Rally, Petition in support of insurance coverage for birth

So, today we’ve been really busy working on plans for an upcoming support rally we’re holding with our sister organization on March 18th (details below).  We’re working with a woman who was denied health insurance coverage for an out-of-hospital birth (in her case, homebirth) by the SEIU.  Home birth and birth center birth are affected, and we know we have to work together to make sure we preserve as many options as we can so that mother can chose what’s best for themselves.  


We’re planning a support rally for her for the actual appeal hearing, but we want to show that there is national support for this coverage – please sign the below petition and we’ll be sure that the SEIU hears your voice!







Contact:             Kelly Renn, kelly @ choicesinchildbirth.org  212-867-9646




Afternoon Hearing Will Determine Coverage for Union Employee’s Wife; New York State Law Covers But SEIU Rejects

NEW YORK – Choices in Childbirth, a New York City nonprofit that helps women make informed maternity decisions, is holding a rally to support a 3:00 PM hearing for Julie Finefrock. Ms. Finefrock is six months pregnant and medically eligible for a home-birth, which she has chosen for herself and her baby, but for which she has been denied coverage by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Ms. Finefrock’s husband is an SEIU employee and she is appealing her denial of coverage.

Under New York state law, Ms. Finefrock would have the benefit of medical insurance coverage, yet SEIU, because it provides a self-insured health policy to its members, has found a loophole to exclude coverage for planned homebirth care via the Employee Retirement Income Support Act (ERISA).  This federal law sets minimum standards for retirement and health benefit plans in private industry. Ms. Finefrock is asking SEIU to give her parity with non-union NY State residents and allow her to choose the medical care that evidence has shown is both safer and more economical than hospital birth.

Choices in Childbirth has unfortunately found a growing number of self-insured corporations using this ERISA loophole.  It is Choices in Childbirth’s belief that New York State residents deserve equal coverage regardless of their employment situation, and encourages the SEIU to support appropriate maternity care in line with that of New York State law.

WHAT: Rally in support of appeal to the SEIU to cover home births, as New York State law permits

WHERE: Outside SEIU 32BJ, 101 Avenue of the Americas

WHEN: Wednesday, March 18th at 11:30–1:30; hearing is at 3 pm

Choices in Childbirth

At Choices in Childbirth, our mission is to improve maternity care by providing the public, especially childbearing women and their families, with the information necessary to make fully informed decisions relating to how, where, and with whom they will give birth. www.choicesinchildbirth.org.


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