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Caitlin and Corey Gaffer got a surprise letter from their insurance company — saying they were being dumped for non-payment. Except, as far as they knew, they were paid up.
As it turned out, they’d made a couple of small mistakes, which they were eager to fix. But their insurer was definitely not interested. Caitlin and Corey spent fruitless weeks on the phone.
And then, Caitlin’s pregnancy — more than six months along — ran into complications.
They scrambled for months to get covered, while racking up about $30,000 in hospital bills.
There’s a happy ending. Two, in fact.
First, their baby was born healthy (and insured) in January. She’s in the episode too, and she’s adorable.
Second: In March their old insurer offered an apology — and offered to reinstate them. (This was the day after a reporter called to ask the insurer for their side of the story.)
… but the whole journey was harrowing, and opens up questions about what kinds of safeguards consumers have — or should have — against getting dropped.
This story — like a lot of this season — came straight from my inbox. A few days after the show launched, I got an email with the subject line “Pregnant woman and her husband in Minnesota need help.”
We’ve got co-producers for Season Two, Kaiser Health News. Three things to know:
First: Kaiser Health News is not affiliated with the giant health care provider Kaiser Permanente. They share an ancestor — which is a fun story I’ve written all about here.
Second: They ARE a great non-profit newsroom covering health care in America, an editorially independent project of the Kaiser Family Foundation. (There’s that name again. And again, here’s the story.)
Third: Their editor-in-chief is one of the people who inspired this show.
YEP. The whole story is worth reading. I am so pleased and proud to be working with these folks.