Couple forced to find new hospital to deliver baby amid contract dispute

ATLANTA — Days before their due date, a metro Atlanta couple are scrambling to find a new hospital where they can deliver their baby.

Like thousands of people across the city, they are caught up in a contract dispute between Wellstar Health Systems and insurance company United Healthcare, which failed to reach a contract agreement earlier this month.

That means people who have United insurance who want to keep getting care at Wellstar could end up paying a lot more out of pocket.

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Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon talked to Matt Debusschere, whose wife Lauren is just days away from having the couple’s fourth child.

Debusschere said that while they are excited, they are also stressed trying to find a place to deliver.

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“We just kind of felt like we were caught in the crosshairs of a problem that really didn’t involve us,” Debusschere said. “There’s no point in paying $15,000 a year in health insurance if I’m going to pay another $15,00 to deliver the baby.”

The family should be covered by something called “continuity of care” insurance, but so far, the Dubusschere said they’ve gotten mixed messages on what it actually covers.

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The couple has recently signed paperwork to deliver their baby at a different metro Atlanta hospital.

“The dark cloud hanging over our day-to-day (lives) is this insurance problem we’re dealing with,” Debusschere said.

Wilfon talked to United Healthcare and Wellstar Thursday. United said they will work with the family to make sure they’re still covered by the continuity of care insurance if they still want to have the baby at Wellstar.

Wellstar said they also want to work with the Debusscheres and any family in their situation, and they are working to resolve the dispute as quickly as possible.