Posted: January 04, 2012

IMAGINE BEING pregnant, having complications or a Caesarean section, but your insurance doesn't provide coverage for your care. That's a shameless possibility under current Pennsylvania law, which is why I recently introduced legislation - House Bill 1957 - that would remedy that situation.

Currently, if a woman is pregnant before purchasing insurance, many providers will categorize pregnancy as a pre-existing condition. Pennsylvania law protects pregnant women in their second or third trimester from policy termination until after childbirth; however, it does not outline proper pregnancy-care standards.

As of 2009, only eight out of 95 individual insurance plans offered in Pennsylvania covered maternity care. Additionally, PA Adult Basic insurance has been discontinued, leaving low-income women who are ineligible for Medicaid without coverage during pregnancy. Because of the current law, pregnant women in Pennsylvania face many challenges accessing proper health care. This is totally unacceptable.

House Bill 1957 would make it mandatory that insurance companies provide coverage for the most basic and necessary pregnancy and post-delivery care. It also would prevent insurance providers from imposing a pre-existing-condition exclusion on a woman's plan because of pregnancy, complications during pregnancy or a Caesarean section.

If a woman is pregnant, she should be fully covered by her health insurance. Those who claim that they support the sanctity of life should support this bill. It's time to step out of the Dark Ages. Give pregnant women and their unborn children the health care they deserve.

Contact your state representative and urge him or her to support House Bill 1957.

Rep. W. Curtis Thomas

181st Legislative District


Sticker shock

I was shocked when I read in Dear Abby's column ("An appropriate way to help kids grieve") of a 4-year-old grandchild putting stickers on her grandmother's face and hands as she lay in a coffin.

Where were the parents? Is it any wonder the children of today have little respect for anything or anybody?

The parents permit their children to do whatever they want to.

Then, as they grow older the parents wonder, "Why are they not obeying me?"

Josephine Zirilli


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