead about the Administration’s actions as they relate to freedom of religion and conscience, he believes that Ms. Fluke is not an appropriate witness.”

Angered by this, the Democrats held their own hearing to allow Sandra Fluke to give her testimony; she spoke about a friend who lost an ovary due to an inability to afford the hormonal birth control that was prescribed as treatment for her ovarian cysts. Basically, she was giving a testimony in support of the contraceptive insurance mandate, illustrating a case in which it would have helped preserve her friend’s health (as well as making various citations of women’s need for affordable contraceptive care and how it can sometimes be prohibitively expensive)- so in effect, she was asking that all women who have insurance should be able to have their contraception covered by said insurance plans. No, that’s not free birth control- you pay your insurance premiums and in exchange get coverage for your healthcare.

“Isnt abstinence the best birth control?”

Obviously, as described above, the current debate is not just about birth control for contraceptive purposes; prescription birth control is also prescribed as treatment or management of several medical conditions, like endometriosis, polcystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), etc. (you can read more about that here: http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/Beyond-Birth-Control.pdf ). Abstinence can’t fix PCOS; only hormonal birth control can help with that.

But even if we’re talking about contraception, no, abstinence is not the best birth control. Sex educators measure birth control methods in two ways- perfect use, and typical use. Perfect use is how often a birth control method prevents pregnancy when it is used perfectly every single time; typical use is the rate of effectiveness when we factor in user error (putting on a condom wrong, missing a pill, etc.). So while condoms are 98% effective in perfect use and only 2 out of every 100 couples will get pregnant while using a condom over the course of a year, when most people use them in reality, it’s more like 85% effective- and 15 couples out of every 100 get pregnant after a year of use.

Abstinence also has a perfect and typical rate of effectiveness. In perfect use, it cannot be beat- it’s at 100%. But when it comes to typical use . . . Well, let’s just say the numbers are pretty bad. Clara S. Haignere, Ph.D, an associate professor of public health at Temple University, in Philadelphia, has published research on teens and abstinence failure in the journal Health Education & Behavior; by studying research on teens who abstained for a period of time, Haignere found that abstinence has a user-failure rate between 26 and 86 percent.

86% . . . That’s absolutely dismal. Even the worst birth control method, spermicide used all by itself, has a typical use failure rate of only 29%. If we’re ranking abstinence in terms of results only- i.e. How many people end up pregnant when they relied on a given method- abstinence is DEAD LAST.

Hope that helps!

Thomas asks…

i just found out that I am 9 weeks pregnant, which insurance company would insure me if I just found out?

So I just found out I’m 9 weeks pregnant, and I’ve been uninsured for the last 5 years, which health insurance will insure me if I JUST found out I’m pregnant?

Sarah Fields answers:

None.
If you’re not making too much money, you can get medicaid for pregnant women – much easier to qualify than regular medicaid. They even cover your recent med bills.
Congrats.

There’s no need for improvement to the system – if you rich and just decided to waste your money on things other than healthcare, shame on you. If you’re broke, medicaid has always been there for you. If you’re pregnant, medicaid is extremely accesible and covers your baby for the whole first year. Getting affordable and free insurance for your child even after the first year is a breeze in any state – the system is in place. It’s just not mandatory and therefore unconstitutional.

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