Losing Your Job When You're Pregnant

BlogHer Original Post

As the unemployed/underemployed rate continues to climb in our shrinking economy, pregnant women face particular challenges.It's not just about finding a job-- always difficult when you are pregnant-- but it's also about the health insurance. Will it still be there when it's time to deliver?

As the New York Times reported in December, the potential loss of insurance is causing some woman to take matters into their own hands.

Starla D. Darling, 27, was pregnant when she learned that her insurance coverage was about to end. She rushed to the hospital, took a medication to induce labor and then had an emergency Caesarean section, in the hope that her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan would pay for the delivery.

Unfortunately for Ms. Darling, her claim was denied.Ms. Darling had worked for an Archway cookie factory which provided superb health insurance. According to the NYT article,when the company  filed for bankruptcy protection, they were $700,000 in the rears in the health insurance payments to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Ms. Darling now has a $17,000 bill for her hospital stay.

After that article ran, the folks at BabyCenter had a conversation about being pregnant, losing your job and your health insurance.
From Tara,

I’m a SAHM and my husband just lost his job not to long ago and our insurance ran out at the end of Nov. I went to the doctors on Wed. for my 28 week check up. While they left me keep that appointment, they told me that in order to come back I’d have to pay $3000 to cover labor and delivery! Apparently they don’t see anyone without insurance unless they pay in advance for everything. Luckily, since we don’t have any income at all I’ll probably be able to qualify for my states Medicaid program. It truely is terrifying not to have insurance while pregnant.

Which caused  Aurora to write,

My DH lost his job today :( and we lost our insurance today too. I’m 34 weeks pregnant and with me not working we can’t afford the $1379.22 for COBRA. We went to the local medi-cal office today and can’t even be seen for an eligibility interview until January 6. How ridiculous is this? I have 3 doctors appointments before the eligibility appointment and am liable for the office visits until/if the coverage takes effect. What if I have the baby early? I

What happens when you are pregnant lose your job and your partner also loses their job? This photo was taken in Greensboro, North Carolina just last week. In pregnant panholderwriting about the situation on ChosenFast.com the blogger says
the woman who is panhandling is a friend who lost her job and is on a wait list for a government housing voucher. In the meantime she lives under a bridge with her husband.  According to the blog post,

...they sometimes sleep on a relative’s couch when the nights get too cold. They’re on a waiting list for a government housing voucher. She recently lost a job and both are looking for employment. She had an interview this week and is waiting to hear back. I hope she gets the job.

Jennifer Merritt who blogs at The Juggle for the Wall Street Journal found out she was pregnant with her second child in early September -just a few weeks before most of us were aware that all of our beliefs about the economy were about to implode.

Even though she is still employed and her husband is still employed, she is worried.

But then came my employer’s salary freeze. And our family’s switch to more expensive, but more comprehensive, health care. And the increase in our rent, albeit small. We’re nowhere near close enough to the financial edge for these things to get us in trouble, but they still make me worry. I handle the bills, so I see how these small changes add up–and I’m the one who is pregnant and experiencing those aches and pains, too.

Merritt is thinking about cutting her maternity leave short so she won't dip as deep into her savings just in case either she or her husband loses their job. Her readers are saying - take the time.

Could this situation happen in The U.S.A? A Canadian woman just won a $26,000 compensation for being unlawfully fired while pregnant.
A somewhat complicated story, the woman-Hailey De Lisser had been working part-time at the company. Her sister had worked there fulltime for several years.When her sister was on maternity leave, De Lisser was hired fulltime to fill in for her sister.
However, she got pregnant while  filling in for her sister and the company fired her. She then filed a complaint with the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal.

The tribunal ruled Traveland placed de Lisser in a vulnerable position and made it difficult for her to find another job because she was pregnant.


"I just [want] to tell other people that this does happen and you can fight it. It's a long process but you can fight it and you can win your rights," said de Lisser, who has given birth to a boy.

Traveland's manager Dale Howes refused an on-camera interview with CBC-TV Tuesday, but he said he is surprised at the ruling.


Meanwhile, experts are predicting there will be less pregnant women in this situation because as the economy tanks, there will be less pregnant women.

There were 4.2 million babies born in 2006, the largest number in more than four decades, according to the latest CDC figures. More concerning would be an extreme change similar to many European countries, where birth rates have fallen below 1.5 children per woman, a point where the population ages and can’t sustain itself.

“The No. 1 thing I would expect to see in this calendar year is postponement,” says S. Philip Morgan, a sociology professor at Duke University who studies fertility trends. “But if this translated into a long-term fertility drop, it would be a big deal,” Morgan says.

cowgirl_linda_winking_ty_clr to Blog Of Walker on story about Ms. De Lisser

Elana blogs about business culture at FunnyBusiness


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