-- In early October, Starla Darling was just days away from giving birth to her second child. The 27-year-old mother from Polk, Ohio, had a well-paying job with good health insurance at the Archway Cookie plant in nearby Ashland.
After being laid off, Starla Darling worried whether her daughter's birth would be covered by insurance.
But during a visit to her parents' house, Darling received news that sent her into a panic. A neighbor, who also worked at Archway, told them the plant was closing and their health insurance was ending two days later.
"I flipped out," Darling said. "It was five minutes after she told me, I was on the phone with the doctor," Darling said. "I told her, 'I need to be induced.'"
A few hours later, Darling was in the hospital. The next day, she had to have an emergency C-section. Darling was angry and disappointed. "I was supposed to have water labor. I wanted everything to be natural. I was forced into something I did not want to do."
After the mad rush to give birth
to baby Kathryn, Darling got some more bad news. A bill for nearly $18,000 arrived from the hospital. Even though Darling gave birth before she says she was told her insurance was supposed to run out, the company denied the claim. She also says it denied other claims from earlier in the year. She wonders where the money went. "I paid $67 a week out of my check," she says, exasperated.