Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Babies with preexisting conditions

If you are born with a defect, or with a serious illness, apparently you have a “preexisting condition” according to some insurance companies. I was born with a condition called Hershbrung’s Disease, which basically meant the nerve endings in my colon didn’t run all the way through. Nine months into my life, I underwent major surgery to correct this, and subsequently received a scar which left my bellybutton looking like a wild hurricane.

But having a funny-looking scar is nothing compared to the fact that babies everywhere, born like me with every chance in the world of dying within their first year of life, have been denied health coverage due to “preexisting conditions.”

It was bad enough that it took over a month and loads of paperwork to qualify me to join the Army when my health records reported I had been born “defected.” But at least I had health coverage! (The Army story is a tale for another time…)

According to a Huffington Post article, a family was denied coverage for their child born with congenital heart disease because the baby had a “preexisting condition.” While I should note that this is not the norm, it is definitely an extreme case of how this term has been abused, even in the recent past.

Thanks to new health care reform, patients will no longer be subjected to such ridiculous exceptions as “preexisting conditions” and “chronic conditions.” Thank God.

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