We’ve hit the seven week mark. It’s unbelievable how fast time has gone by. Even though I’m still in a sleep-deprived haze, I am awake enough to see changes in Pumpkin daily. It’s absolutely amazing. What also starts happening around the 6th/7th week is that the bills start rolling in. Yes, it turns out that not only are babies expensive during the course of their lives, but the birth is extremely expensive. My guess is that it’s double if you have a C-Section.
Just the bills for the birth through hospital stay (this includes nurses, blood tests, birth, c-section, doctor visits), ran over $30K. Can we say thank god for insurance? Hospital stay alone was the most expensive per night stay I’ve ever had. Granted, every night we spent there was worth it since I was hooked up to IVs, on pain meds, and unable to move.
You will receive so many bills, they will create this pile of doom. When you have the energy to finally go through them and start to pay them off, make sure you have had some sleep first. Read every bill carefully. Make sure they have gone through your insurance and you know exactly what that bill is for. As you pay the bills, make sure you keep track of them so you are not double paying.
I received a bill from a doctor that I didn’t recognize. On the bill it stated that he “assisted with my c-section” and for that would like $700. Wow. That’s some great money to make for being in a room. I don’t even remember seeing him. I couldn’t tell you what he did versus what my OB did. There were other nurses in the room, the anesthesiologist, my doctor and Matt. Lots of nurses from what I remember. I called the Dr. Office to introduce myself and ask the billing department if they needed my insurance information (since I was not their patient and they probably did not have it). I left two messages for the billing department and never heard back. A few days later, I receive another bill for the same amount ($700), with “already billed insurance” written in red on it. This means that the billing person got my phone calls and decided to not call me back. Ooookay.
I decided to call my insurance to find out if they really did pay this mystery doctor. Turns out they did for an amount much different than what they are charging me. Also turns out that my portion is only around $45. WTF? Yes, $45. That is WAAAAAAAY off from $700. I was told by my insurance to wait for the next bill to see if it was corrected but definitely not to pay the $700.
If I hadn’t called my insurance, I would have paid $700 and the insurance would have paid and I would have never known.
These first few months after having a baby is sort of a haze, but make sure to carefully check all your bills. I’m not saying that people are purposefully trying to take advantage of me, but it does seem like it may be easy to “game” the system and in the end, it’s me who would have paid for it.
One more word of advice about insurance and pregnancy/birth. Make sure to ask beforehand if your insurance covers things like lactation nurse or breastpumps. I did not ask until yesterday and it turns out that they pay 100% for breast pump rentals (medically grade ones can help increase milk supply – more on this another time). I’ve already paid $200 for the hospital breast pump out of my own pocket because I had no idea. The lactation nurse wasn’t covered, but sometimes it is.
Everything about a baby is expensive. But if you pay attention and plan ahead, you can make it a little less so. Then you can spend those hard earned dollars on cute outfits for baby (so much better).