Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hospital bills

The day before we were to be induced, I logged onto my insurance's website and estimated how much having this baby would cost us. They estimated total costs of around $9K with my out-of-pocket being around $1,800. Steve and I were ecstatic. That was much less than our out-of-pocket cost with Brandon (I have different insurance coverage this time around). But then came the emergency C-section.

Have you ever wondered what a hospital charges for an emergency C-section? Let me answer that for you. About $26K. We asked for an itemized bill because they don't send it automatically. I guess people just receive hospital bills and pay them. Not me. I wanted to see how in the hell we wracked up that bill.

I called the hospital yesterday asking if they had made an error - they sent two bills, one for me and one for Holden. Each of our bills charged us for a room - mine was $900 a night, his was $1600 a night. I explained that Holden slept in our same room. The man at the hospital told me they charge everyone with a newborn for the baby nursery, whether or not they use it.

Only in healthcare can you get away with charging for something no one asked for or used. They also charged me $15.25 for each of my thyroid pills. The thyroid pills that I pay $10 for a month's supply and have plenty of, but they forbid me from bringing to the hospital. But that is small peanuts in comparison to the room charges. You would think we had stayed at a five star resort.

The hospital bills don't include the bills we will be receiving from the anesthesiologist, Holden's circumcision, my OB/GYN and Holden's pediatrician. When all is said and done, we will have been charged about $30K for Holden's delivery. Of course we're not paying all of that. We have insurance and they don't allow the hospital to receive all of what they're charging. They paid some and I have reached my out-of-pocket maximum and we are working on reaching Holden's, too.

Damn, healthcare is a racket though, isn't it? I also pay co-pays for every doctor's visit and premiums out of every paycheck. I think when all is said and done the insurance company and I each pay about the same amount on my healthcare. Which is why they're millionaires and I'm not. I'm paying them to pay my bills. And then I'm paying the rest. I'm not usually a total miser about money, but then again, I never received a $26K bill before.

Steve said it best though, Holden is worth every penny. If a frugal accountant can have that healthy and positive mindset about this whole thing, perhaps I should, too.

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