Last month I posted a discussion about my struggle with my military health insurance, TRICARE, to pay for a home birth with a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). TRICARE currently partially pays for planned home births, but only with Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs). My original letter to them included 13 pages of research and data backing up the safety and rigorous certifications of CPMs, and I got a one-line response saying they wouldn't look at my grievance unless I had already requested coverage through the CPM. This made no sense to me because I could clearly see from their regulations they would deny my coverage. I wasn't asking for coverage under their current rules, I was asking for a change in policy.
So I wrote them again, and this time copied my congressional representatives. And they responded! Rep. Susan Davis of San Diego, where I used to live, has forwarded my letter to the Congressional subcommittee that writes TRICARE policy. She can't do more for me because I'm no longer her constituent, but at least it's something. Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California's 22nd district has taken my case on personally and will see if TRICARE can make an exception while legislation is pending. This is great progress! Although I don't want to get too excited that something will actually happen, at least someone is listening, and the more the message is out there, the more likely it is that something will be done.
I've attached the original letter I wrote to TRICARE, their response, and the letter I wrote to Rep.McCarthy. If you print them out, forward them to your representative, and say that you support changes to policy, then maybe we can make a difference in insurance for everyone. It's a hot issue right now with all the healthcare debates, and it's a clear way to save money while providing a better standard of care. Let's keep our fingers crossed!