Insurance Dispute Emphasizes Long-Term Impact of Birth Injuries

Sad Baby

Birth injuries should not be ignored and it shouldn’t take a call to a news station for an insurance company to approve a medically described device; especially for a young boy with well-documented physical limitations due to cerebral palsy. Unfortunately that is just what one family had to do in order to get their insurer, Anthem BCBS, to approve a specialized wheelchair to help him get around. A 2-year-old with cerebral palsy that is so severe he is unable to even sit up on his own was denied a specialized wheelchair by his family’s insurer. Instead of investigating the doctor’s prescription, the claim was denied and the family was asked to provide more proof of the boy’s disability. The family tried on several occasions to review their son’s condition with the insurer, but Anthem refused to budge, insisting that he try to get by on a cane or walker first. Fed up with the run-around, the family contacted their local television news affiliate. As soon as the reporter contacted Anthem, the wheelchair was approved. This story may sound like a farce, but it highlights the very real and very stressful challenges families face when dealing with the consequences of a birth injury over the long term. Birth injuries present lifelong physical, emotional and financial challenges to children and their parents. Cerebral palsy is most often the result of hypoxia, a severe oxygen deprivation to the brain during delivery. A baby can suffer a hypoxia-related injury if a doctor fails to perform an emergency c-section when it is needed or when the delivery doctor fails to monitor the baby sufficiently during delivery and neglects to notice when the baby is in distress. Source:, “Anthem BCBS Decides Boy Who Can’t Sit Up On His Own Doesn’t Need a Wheelchair,” Chris Moran


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