University makes health insurance plan modifications for expectant parents

Case Western Reserve University has made health insurance plan modifications that will reduce the out-of-pocket costs of prenatal care and delivery for benefits participants who are expecting children to be born in 2012.

President Barbara R. Snyder decided the university should help defray this expense after learning of concerns employees raised during information sessions regarding the benefits changes. Several indicated that they had budgeted for the expenses of childbirth based on existing insurance coverage, and worried about managing the new, unexpected costs.

“The university made the benefit changes to ensure the overall sustainability of our programs in light of rapidly increasing costs,” Snyder said. “In some cases, participants in our plans could adapt their health care decisions in light of these pending shifts. Clearly, an ongoing pregnancy is not one of those instances.”

The university has arranged with its medical insurance carriers that claims related to pregnancy and delivery will fall under the mother’s individual deductible and coinsurance maximums under the PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) options.  In other words, charges for routine newborn care will be bundled together on the mother’s bill, so families do not face additional deductible and coinsurance charges for the newborn. Those with questions about the adjustment can contact either their individual medical insurance carrier or the university’s benefits office at 368.6781 or

Snyder has promoted family-friendly policies since arriving at Case Western Reserve. In 2008 and 2009, for example, the university adopted paid parental leave policies for staff and faculty.  During that same period, she appointed a committee of faculty, staff and students to assess campus child care options. While the cost of a standalone center proved cost-prohibitive, the university did create a fund to support child care needs when parents travel. In addition, the university now pays the registration fee for families that need emergency child care.

For information about these programs, see