Wednesday, March 9, 2016

God Loveth a Cheerful Giver

And so does the IRS! Shout out to my itemized deductions in the year of our Lord two thousand and fifteen. I've gotten most of my tax refund and I made it rain on a loan. I was toying with the idea of putting that money in savings to cover hospital costs and/or daycare/nanny costs, but the interest rates on one of my loans was so high that I just had to pay it off.

Have we discussed how hard it is to get a straight answers from doctors, hospitals and insurance about the cost of things. I'm getting ready to have two babies. I know FOR SURE that it's going to cost a grip. What I do not know is how much my insurance covers and what I need to sock away for out of pocket costs.

Here's what I did.

1. Ask the doctor in 2015. She said since my insurance is changing in 2016, then to ask then.
2. Asked a different doctor in 2016. She doesn't know. She said doctors aren't really allowed to talk about pricing with doctors from other hospitals because it's considered unethical. tf? She said to ask admitting.
3. Ask admitting. They said they can tell me what it costs to have a baby at that hospital without insurance, but they don't have insurance rates. They said call my insurance to see what percentage they pay. I said ok, but 10% of I don't damn know what is still I don't damn know. They also gave me the number to finance. Great, I have options.
4. Ask the insurance, they were pretty helpful. They told me my out of pocket maximums. Ultimately as long as I have that much money saved or put away in a health or flexible spending account, then I won't have that many out of pocket costs.
5. I called hospital finance. Not only do they not answer the phone. They have an answering machine. I left a message. They did not call me back. I'm not joking.
6. FINALLY, FINALLY, I asked the receptionist at my doctor's office. She told me in 30 seconds.

If it's a regular pregnancy:

$10,000 for anesthesiology
$10,000 for the hospital
$8,700 for my doctor's fees
About $1,000 for the pediatrician who checks the babies (That costs doesn't double since it's two babies. That sounds like a lie, but I hear what she's saying)

If the babies have to go to the NICU
Insurmountable costs. She said it's like $50,000 for the first 2 hours (AND I have two babies).

She also said they don't (the hospital doesn't) like to give prices because sometimes they overquote or underquote. So damn, you're not going to respond (I'm talking to you finance department) because you're scared I'm going to what? Have my baby at home because the hospital is too expensive. The worst.

Anywho, in both scenarios (regular or complicated pregnancy), the cost of the hospital visit is higher than my out of pocket maximums for the calendar year, so the info that I got from the insurance company is also helpful.

WHY WAS THIS SO HARD? Never in life would you go to a car dealership and say how much is this Chevy and they say "take it home, then we'll bill you... but if you have Allstate, it's one cost and if you have State Farm, it's another cost... and we can't tell you what that cost is because we don't want you comparing it to the dealership next door."

But when I want to have a baby, it's all hush, hush. And take this unnecessary test and that unecessary test. And let us poke and prod at your body and then charge you for the technician, the lab, the doctor, the hospital and the paper we printed it on and no matter what that charge is, you will pay it. Mmkay, thanks.

Folks better hope I don't win the lottery. I will become a pregnant women's rights advocate and knock the socks off these corporations, doctors, hospitals, insurance companies. The entire backwards ass system would have something coming if I wasn't a wage slave.

Do you have any idea how much your labor and delivery costed? 


Loran Fabyuel said...

It is just what I was looking for and quite thorough as well. Thanks for posting this, I saw a couple essay write
other similar posts but yours was the best so far. The ideas are strongly pointed out and clearly emphasized.

Kanae J said...

Howdy! If I can find the bill, I'll send you a screenshot of it. I have HMO which when having babies is much better than a PPO. I believe it was 18k for P and me. I only paid 500.