Saturday, June 26, 2010

The ongoing saga....

...of my quest to have a homebirth. Specifically a homebirth paid for by my military insurance. In case you haven't been following my case, here's a brief overview:

- Women who are married to active-duty military (aka civilian spouses) are able to have their homebirths fully-paid for by Tricare, assuming their state allows for homebirths. In most cases, the midwife must be a CNM. If the woman is assigned to a military medical facility for maternity care, she can simply drop from Tricare Prime to Tricare Standard for her insurance, and pay a small deductible. If she is not assigned to a military medical facility, she can simply choose a CNM for her healthcare provider, and everything is paid for.

- If YOU are the active-duty member, you are not allowed to drop from Prime to Standard. If there is a military medical treatment facility located near you, you are not allowed to see an off-base provider without first obtaining a referral.

- In Florida, where I currently live, homebirth is legalized and regulated. There are a number of both CPMs and CNMs that practice. I have located a CNM that frequently attends the births of military spouses and works often with Tricare Standard. Without insurance, out-of-pocket costs are roughly $5,000.

- Tricare has already agreed to fund my homebirth 100%, assuming I can get a referral for my CNM. The problem is that I am assigned to a military medical facility (Eglin), and they don't want to write the referral. Again, the issue here is not with insurance, but with the providers and administration at Eglin.

Okay, caught up.....

- This week, I got a call from my doctor. I had chosen a resident in Family Medicine Residency, because that way I'd only have to see one person. If you choose to be seen in OB, you are seen by a "team," and there's no guarantee as to who will be there when you deliver. I have been extremely lucky in that this particular doctor has been very supportive of me. It was through her that I submitted my request for a homebirth referral, and she was working hard to help me. Things were looking up. Then...

- During the call, I was informed that my doctor had been "removed" from my case. I am now assigned to a midwife in the OB, but they are allowing me to see her on a "private patient" practice- i.e., I only get to see her. Sounds good up front, but.... a) I haven't heard the best things about Eglin midwives....b) I think they are just trying to appease me. Judgment pending my first appointment.

- Also, I had faxed my doctor my birthplan. Apparently the hospital will forego the i.v. if I agree to a heploc, but will not budge on monitoring technique. I can have intermittent monitoring, but they won't define "intermittent," and having the midwife use the doppler is apparently not an option. Interestingly enough, the biggest "issues" the hospital has with my plan is the refusal of Hep B and eye ointment for the baby. Fine by me! I know my legal rights and they cannot force this one.

- There is going to be a meeting sometime soon to rule on my case. I'm praying hard that I will be cleared, because I know for a fact that several women have tried in the past, but given up before they've gotten this far. I have no intention of giving up. If they're sick of me now, they haven't seen anything yet!

- On a side note, I called to make an appointment with my new midwife. Apparently, you are NOT allowed to just call the appointment line at Eglin and simply make an appointment with OB. Instead, you are required to call and leave a message with a nurse. She will then return your call (sometime!) and inquire as to what you need, and THEN make an appointment. Because I can't have my cell phone at work and am rarely at my desk, this equates to days of phone tag. Fabulous.

- BTW- for all of you who support government healthcare, heed my example. Weeks for an appointment. Not even being able to make your own appointment. Having your doctor involuntarily changed without your input. Just a few thoughts...

1 comment:

Jenny said...

What a ridiculous hassle! I hope they start to see it your way. We ended up paying (out-of-pocket) a little over $4000 for our homebirth and the 2 OB appointments, meds, and newborn tests that went with it. Best money we ever spent. It sure would be nice if it were covered though! Someday I think it will be.