Monday, October 01, 2007

How much did this baby cost us?

October 2007 - After recently having a baby, I made every attempt possible to figure out our hospital bills. I knew we wouldn't have to pay for them, but I wanted to get an idea of what it costs to have a baby these days. Unfortunately, I failed as I'm totally confused by what is a bill, what isn't a bill, what's paid for, what isn't paid for, and so on.

We've literally received five to six letters in the mail from our health care provider, all with different charges and totals. We even got a letter from our pediatrician stating we owed them almost $800. I quickly called our provider and they assured me, we can ignore that bill. As a side note, when ever I get a large bill - like my tuition bill for the fall - I plan on calling my provider to see if they can magically make it go away like they do with baby bills.

Continuing on. My wife has pretty good insurance. For around $140 a month, she pays a $20 co-pay and a $250 deductible for hospital stays. Not too bad. As of right now - two months after having the baby - we've had to pay a $250 deductible for my wife and a $250 deductible for my son which was expected given her insurance coverage. I'd argue that is a pretty good deal for 10 - 15 pre-sessions with her doctor and a five day stay in the hospital. Not to mention, they had to perform "major surgery" to deliver the little bugger.

The real costs are obviously much higher and once I get them figured out (if I ever do), I'll post the results. I'd expect them to be anywhere between $10,000 and $30,000. Why such a wide spread you ask? It's because I've yet to understand what is a bill or charge verses what is a bunch of needless line items that mean nothing. Once I figure that out, I'll take a deep breath and send a nice Holiday card to my healthcare provider.