Employer relents after refusing to cover woman's pregnancy - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Employer relents after refusing to cover woman's pregnancy

Posted: Updated:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

A woman has spent nearly her entire pregnancy battling her employer over providing medical coverage to her because her employer claimed her pregnancy was a pre-existing condition.

The federal program, Americorps, claimed it was exempt from laws requiring that employers not deny coverage to pregnant employers on the grounds of pre-existing conditions.

Savanna Kraft receives a $800 a month stipend from Americorps. When she took the position, she did not know that she was pregnant. Her doctors later estimated her baby was conceived before her benefits kicked in.

As a result, the taxpayer-funded program refused to provide coverage to her and her unborn baby.

Kraft and fiance Russell Dempsey began researching and found the Department of Labor said pregnancies are protected even if a woman had no prior coverage before enrolling in her employer's plan.

But they were told by labor officials that government-funded programs aren't covered by the 1996 federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. There was also a question about whether her not having a job in the three months before joining Americorps affected her coverage.

KCTV5 repeatedly tried to reach Americorps officials over several days this week. They did not answer KCTV5's questions but relented and authorized their insurance company to cover about $60,000 in medical bills incurred by Kraft during her pregnancy.

Dempsey and Kraft agreed that taking their fight public made a difference.

"If we wouldn't have made noise, they would have gotten out of the $60,000 in medical coverage they were supposed to cover," Russell said.

Kraft's medical bills were so high because she suffered a deep vein thrombosis and had to stay in the hospital for a week.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.). All rights reserved.

  • LOCALLOCALMore>>

  • Shelby bikers head to Coast on safety ride

    Shelby bikers head to Coast on safety ride

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:05:08 GMT
    Soldiers from a training unit at Camp Shelby Friday celebrated the conclusion of an advanced motorcycle safety course by taking a ride to the Gulf Coast. The trip from Hattiesburg Cycles to Biloxi andMore >>
    Soldiers from a training unit at Camp Shelby Friday celebrated the conclusion of an advanced motorcycle safety course by taking a ride to the Gulf Coast.

    More >>
  • Historical canoe discovered in Lawrence County

    Historical canoe discovered in Lawrence County

    Friday, August 29 2014 9:53 AM EDT2014-08-29 13:53:43 GMT
    A piece of Mississippi history, under water for more than 100 years, surfaced in the Pearl River in Monticello last weekend. Now it's at Turcotte Lab in Madison County. "This is a 14-foot cypress logMore >>
    Last weekend, the Pearl River in Monticello receded just enough to reveal a wooden canoe that dates back more than 100 years. Here's a closer look at this fascinating Mississippi artifact.More >>
  • Statistics show Laurel crime down first half of 2014

    Statistics show Laurel crime down first half of 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:11 AM EDT2014-08-29 07:11:46 GMT
    The Laurel Police Department has released its UCR statistics for the first six months of 2014. According to their Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, from January through June the department has had 689More >>
    The Laurel Police Department has released its UCR statistics for the first six months of 2014. The report shows the city is down 8.4% in crime compared to last year. More >>