Twice recently I was shocked … by healthcare "incidents" related to my reproductive health. Health "care" is a bit of a misnomer — health-lack-of-care would be a better term. I write in the hope that we can all do something to move our sick healthcare system along in a better direction. I specifically hope that insurance companies will support preventive medicine and also "open up" to more reproductive/birth control options.
[First], I [could] not have a tubal ligation (tubes "tied") during an ovarian-cyst removal at St. Joseph's Hospital. My OB/GYN doctor informed me that when St. Joe's and Mission Hospital merged years ago, the powers-that-be included a clause … that no "sterilization" procedures would be allowed on the St. Joe's campus. … My doctor said, "We can reschedule your procedure to the Mission side of the street…"
I was dumbfounded. The next available appointment on the Mission campus was too far down the road for me to reschedule.
My next shocking experience had to do with insurance "coverage," or lack thereof, for birth control. After an annual exam at MAHEC, my doctor wrote a prescription for a diaphragm. I suspected my insurance would cover the $50, one-time cost. Nope. My insurance … will only cover the cost of "the pill" or an IUD.
You mean to tell me my insurance company will pay the expense of pills that must be taken daily (and have a slew of potential side effects [such as] blood clots and stroke), or that they will pay for an invasive birth control device, but will not pay for a little ol' diaphragm that will last for approximately eight years and has little to no side effects? I could hardly believe my ears.
The only things I could think to do is share my opinion and frustration with my healthcare providers, hospital staff, insurance representatives ("I'd like to talk to your supervisor please…") and the folks who read the Mountain Xpress to encourage them all to try and get involved to move our healthcare system forward. I am also opting to make financial contributions to Planned Parenthood — [they work] towards better reproductive health.
— Bridget Brennan