When I started this threat I was up for a fight with my insurance in NYS...
After months and months of phone calls, letters and wait it turned out that my insurance company considers me as being "sitused" in DC (because the main office of my employer is located there).
The law is different in DC and does not mandate coverage of a homebirth. This final argument that was never mentionned to me or my midwife's office after more than 9 months of contacts seems to be very definitive.
Even the Attorney General office can't do anything.
I wish I had better news to share to encourage all of you but here's my advice for the ones who are still fighting:
- start early
- take notes of everything
- prefer written contact to phone calls
- use all the appeals you can
- if you have been denied the last appeal or do not receive answers quick enough: contact the Attorney General office. They did a great job for this and my first birth (first birth in a birthing center was paid entirely thanks to them), were very responsive and quick.
- if you are in NY State (first check that your plan is not sitused in another state): the insurance law is with you so you can be confident. Here is a quote from the letter sent by my insurance company to the AG office: (...) the NY insurance Law 4303 c (1); that mandates the coverage of Certified Nurse Midwives and home births for New York HMO plans " It is not common to see that law clearly quoted especially concerning homebirth and especially coming from an insurance company so please use this quote, this is your most definite argument!
For the future:
I'm more than ready to help others - let's keep in touch!
I wish there was an organisation that was fighting with/for us. In the meantime we can help each other and try to advocate our rights.
There are many opportunities to attend event about natural birth, choices of a different experience etc... and many books available but if the insurance companies are working against us all these nice discussions are useless.
Choices in childbirth is not just a philosophical questions, it needs to be a possible choice financially!
I'm wondering if Obamacare will change anything about that. I've read an article about chiropractor lobbying in certains states to obtain coverage - anyone knows if midwives are involved in that kind of lobbying? It's really a state by state thing but New York has the advantage of the law (as i painfully discovered some States are in much worst situation)
I'm due at the end of March, will keep you updated on my uncovered homebirth...
All the best to all of you