A Cloud of Bad News

Let’s face it, things suck right now. The world is one big pressure cooker and everyone’s going crazy.

And when I read stories like this, about a baby born with a heart defect whose parents can’t get insurance coverage, well, I get really mad:

Doug and Kim Tracy, who live in Crowley and are self-employed, carry health insurance on their other two children. They said they cannot afford insurance for themselves.

They paid out of pocket for Kim Tracy’s neonatal care and the baby’s delivery. Doug Tracy said they were told that they could apply for insurance for Houston within 30 days of his birth.

A spokeswoman for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas declined to comment but issued a statement saying, “Our policy is that if a family has existing coverage with us, a baby can be added to the contract within 31 days without the need for underwriting to assess the baby’s eligibility.”

But that’s only if the parents have coverage, said the spokeswoman, Margaret Jarvis. Read that with the emphasis on parents.

After being contacted by the Tracy family, state Rep. Chris Turner, D-Arlington, said he asked the Texas Department of Insurance if there are provisions that can be used to help the family. He said he has not received a complete answer.

Virtually everyone can agree that no one should be denied health coverage because of pre-existing conditions, Turner said.

Tracy said he was appealing the insurance company’s decision.

A five-hour surgery to correct the defect was performed Friday, and Houston is doing well. He is being fed through a tube and must learn to swallow. But he should be able to go home within a couple of weeks, Tracy said.