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Letter to Midwifery Supporters
Dear Midwifery Supporter,
The time has come to act upon a long tolerated and ignored issue . Many insurance companies in New Hampshire (the larger violators being Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Cigna) are denying coverage for a home birth or birth center birth, with a state licensed midwife (NHCM). In an effort to offer midwifery services to the greater population of families desiring them, we are beginning the process of formal complaint to these companies, and the NH Insurance Commissioner, with a letter writing campaign. These letters will show that we, as a collective group of many, want coverage from our insurance carriers for our beloved midwives and their professional services in out-of-hospital settings. Many insurance companies will not accept a New Hampshire Certified Midwife as a preferred provider, despite the licensing process in place here in the state, and the high standard of care we provide. Most, if not all, insurance companies pay for maternity services in other settings, with other providers, but not NHCMs. We see this as a restraint of trade toward these midwives, and restraint of consumer rights within their choice of health care. We intend to put and end to this offensive practice, but cannot do it alone!
Enclosed you will find a form letter to the New Hampshire Insurance Department. Please take the time to fill this out, as completely as possible, and mail it, as this letter goes directly to the Insurance Commissioner. This is a vital part of this process. With enough of these written complaints, legislation can then be enacted. With our help they can force the insurance companies to pay for NHCM services. If you have questions or need help filling out the form, please don't hesitate to contact us via the web site or by calling one of the committee members listed below.
Secondly, enclosed is a form letter to be sent to the insurance companies/carriers (ie. Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Cigna, etc.). It can be used as is or as a model to write your own. These letters are also key to this process of change for midwifery coverage. The insurance companies do not believe or know the demand is there unless we let them know. These companies need to know that not only are midwifery services safe options, but MUCH cheaper for them ! However, these companies will not do a cost-effective analysis unless they feel there is enough consumer interest. We need to let them know there are MANY consumers interested! The sheer number of consumer letters sent will be most effective. We are requesting that these letters be sent ASAP, before the end of November, so that they will pile up on the Commissioner/Insurance Co. desks all at once. We also recommend sending a copy to the midwife you received this packet from for her files, just in case your letters get "lost" in their paperwork! There is legislation being introduced NOW, which requires quick action on our part!!!
PLEASE speak up! We need to be heard as a group! By filling out and mailing this packet, you are making a tremendous difference . Your legislators and insurance carriers need to know that you, as a consumer, are unhappy with this unfair situation of selective reimbursement for good maternity care. Support the future of midwifery as a viable choice for New Hampshire families. You can log onto our website at http://www.nhmidwives.org for updates, copies of other consumer support letters, and much more! Please add your information to our database- we will need you at other times for this fight and we cannot ask the midwives to repeatedly send out notices. You can do this at the website, or by calling us directly. It will not be used for anything other than this insurance fight- we will guard your privacy. Without you this fight cannot go forward. This is your right as a consumer. Thank you so much for your time, effort and support.
Adrian E. Feldhusen, NHCM