Mom Turned Down For Health Insurance Because of PPD Diagnosis

When I read news reports of people being refused private health or life insurance because of a past episode of Postpartum Depression, it makes my blood boil.

The most recent case involved a 35-year-old licensed practical nurse who works as a home health care nurse (an extremely valuable profession in my mind), but didn’t qualify for employer insurance because she was part-time.

When her husband was laid off from his full-time job, she made the first attempt at health insurance. But, she was denied coverage. The reason? After the birth of her son, she was diagnosed with postpartum depression and prescribed Prozac. That’s when she was informed that her diagnosis of depression made her uninsurable!

The tragedy of this decision is that she had been a person who worked hard all of her life, and carried insurance previously in a different job. Yet this good record was not able to help her.
But, the tide is turning for this nurse, and others like her, who have been doomed by previous health problems. When the federally run health insurance marketplace opens up under the Affordable Care Act, she’ll be able to apply for coverage.

One of the key provisions of the act – and the one championed by many of us in healthcare – is that participating insurance companies can’t deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. In short, she and others are guaranteed they will be able to get a policy.

Another bonus for our hard-working nurse is the fact that if her entire family enrolls for coverage through the marketplace, the monthly premium will be less than her family now pays for a plan that only covers her husband and children.

While there may be continued debate about Obamacare, those of us who treat patients with depression, believe that those getting treatment should be commended, not stigmatized. Depression treatment is essential for recovery, and denial of health care coverage is just plain wrong!

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~ by ppdsus on September 26, 2013.

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