Wife's Email to NBCPhiladelphia

Andy skipped his last checkup when their health insurance was canceled.

Tuesday, Feb 10, 2009  |  Updated 8:45 PM EDT
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Dad Dies Hours Before Daughter's Birth

Urban Family

Trisha emailed NBCPhiladelphia after the interview to talk about the medical and money challenges the couple faced.

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Dad Dies Hours Before Daughter's Birth

Heartache and happiness for a new mom in Tilden Township, Berks County. Her husband died just hours before the birth of their first child.
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“Andy and I lost our group health insurance through his old employer when he started his internship. We could not afford to pay for the Cobra to continue the group plan since the internship was not paid. I was working 4 part-time jobs to support the both of us and was also not able to obtain health insurance benefits.

We looked into a private insurance plan but no one would cover my pregnancy nor his heart problems since they were "pre-existing conditions."  We ended up getting a second-rate student insurance through his University. I needed more doctors visits; ultrasounds, and even had to go to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for further testing because of Andy's heart defect.

Andy also had more in depth medical visits to his cardiologist both here and in Pittsburgh. When the medical bills started to really accumulate the health insurance Company decided to drop our coverage - stating his internship was not enough credits to consider him full time and thus we were not eligible for the insurance.

The University is trying to fight this but we have close to $100,000 in medical bills.

But the real tragedy is my husband missed his last cardiology appointment a few weeks ago ... he was afraid to obtain anymore health insurance debit since we were going to have such a large bill for the delivery of our daughter. 

I can't help to think that his death may have been prevented if he would have gone to that last appointment and will always carry that regret.  Like many Americans, it angers me that very hard working people such as my husband and I was not able to obtain sufficient health insurance.

Issues such as health care are a common political topic, but you don't realize how much of an impact it has on people's lives until it happens to you.”

Thank you,
Trisha Urban

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