Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Pregnancy As A “Pre-Existing Condition”

Women who own individual healthcare policies, please take note. Should you become pregnant in the future, your individual healthcare policy might not cover your pregnancy.

A recent article in the Los Angeles Times by Michelle Andrews was revealing. Andrews described the plight of a North Carolina biology teacher who subsequently left teaching after the birth of her twins. She became a small business owner and was covered under individual health insurance policies. However, when she became pregnant again, she had a rude awakening. Despite paying an insurance premium of $400 per month, her pregnancy wasn’t covered unless she had paid for a special rider, prior to becoming pregnant. Since half of all pregnancies are “unplanned” how can you pay for coverage six months in advance of an unplanned event?

On October 12, 2010, the Committee on Energy and Commerce produced a dismal report that revealed a total disregard and absence of concern for pregnant women and their unborn babies by the insurance industry. The Committee’s chairmen, Congressmen Henry Waxman and Bart Stupak revealed the following: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway*

Newborn Denied Care For “Pre-Existing Condition”

Thanks to reader “m.scott” for alerting me to the latest Corporate Hall of Shame award. Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Texas is the winner for it’s egregious denial of care for a 10-day-old baby who was born with a congenital heart defect. Coverage for surgery to treat transposition of the great arteries was denied for — are you ready for this — a “pre-existing condition.” The baby’s parents had previously purchased coverage for their two other children, but were denied coverage for their newborn baby.

Denial of care for children will not be allowed when the new healthcare reform laws go into effect. Until then, it’s business as usual for the likes of BCBS of Texas.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

How Does Healthcare Reform Affect People with Diabetes?

I can haz a question?The healthcare reform bill “doesn’t fix everything that’s wrong with our health care system, but it moves us decisively forward,” said the President.  Insurance companies will be under government regulations, coverage can’t be denied based on pre-existing conditions, and the bill is signed.

Wait…coverage can’t be denied based on pre-existing conditions?  

According to this New York Times editorial, “The biggest difference for Americans who have employer-based insurance is the security of knowing that, starting in 2014, if they lose their job and have to buy their own policy, they cannot be denied coverage or charged high rates because of pre-existing conditions. Before then, the chronically ill could gain temporary coverage from enhanced high-risk pools and chronically ill children are guaranteed coverage.”  

I’ve always wanted to take that leap and run my own business. I enjoy working in new media and healthcare, I like working hard, but what kept me from making a bold move was pure and unadulterated fear. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Is Rape A Pre-existing Condition?

Charming, if true. I’m so glad we have Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln working tirelessly on the Hill to protect and preserve the insurance companies and their profits.

Christina Turner feared that she might have been sexually assaulted after two men slipped her a knockout drug. She thought she was taking proper precautions when her doctor prescribed a month’s worth of anti-AIDS medicine.

Only later did she learn that she had made herself all but uninsurable.

Turner had let the men buy her drinks at a bar in Fort Lauderdale. The next thing she knew, she said, she was lying on a roadside with cuts and bruises that indicated she had been raped. She never developed an HIV infection. But months later, when she lost her health insurance and sought new coverage, she ran into a problem. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Movin' Meat*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »