Insurer denies coverage to newborn for "preexisting condition"
One of the nation's largest insurers, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, has denied coverage for a newborn baby's "preexisting condition," leaving the child's parents stuck with the medical bills. According to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Houston Tracy was born on March 15, 2010 and was quickly diagnosed with a condition called "d-transposition of the great arteries," in which the major arteries that carry blood from the baby's heart to the lungs are reversed. Oxygen depleted blood, instead of oxygen rich blood, is carried from the lungs to the heart, which can cause significant heart damage. The condition is life threatening. It was repaired in a 5-hour surgery, but Houston's parents are stuck with the bills.
The recently enacted federal Health Care Reform bill, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010 would prohibit insurers from denying coverage based on preexisting conditions. However, that portion of the bill is not effective until September, too late to help the Tracy family.