Archive for November, 2011

Health Insurers Push to Continue Polio Vaccine

Monday, November 21st, 2011

World Polio Day is a reminder that while the Salk vaccine helped diminish the crippling of children in 1955, there are still places in the world where polio cripples and kills children.  According to the Skokie Review’s “Rotary Club of Skokie Valley fights polio,” Skokie Valley’s Rotary Club has made a large contribution to help rid of polio worldwide.  They are working to get more routine vaccination of children as well as helping support the medical staff, volunteers, and others working with children stricken with polio.  While polio is still a problem in parts of the world, it has been gone from America for years.  There is a slight worry by some that it could return.

Polio vaccinations are given in four doses between 2 months of age and 6 years.  A fear of autism has brought many parents to delay and even skip some of their children’s vaccinations altogether.  Health insurance companies like Aultcare are opposed to most parents deciding not to vaccinate their children.  They fear that stopping vaccinations, like that for polio, will bring about outbreaks of many diseases that we haven’t seen in America in decades.  The debate between those who are for vaccinations and those who are against it is very complicated and far-reaching, but insurance companies tend to lean towards the pro-vaccination side.  Vaccinating children against diseases saves money because the diseases stay gone.

No More Elective C-Sections

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

Elective c-sections and inductions have become increasingly popular over the last few decades.  Women who were uncomfortable, wanted their baby born on a certain day for a tax break or a special number, or hoped to be home from the hospital by a holiday or special event were scheduling to have their babies earlier than full term.  There are definitely medically necessary early c-sections and inductions performed, and that will not change.  But those women hoping to have their babies early for the convenience factor are going to find it harder to get an elective c-section or induction.  This is according to Lylah Alphonse’s Parenting article posted on Yahoo! Shine, “More Hospitals Banning Elective C Sections.”

Massachusetts’ top hospitals have banned elective c-sections and inductions before 39 weeks gestation.  Hospitals in New York, California, Oregon, Texas, Arizona, and Illinois have also started banning these elective procedures.  Compare health insurance companies’ reactions and this is good news for them.  Statistics show that 39 to 40 weeks of gestation yields the healthiest babies with the lowest rate of complications.  The brain, lungs, and gastric system of babies are all developing rapidly in the last few weeks of pregnancy.  Since babies born before 39 weeks have greater chances of complications, it just doesn’t make sense to perform elective c-sections or inductions earlier than 39 weeks for a trivial reason.  Obviously there are circumstances where the mother or baby’s health is in danger and those babies need to be delivered prior to 39 weeks, but that is not considered an elective procedure.

Health Insurance Rates for 20 Duggar Kids

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

With most health insurance companies like CareFirst, you either pay for an individual or family plan.  As the Duggar family of Arkansas announced today that they will be having their 20th child in the spring, I was wondering if their health insurance plan would cost the same as mine.  Their last baby was born very prematurely and spent a great deal of time in the hospital before being released to go home.  But she still requires more medical care than a healthy child at nearly two years old.  It’s possible that their 20th child will also have health complications with a mother who is at the high end of the age range for pregnant women at 45.  But they say that Michelle Duggar is healthy and has a good chance of a healthy pregnancy.  If not, their medical costs could be steep just like with the last pregnancy and birth.

The Duggars likely have individual health insurance rather than employer-sponsored health insurance because they are self-employed.  Health insurance rates vary on many factors, but they would likely pay the same as another family with individual health insurance that only has two children.  Since every plan is different and every insurer has different rules, it is possible they pay more because of their nearly 20 kids.  When looking for individual health insurance rates, it’s really important to see what kind of treatments and products are covered by your insurance.  For instance, some companies don’t cover circumcisions because they consider them to be cosmetic procedures.  Look into all of the details before purchasing a health insurance plan from a company like CareFirst.

Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage from Aultcare Health Insurance

Sunday, November 6th, 2011

Certain groups are fighting President Obama’s standards mandating health insurance companies to cover contraceptives without charging a deductible or a co-payment.  In a New York Times editorial, “A New Battle Over Contraception,” the writer is against those who are fighting to eliminate or weaken the mandate.  Some members of the Catholic Church and some Republicans are fighting the fact that companies like Aultcare health insurance will be forced to cover contraceptives.

All churches and other religious places are already released from this mandate, so the author questions why groups like the Catholic Church are fighting this mandate for others.  Leaders of the church want to add employees of Catholic hospitals, charities, and schools from elementary through college to the list of exemptions.  There are people who disagree with contraceptive use that want to extend exemptions to any employer who says that contraceptives are against their beliefs.  The problem with this is that all of the employees working for Catholic hospitals, charities, schools, and companies with an employer against contraceptives don’t necessarily hold the same beliefs.

The group Catholics for Choice says that nearly all Catholic women who are sexually active have used some form of contraception that is banned by the church.  President Obama based this mandate partly on the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine’s recommendation.  They found that mandating all health insurance companies, like Tonik health insurance for young, healthy individuals, to cover contraceptives could help to lower the rate of unwanted/unplanned pregnancy and abortions.  This battle will rage on as both sides fight for what they believe.