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 Post subject: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:25 pm 
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Semen Strong
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I find hospital billing so interesting. I just got our bills from Leela's birth.

My midwife charged just shy of $5,000 for all the services she rendered throughout my pregnancy, so from May to delivery in November, and insurance paid her approx. $2,500. So a pretty good deal. (This didn't include the ultrasounds and other tests that were billed separately).

The hospital charged us nearly $9,000 for me and nearly $3,000 for Leela for a non-surgical birth and a 2 night hospital stay. Insurance paid approx $3,600 for my portion and approx $1,200 for Leela. I wonder if the MD who put in the internal fetal monitor and the pediatrician who saw her are going to bill us separately. And of course we still haven't seen a bill for Leela's hospital stay for her jaundice.

So if I hadn't had insurance, my non-surgical, uncomplicated birth would have cost me $17,000. Because I had insurance, they paid $7,300. My portion of the retained costs for the three elements is around $900.

http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/20 ... n-billing/

I'd be really interested in hearing your stories of hospital bills.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:32 pm 
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Because I had some complications my total hospital bill including everything for Grey was about $20000. I paid $400 of that and insurance covered the rest! I also didn't have any copays the whole time I was pregnant and paid $10 twice for blood draws. So, total cost $420.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:38 pm 
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All told, I paid about $7000 to have the Emperor. This included a 4 or 5 long stay in L&D when I had a kidney infection-- that was about $4000 of the total cost. Another $1000 or so was general prenatal care, something crazy like $600 of which was the 20 week ultrasound. The actual birth (a non-complicated vaginal delivery & 2 day stay in L&D) cost me about $2000.

This sounds like a ton and honestly it WAS a forking lot. We didn't finish paying it off until the Emperor was maybe 18 months old.

But before insurance? The kidney infection hospital stay alone was like $14,000. Fourteen THOUSAND DOLLARS. And no they didn't plate my kidneys with gold or anything while I was there.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:03 am 
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Holy fork, America is expensive (sorry, I know this is really not helpful or a meaningful contribution to this thread). My birth will cost me $0. If I paid for our Doula(s), I would have spent under $500. In the event that I have to take an ambulance ride, it will cost me $75 which I think can be submitted with my taxes.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:23 am 
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Just got bills for anesthesia from my stay: charged $377 for one and $500 for the other. My insurance paid $80 each. Apparently, the insurance companies usually pay lump sums uearly to participating hospitals too so the bills don't show the full story.

It is confusing, for sure.

My physical therapy appointments are billed $150/ session, but insurance pays only $36.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:17 am 
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Our homebirth midwives charge on a sliding scale. It came to $2400 for everything (prenatal, birth, aftercare). We also rented a birthing tub from them for $150. The insurance I had at that time didn't cover CPMs, so that came out of pocket. They were great at payment plans though. We gave them $240 at pretty much every visit, and it was paid in full by the time Ezra came.

Our bill at the first hospital (where I had the c-section), came to $25,000. Ezra's NICU bill from the bigger hospital came to (I can't believe I haven't burned this thing yet) $182,876.42. We paid $2,500 in deductibles. We also paid an extra $1,000 or so for his at home oxygen support (which insurance decided not to cover.)

I am very grateful for having insurance during this, but it was still a lot for us. After almost two years, we just finished paying it off, and it wiped out our savings. We're still trying to recover. It bothers me so much that we're supposed to be The Greatest Country in the World (not saying it myself...), and yet people can go broke just for getting good health care. A week doesn't go by where I don't see someone organizing a spaghetti supper for someone who needs help paying their medical bills. It's heartbreaking and maddening.

The insurance I'm on now is pretty wonderful. They cover unlicensed homebirths (which is what they're considered in Maine) and they give you $2,000 every year to spent before you have to start meeting your deductible (and that $2,000 can roll over every year if you don't use all of it). I'm thinking that our next birth will be a little more headache-free as long as it stays uncomplicated.




(I still want to move to Canada.)


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:40 am 
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My aunt was just talking about this. The bill for her daughter's 36 hour NICU stay cost $30,000. The insurance company somehow only had to pay $8,000.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:07 am 
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My midwife group charged a flat fee around $4k for all prenatal care, home birth, and 4 postpartum checkups. That was paid 100% by insurance. We were referred out for an anatomical screen u/s but that was paid at 100% I think, but I never saw a bill (I'm guessing that was in the $500-1200 range just based on typical rates). We had to pay $750 out of pocket for a birth assistant which include a pre- and post- birth visit as well as her help during the birth. That was totally out of pocket and didn't count towards our annual deductable.

Since then V's regular ped. appointments have been paid in full by insurance but her thrush incident was partially billed towards our annual out of pocket deductable of $1000. We paid $160.


Of course, our costs are probably about to go up because of the automatic military budget cuts. Thanks, congress!


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:10 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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Oh wait, I almost forgot. We had to pay $25 cash for the bili blanket to be picked up, which seemed pretty hokey but whatever, it wasn't worth driving around the beltway to return. When she had jaundice we were seeing the army hospital still which doesn't do any billing.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:32 am 
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I paid $240 to upgrade to a private room after Malcolm was born. And I think $10 for parking.
So $250 total.
Flava, move here! I will babysit ppkids for free :)


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 9:36 am 
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Semen Strong
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So interesting to see the different experiences and wow I wish I lived in Canada!

I didn't even count my doula's fees ($1,000 even). And I had a CVS that I paid a few hundred dollars for out of just over $1,000 (the U/S was $400 and the MD who performed it was $800 if memory serves). And I've paid ten percent of all testing along the way (GD and GBS in particular).

All this isn't much compared to the fertility tests and interventions that weren't covered. Our IUI (intrauterine insemination) was nearly $1,000 ($120 for my HCG shot and nearly $300 for sperm collection (small room with 70s porno mags) and sperm washing and the remainder for the MD time). Our friends spent $50,000 out of pocket just to get pregnant.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:00 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
I wonder if the MD who put in the internal fetal monitor and the pediatrician who saw her are going to bill us separately. And of course we still haven't seen a bill for Leela's hospital stay for her jaundice.



You'll definitely get a separate bill from the group that the pediatricians work with.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:08 pm 
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Yeah, I didn't see any bills or anything like that. I went for regular prenatal visits, two ultrasounds, and I was supposed to go for a nonstress test, but then baby decided to come out the night before. Uncomplicated delivery. I paid nothing. I love Canada so much. I wish that mothers didn't have to worry about paying for the birth of a child anywhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:10 pm 
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Our midwives charged $8000 and our insurance policy changed in my third trimester so we ended up owing most of it. We were actually making payments to begin with and the midwives didn't make us finish our payments because they felt bad and I think it ended up being $5000 that we payed. Even with insurance we still owed around $3000 between Ada and I in the hospital and we were only there for one night. I kind of never put two and two together that we would get a bill for Ada. Ha. I think we owed a little bit of money to the pediatrician that saw Ada in the hospital also. And then we got a bill for the anethesiologist that did my epidural that was over $1000. Apparently he was out of network (even though the hospital was in network) and I guess I was supposed to think to ask that when I was in labor. We also had a bunch of coopays to pay. Phew. Much pricier than I ever though having a baby would be!


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:23 pm 
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Semen Strong
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Quote:
Apparently he was out of network (even though the hospital was in network) and I guess I was supposed to think to ask that when I was in labor.


Brainsplosion. That seems really crepe to me. I am so sorry for all the unexpected costs. I guess that is the thing I hate most about the American system - you have no idea about what you're going to be billed until you get the bill, and there is no real rhyme or reason or continuity in the prices. I really liked the NYT link I put on the first post about the inanity of medical billing.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:43 pm 
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I remember when we were interviewing local OBGYNs/hospital-based midwives to see if homebirth was really the way we wanted to go (the reactions we got from doctors when we said we wanted to meet them first before we signed up with their practice is a whole other story...) I asked one OB point blank how much it was going to cost me to have a baby here. He hemmed and hawed and said that that was a question for the front desk. I seriously stood at that desk for a half hour going back and forth trying to get a straight answer out of her ("Oh, well, we don't give those figures out." "Well, it's different for every person and their situation." "This really isn't something we discuss." "You need to talk with your insurance.") She finally whispered under her breath, to the point that I don't even know if I heard her right: "Seven." She then shut that little glass partition in my face.

Seven?
Seven hundred?
Seven thousand?
Seventy thousand?

Seriously, we get prices on everything else we purchase or for services. Why is health care so different?!


Last edited by flavabean on Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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One of the things I really like about the military hospitals, despite being frustrated with one in particular in this area, is that if they do it, you don't have to pay for it. This does mean that their form of cost control is deeming things unnecessary and therefore giving you no option to pay out of pocket even if you're willing, but the upside is, no surprises.

We're in civilian care, so like the pediatrician appointment that randomly cost us $160? We didn't have any idea until afterwards. I still have no idea why some things are covered in full and others aren't. No idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Yeah, we had no idea going into it how much the Emperor was going to cost. I want to say our insurance was like "30% of all costs" with a max out of pocket of 10k or something. That is only really helpful if you know what the total costs are going to be.

This time around, I should only ("only") have to pay a maximum of $2000 total out of pocket. I don't know if it will even be that much, because again, I have to pay a percentage of total costs (10% this time). My total prenatal costs to date (including a 20 week ultrasound and a followup 4 weeks later) have only been about $100.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:59 pm 
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sashi wrote:
And then we got a bill for the anethesiologist that did my epidural that was over $1000. Apparently he was out of network (even though the hospital was in network) and I guess I was supposed to think to ask that when I was in labor.


Did you call the health insurance about this? The same thing happened to me and my insurance paid for 1/2 of it. I called to ask why and they said because he was out of network and then the woman on the phone said "Oh, was this done while you were in the hospital?" When I said "yes" she then did something on her end to have it resubmitted so that they would pay for the whole thing since I didn't have control over who gave me an epidural..etc..

This really pissed me off because I didn't know that all I had to do was call the health insurance to have them pay for things like that when I had an out of network Dr at a hospital that was in network. We paid quite a bit out of pocket when we had Reno because of this. I'm happy that I don't have to pay all that now with Miles.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:36 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Quote:
Apparently he was out of network (even though the hospital was in network) and I guess I was supposed to think to ask that when I was in labor.


Brainsplosion. That seems really crepe to me. I am so sorry for all the unexpected costs. I guess that is the thing I hate most about the American system - you have no idea about what you're going to be billed until you get the bill, and there is no real rhyme or reason or continuity in the prices. I really liked the NYT link I put on the first post about the inanity of medical billing.

Not birth related, but my husband had surgery recently and we paid our part beforehand. Except the doctor messed up the authorization paperwork with our insurance company so only 1/3 of the surgery is being counted as "approved" and will be covered at the higher rate. It's boggling my mind that a doctor's billing mistake could potentially cost us thousands of dollars. At least it would, if we weren't flatly refusing to pay it.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:44 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:

All this isn't much compared to the fertility tests and interventions that weren't covered. Our IUI (intrauterine insemination) was nearly $1,000 ($120 for my HCG shot and nearly $300 for sperm collection (small room with 70s porno mags) and sperm washing and the remainder for the MD time). Our friends spent $50,000 out of pocket just to get pregnant.


They charged for collection? You should have just brought in a cup and said "here, now clean it. " That, or write a fake check for $300 to your partner next time you get busy :p

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:45 pm 
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Semen Strong
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For Leela's jaundice we were told that insurance companies pretty routinely reject claims for reimbursement if the hospital admits a baby with a bili count of 18 or under, saying that hospitalization isn't the standard of care. If they do that, its either the parents or the hospital that has to eat the costs.

You always think that if the hospital is giving you no choice on whether to admit that your bills would be covered but apparently not always.....

Also, she has my husband's last name and is on my insurance. The bills that were paid were submitted as Leela Tofulish not Leela Mr. T. Our jaundice file is all under my husband's name. So we might have to deal with that too. All bc I was too lazy to change my name back in the day.

Quote:
They charged for collection? You should have just brought in a cup and said "here, now clean it. " That, or write a fake check for $300 to your partner next time you get busy :p


Hahaha! My partner isn't Subway Dan! I don't think he could have given a fresh sample on mass transit.....

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Last edited by Tofulish on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:45 pm 
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guys this thread has me wondering what the hell is going to happen with my bills this time around. Because I have to admit, I did not pay a penny out of pocket for Dahlia's birth - that includes the Csection, anesthesia, 3day hospital stay AND my midwife care and I never actually saw any bills. But I had different insurance back then; now I have a crappy HMO that seriously limits my choice of dr/hospital/midwife if I want to stay in network and if I go out of network, there is NO reimbursement. Apparently I can get reimbursed for a homebirth because no homebirth midwives are offered under this plan and it's state law to cover (at least part of?) that, but in the meantime we'd have to pay out of pocket and fight the insurance company constantly. As I've mentioned, my partner is unemployed and has been for years and it's not like we have any savings I can use to pay for anything. Major ugh.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:46 pm 
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The US is so forking stupid. The end.


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 Post subject: Re: Hospital bills
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:09 pm 
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I'm not glad that so many of you had to pay a buttload to have your babies, but I am relieved to know I was RIGHT when my husband and I had a lengthy conversation about how much money we needed to save before we could procreate. I said we needed to sock away at least a couple thousand, and he acted like I was crazy, saying "The insurance will pay for it all!". It boggles my mind that he can naively believe that, and yet be so incredibly skeptical when I said my IUD would be completely covered, minus a co-pay.

He thinks that because our friends (coworkers of his who have the same insurance) never mentioned any bills related to their birth. Yeah, but why would they? They don't mention any of their other bills but I'm sure they pay them!


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