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Well Baby Visits

Posted Thursday, April 1, 2010, at 7:18 PM

The youngest and potentially, the most vulnerable members of our society aren't even entitled to well baby visits.

Well baby visits include but are not limited to home visits from a qualified health professionals. More often than not, the visits are conducted by a registered nurse or other qualified health professional.

It has been my experience most well baby visits are not covered by insurance carriers. I do not and will not understand the mentality of not reimbursing for these very basic visits.

What I learned today is beginning May 1, 2010 even Medicaid in Nebraska will not cover well baby visits for clients outside of a managed care county unless the visit is deemed medically necessary. These visits will have to be 'authorized' to be eligible for reimbursement. Chances are if you live in rural Nebraska you don't live in a managed care county so what that means is there will little or no reimbursement for well baby visits for those babies born into the lower and lowest income levels of our society.

In my opinion, every mother, regardless of income level, should be allowed to have these services reimbursed through whatever insurance company they have.

It is so frustrating that I just ache for those young mothers, each and every one, who need to have an experienced health professional look in on them during those first critical days and weeks when their newborns come home. Those young mothers need to have a professional contact and follow-up in, what is at best, one of the most overwhelming times of their lives and the lives of their newborns.

Most of these new mothers don't have a family safety net to fall back on due to our highly mobile society. These new mothers and their babies need to have the services provided by the experienced, trained health professionals. This is service that should be guaranteed to these mothers and babies and it should be encouraged instead of discouraged.

I would rather my tax dollars and the insurance premiums go to help pay for well baby visits for all women and children, regardless of income levels AND regardless of whether they live in the rural counties or a more urban environment in our state.

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Betsy Coolidge
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