B and I are both self-employed, which means we are self-insured. We pay a pretty large premium each month for so-so coverage and a large deductible. Our insurance plan does not cover pregnancy or delivery, which means we're paying everything for Baby Bee out of pocket. We had to pay out of pocket for Campbell, but because I had to have an emergency c-section, insurance did cough up for part of it. At any rate, this pregnancy and delivery will cost us somewhere in the neighborhood of $12,000, and that's including the 20% discount my OB offered since we paid up front for her services.
Last week I received a letter from Blue Cross Blue Shield touting this new FREE BENEFIT they're offering pregnant women. It's called something like Healthy Start, and basically all it involves is assigning me an OB nurse who will call and check in with me every few weeks to see how the pregnancy is going, answer any questions, and make sure I'm getting the appropriate pre-natal care. I ripped up the letter and threw it in the trash.
Wednesday afternoon I got a call from a BCBS rep checking to see if I had received the letter and asking whether I was interested enrolling in the FREE BENEFIT. She kept stressing what a great program it was - and did she mention it was FREE. I told her I'd be a whole lot more impressed if BCBS would actually cover my pregnancy and delivery. That stumped her for a moment, but then she got back on script about what a great service they were offering by providing guidance throughout my pregnancy - for FREE. I told her it was my 4th pregnancy and I pretty much knew what I was doing at this point. She paused again before getting back on script, asking for the third time if I wanted to enroll in this FREE BENEFIT. I answered that I only have 8 weeks to go, so they're a little late with the offer. At that point she gave up and ended the call.
I just found the whole thing insulting. They are offering this FREE BENEFIT like it's something I should be so grateful for, when it's nothing more than a couple of phone calls from a nurse. BCBS is touting it as a way to help women have healthy pregnancies and full-term babies, but really it's nothing more than a cost-saving effort on their part. The more healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries, the less money they have to pay out in claims later on. Not that having regular calls from a nurse would have prevented my emergency c-section with Campbell. No phone call in the world would have stopped him from flipping breech three days before he was born.
There is the chance that I'm being cynical and unfair. Maybe BCBS really does care and really does want to to help pregnant women, no ulterior financial motives involved.