Wednesday, October 6, 2010

How much DOES it cost to have a baby?

I still don't know the answer to that question.

It's awful, actually, how uninformed I always feel as I face medical issues. I have so many questions right now.

Would a birthing center be cheaper than the hospital?

I will easily meet my deductible on my insurance plan ($3,500) and some of the costs of our delivery will be paid by the insurance. However... I just found out that since the baby is a different person, the cost of his hospital stay, pediatrician, and any complications will be starting again at fully out-of-pocket if he is on my insurance.

On that note, it's too expensive to keep the kid on my insurance. I was advised to look at independent policies for the baby, but then was advised by someone else that most major institutions were shutting down infant-only policies. True?

Will the cost of an epidural push me to an all-natural birth (which I do not want)?

Are community hospitals like Cook County in Chicago and Parkland in Dallas cheaper for anyone, or are they just seen as "cheap" because they serve people on medicare and medicaid and without insurance? If I went there as a patient with insurance would it be any different than the hospital I'm currently working with?

And... of course... why the heck is our medical system so freaking complicated??? I've been paying monthly payments to my doctor in anticipation for the delivery. I only just found out today that my hospital stay, baby's hospital stay, pediatrician, and any anesthesia costs will all be separate, extra bills that would have blindsided me if I hadn't specifically asked.

Advice?

9 comments:

Amy B. said...

I don't feel comfortable offering advice per se, but I will share the little that I do know from my recent experience, with the understanding that our insurance plans are probably different.

First, while it's true that the pediatrician costs and any other care for baby beyond the normal care of a delivery will be considered separate,andnot under your deductible, I don't think that's true of the hospital stay. I think baby's hospital stay is covered by your insurance as part of the whole normal birth experience. At least I hope I'm right about that, or we could be in trouble!

I haven't seen the bill from my OB yet, so I don't know the full cost of my birth was. I can tell you that the total cost was almost $20,000. That was for a c-section, bear in mind. The epidural was $1800 of that cost. Which, egarding the epidural, you will surely meet your deductible with or without it, so why would you think you'd need to skip it? I didn't understand that part. Do you pay a percentage of everything above your deductible? (tell me to buzz off if anything I ask or say is too personal.)

i think birthing centers are cheaper than hospitals, but I'm not positive. We don't have any birthing centers in st. Louis, so I couldn't look into it as an option. I know midwives are cheaper than OBs.

If I can think of any other knowledge that I have which might help you, I will be sure to share it. Feel free to ask me anything. I am sure that one way or another, it will all work out for your family. We don't know exactly how we are going to afford the extra monthly payment for J's insurance, plus my premium is about to go up by half again. But somehow, God always provides, even if it is in scary and last minute ways. :)

Amy B. said...

P.S. I'm typing this on an iPod while nursing my son in the middle of the night, so thats's why there are so many typos! And after I said I didn't know the full cost of my birth, I meant to say that my total hospital bill was nearly $20,000. But that is the dollar amount after the negotiated discounts between the hospital and my insurance, so again, your insurance will be different.

Kacie said...

Whew.... Yeah, it's difficult for me to get a handle on. I need to call my insurance and confirm a few things, that will be one of them.

I was told by this hospital that the cost of an epidural would be $3000, and yeah, we will likely have met our out of pocket deductible, after that is still an 80/20 deal. So... that could be $600 at the least. Would I pay $600 for an epidural? Maybe. But what if I could manage my pain and avoid it?

My friend is giving birth a month before me at a local birthing center - she highly recommended that if I do consider switching to an all-natural birth plan that I move to the birthing center. They make it their business to help you manage your pain.

So... I don't know. I have calls to make today to start to figure it out. I wish I could know how much it will cost BEFORE hand, so we know how to plan...

Kacie said...

Confirmed.... the little guy's hospital stay is under his own deductible, not mine.
And since my deductible is $3,500, that means it's essentially out of pocket.

Jaimie said...

I would get a doula and do a home birth in the bathtub.

Kacie said...

Erin, I love canada's medical system and wish I lived under it! :)

Jaimie, I don't think the home birth is an option in a small apartment with roomates. I think I need to feel free, and if other people were potentially around I wouldn't... so that just isn't something I've considered.

michelle said...

kacie, i know this was already stated, but aside from the money factor, you might want to look into the other benefits of considering natural birth. (i'm sure you're probably thinking how funny that i respond since we adopted our kids - but my mom is a doula so i know a LOT about natural birthing!) anyway, not only do epidurals more often lead to c-section but they can cause other complications and natural birth is so much easier to recover from....even if you don't have a c-section, just the epidural can cause other problems/side effects. and i would def. recommend the birthing center route and assume it would be cheaper as well. that being said, i can't imagine trying to figure it all out and i'm sure there are so many details to look into....so i will pray that you find what is right for you and know that God will take care of you and baby boy! :)

cclarebear said...

This is all foreign territory to me (especially your f*cked up medical system but that's a rant for another day), however I will say this:

I'm not sure how much $ should really come into your decision-making process when it comes to managing the pain and where to have your baby. If the choice comes down to use a midwife vs an OB, or using a birthing centre vs a hospital, a c-section vs a vaginal birth, it is your own personal opinion and feelings on the subject. If you get there and want an epidural, then you should have one. If you feel you can manage without one, then don't get one.

In the end, as people have already been saying - God will provide. The important thing I think for now is to make sure you have a birthing plan in place that you are comfortable with, and maximises the safety not only of your baby, but of you.

lots of love xo

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