Babies As Luxuries
After a doctor confirmed I was pregnant and projected my due date, I began prepping. The 15-minute visit alone cost $70 dollars; I needed health insurance.
We looked into purchasing private insurance. Andrew could get insurance for himself as a small business owner and I could be included in his plan as his wife, but the pregnancy wouldn’t be covered. I found this stunning, but it is common: insurers can and very often do deny coverage to uninsured moms-to-be by defining pregnancy as a preexisting medical condition. This meant that my husband and I both would have to purchase our own separate insurance, which, we learned, would cost up to $275 dollars a month each and did not include copays at the obstetrician’s office or significant deductibles ($2,000, or more). To some people, $550 every month isn’t much to stress about, but we could not afford these plans. After rent, utilities and groceries, we had almost nothing left. Covering the premiums wasn’t just difficult, it was impossible.
In Guernica, Mira Ptacin tells her story about being pregnant and uninsured—not earning enough money to afford private health insurance, but earning too much to qualify for state-funded care (Medicaid).