Thursday, September 18, 2008

Nice surprise

I complained bitterly in an earlier post about my health insurer for not covering the cost of my oh-so-frugal home birth, the price tag of which was 1/7th the amount of my previous birth in a hospital. I ranted about the system being messed up, short-sighted and overrun by bean counters who don't even know what a midwife is.

But today, I received a check in the mail. Reimbursement. Granted, it only took 10 months...

Still, I consider this progress. Ultimately, even if we weren't reimbursed, the home birth was worth every penny out of pocket. As I said to the midwife recently, if she had asked for a Mercedes the night our son was born, we would have figured out a way to give her one. Thanks, Blue Cross.

6 comments:

Tiffany said...

how did you get blue cross to pay? are you in a state where it is 'legal' to have a CPM homebirth? if not, what information did you give them to get them to change their minds???
i am very curious!
i have UHC and was reimbursed 100%, however, i have many friends who are with blue cross and cannot get a penny.

Jenny said...

Blue Cross, as in Blue Cross Blue Shield? That's amazing news. We have their SC state plan and have been back and forth over this same issue. Not pregnant yet, but it'd be nice for them to pony up the dough when we are. If not, we'll be OOPing it.

Tina Cassidy said...

Well, I am not sure how it happened. We called them and they said they don't cover home birth. Actually, I think they thought it was a crank call. But my midwife uses a special midwifery billing service and they submitted it on our behalf. It took ten months, but it came through. I can't explain it.

Mama V said...

We have BCBS as well. We were told by a very honest employee (low on the totem pole) that there's a series of appeals to go through, but it can be done. Her job was to reject our request right away, no matter what.

So we wrote letters. Lots of letters. And kept asking for higher ups. We finally had someone on the phone but still had to write letters and go through hoops.

For the first birth, it took 6 months to pay. After that, we had set a precedent, so the second birth was paid for much more quickly. BUT, they messed up on the total amount and we had to wait a while to get the correct check in the mail (another strategy that insurance companies don't admit to but practice regularly).

Our midwife says that they play these games constantly. She just continues to resubmit claims over and over again until they get tired - or maybe confused - and end up paying close to the full amount in the end!

Sigh.

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