I was standing at the counter scanning a routine medial form when something caught my eye. Under our daughter’s name was the line
Natural child: Insured has financial responsibility
I asked the receptionist what “natural child” meant. She said, “Oh, it means she’s really his daughter.” I gasped and said, “So, if she was adopted, you’d put that on the form?” The receptionist said, “Oh yeah. Insurance companies want to know if it’s your real kid or not.”
I stood there frozen. There were so many things I thought about saying. What came out of my mouth was “In 2012, the fact that we are still distinguishing between natural and adopted children is appalling. I cannot believe the office actually puts it on a form.”
She tried to explain why it was there, but only made it worse. This was one of those cases when less said would have been a lot more comforting.
Several hours have passed and this still upsets me. First, as a mother I find it horrifying that there’s still a distinction between natural and adopted children. Second, as a consumer, I cannot understand the difference between natural and adopted children where the insurance company is concerned.
I might be able to understand noting financial responsibility in cases of foster children or other unusual situations. Perhaps if parents are divorced and the non-custodial parent has financial responsibility it’s worth noting in a file.
You’ll see that I said “noting in a file.” At no time should a child stand there and read anything about who is responsible for his/her health care financial responsibility. This is an adult problem that children should not worry about.
Our daughter was very upset that she was listed as a “natural child.” She said, “You mean if I was adopted they wouldn’t let me see the doctor?” She’s only eight-years-old, so she didn’t quite understand what it meant. Of course, I’m a lot older than eight and I don’t understand the point either.
I’m going to contact our insurance company and ask about “natural or adopted.” I might not get the answer I want, but at least I’ll be able to register my complaint. Now that I know about this practice, I cannot let it go undocumented.
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