You'll find hundreds of files on cleft lip, cleft palate here on widesmiles.org.
This one is about: Medical Insurance and Adoption
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The following is a discussion which took place via Cleft-Talk:
I know we have been talking some about the cost of repair - astronomical, to say the least (March of Dimes has the cost set now at approximately $100,000.) So I thought I would share this tidbit of interest regarding adopted children with cleft.
As many of you know and most have likely surmised, my family is not exactly rich - in money anyway (we ARE rich in love - but love don't pay the bills). Anyway, so given our challenged financial situation, many have wondered (and a few have been bold enough to ask) how we could afford to take care of three kids who present us with cleft-related issues. Simple. They are adopted.
There is always a period of time between adoptive placement and finalization. That was always a grey area as far as insurance was concerned, However a few years ago legislation was passed that said that an adopted child was to be treated by insurance carriers as though they were born into a family FROM THE TIME OF PLACEMENT. So, whatever insurance we have would begin to cover our children from the moment we touched them flesh-to-flesh. (California had such a law before the Feds did).
But that often leaves some unpaid bills, right? Well, many years ago there were some very good adoption lobbyists who also got Crippled Children's Services coverage for all kids adopted with certain qualifying conditions - regardless of parental income. The fact is, we qualify anyway. Our income is so low I'm embarrassed to file my 1040 every year. But even if we made over the limit, my kids would still qualify. Why? It was an incentive to make certain that medical special needs would not interfere with a child's ability to find a home.
So, I guess I shared this for the sake of any of you who have ever entertained the idea of adopting a child with a cleft, but have put it off because you are afraid you cannot afford the medical bills. There just won't be any. Also, FYI - this does not mean that the State starts footing major bills. CCS will not pay any more than a certain amount - and that amount is almost always already covered by our own personal insurance. I think for all three of my children, over a period of 9 years, CCS has kicked in MAYBE $500. The benefit to me is that I cannot be charged what CCS will not pay. And of course, the doctors are the ones who choose whether or not they will accept CCS in the first place, so this comes as no surprise to them.
Just an interesting tidbit to share.
Someone else responded with:
> Even though I knew the law about adopted children being treated as
> biological from the time they came home, I still requested that our
> insurance company put it in writing that they would cover Terry's
> medical expenses. It gave me peace of mind.
I actually had to show THEM that my baby would be covered at the time of placement, but once they saw the law in black and white there were no more arguments. It pays to know your rights!!!