November 2011 Moms

Being pregnant shouldn't be this stressful (financial vent)

I wasn't planning on getting pregnant. I am a temp, and I have limited insurance.

I may as well not even be insured. They hardly cover ANYTHING. No coverage for pre-existing conditions. They only pay $50 per month toward prescriptions. They don't cover blood thinners AT ALL.

They pay $1,000 per year toward medical expenses.

I'm supposed to have my first OB appointment tomorrow, and they called me today and said I need to bring a check for $5,000 as a deposit toward the cost of labor and delivery.

I just about passed out. I'm at work, and I'm crying my eyes out.

Re: Being pregnant shouldn't be this stressful (financial vent)

  • Wow, $5,000 to your first appt?!

    Can you get any state assistance?

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  • Oh man, though situtation.  Have you called around to other places?  What about Planned Parenthood?  I think they do reduced cost pre-natal care.  

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/health-topics/pregnancy/prenatal-care-4255.htm 

    I would also call the Drs office back and find out if they plan on cashing that check right away or if they just need to have it on file

    ETA: planned parenthood link

  • $5,000?! WOW! granted, i have insurance but i've never heard of such a thing! at my first prenatal appointment they did my blood work and everything and then i went and met with the financial department. they had a payment plan worked out for every different brand of insurance based on the type of delivery and such worked out. each brand of insurance was broken down into a payment schedule and you knew what you needed to pay at each appointment so by the time you delivered you had paid everything.. barring any unforeseen complications.

    i'm sorry your going through this. i can't imagine how stressful it is on top of every other pregnancy related worry. i would definitely check in to government/state aid for insurance.. or maybe look into different OBs who work better with people who are under insured or uninsured.

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  • Go to your state's web site and sign up for WIC...what ever else they offer.  That is what I am going to do when I lose my job here in the next few months!!  Indiana I know offers hoosier health wise.  Right now I make a little too much money...but it will only be like $40 a month for me when I am unemployed!!  If your not having any issues, see if you can reschedule your ob apt for after you talk to someone about getting Government help!!

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  • Call WIC (Women, Infants and Children) they will assist you in finding more affordable care plus other things llike food, meds etc.
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  • There's a reason I want to stay with his particular hospital -- I had a massive pulmonary embolism four years ago, which puts me at higher risk while pregnant. I was treated at this hospital, they already have all my records, the doctors that treated me then are still here.

    But thank you for the suggestions, I'll look into them.

    The place where I'm temping brought up hiring me full-time back in February. I just asked if they had heard anything further, and was told "We're not hiring permanently yet," which is BS, because they've hired four new people in another department, and I just met another new employee in a third department today.

    S/O is looking into what it will cost us to put me on his insurance policy (he works for a non-profit that probably won't pay any portion of my premium). If it's affordable, we'll head to the courthouse and get married. We talked about getting married in the future, so it's not like we didn't want to anyway.

  • I don't qualify for state health insurance or WIC. I make too much money.
  • Even if you were to go on some sort of assistance you would still be able to choose your OB and the hospital to deliver at.

    I know it is common for some people with insurance and those without to have to pay an up front cost to their OB for labor and delivery.  

    I have insurance and didn't pay my labor and delivery fee up front for my OB the bill came afterwards. My hospital bill was a separate bill as was my epidural.  I do have a friend with insurance though that had to make monthly payments through her pregnancy to cover her labor and delivery fees and then got a bill afterwards for whatever wasn't covered already.

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  • will the dr office not work with you and let you pay on the $5,000 deposit each time you come in?
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  • Yeah, thats crap. There is no way they actually expect you to come in tomorrow (or later this week, whenever) and actually pay $5k. Meet with them, set up a payment plan, and go from there. That will also protect you in case you get hired on full time-

    For example-In Dec I had surgery to remove some ovarian cysts-OB told me I owed amount A, Hospital told me I owed them a seperate payment- amount B. I knew amount B couldn't be right, because amount A hadn't been applied to my deductible....so I agreed to pay 10% of amount B.....and I haven't recieved a bill for the remainder yet. I think my insurance got updated and they realized that I didn't owe that much. Sure, those places have to give you refunds, but they can take for.ev.er.

    If you get hired FT in the middle of this-or switch to your S/Os insurance, it could be ridiculously confusing if you have already paid the full amount and its over what you would owe now. Set up a payment plan. IIRC, they HAVE to allow you to make payments-including small payments. They don't advertise it though.
    Also-have your S/O check with his insurance-I know some insurance co's won't cover pg unless you have coverage for a certain amount of time beforehand. Double check that before he signs you up.

    GL!!!

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  • I can't get on S/O's insurance. The school he works for doesn't cover any portion of a spouse's premium, so it would cost us $600 a month.

  • Just reading through and thought $600 a month would take about 5-6 months just to come to the $5000 you have to pay up front.  That doesn't include the costs for throughout the pregnancy like ultrasounds, testing/bloodwork, the actual labor and delivery.  I think going on your S/O's insurance might be the best idea for right now.  Maybe you will get full time in between now and the delivery and then you can switch.  But, $600 a month might be a good idea for now.  I know I've already had two rounds of bloodwork and like 5 ultrasounds...
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  • FIRST- I am having a similar problem because while I have good insurance now through my husbands company- he is about to leave and start his own business and NO ONE will give me insurance since Im already pregnant and thats preexisting so I have to either pay cash for everything or beg my husband to stay with his company for at least 6 months.

    NEXT- I am seeing a birthing center/midwife- you should consider the cost. While our hospitals run about $15,000 for a birth, the birthing center with state aid (which almost pays for nothing) is $500. The birthing center is ten times better than any other doctor ive ever heard of. They care and listen and spend time with you and do whatever you ask.(they are also safer than hospital births and less stresful)

    IF- you dont switch to a cheaper option (which I know there are not many), Then call the OB office and demand that you cant pay that upfront that you HAVE to make a payment plan. Take control. I used to work for a doctor and they cant say no to you (the doctor always worked with people who were up front and honest about their financial situation)- if they do, you NEED a new doctor.

     

     

    Im so sorry, I am a worrier BIG TIME about finances and I know how stressful that is, Ive been crying for days since my husband said he was going to quit and go full time with his own business (which means no ins.)

  • image Mom2Cinderella:
    Just reading through and thought $600 a month would take about 5-6 months just to come to the $5000 you have to pay up front.  That doesn't include the costs for throughout the pregnancy like ultrasounds, testing/bloodwork, the actual labor and delivery.  I think going on your S/O's insurance might be the best idea for right now.  Maybe you will get full time in between now and the delivery and then you can switch.  But, $600 a month might be a good idea for now.  I know I've already had two rounds of bloodwork and like 5 ultrasounds...

    Apparently, I misheard. It's not half his paycheck. It's a whole paycheck. $1200 a month.  

  • image hmstrait:

    NEXT- I am seeing a birthing center/midwife- you should consider the cost. While our hospitals run about $15,000 for a birth, the birthing center with state aid (which almost pays for nothing) is $500. The birthing center is ten times better than any other doctor ive ever heard of. They care and listen and spend time with you and do whatever you ask.(they are also safer than hospital births and less stresful)

     

    Birthing centers aren't an option for me -- high-risk pregnancy.  

  • Here is my advice as someone without insurance....

    Call around to multiple OB's and find out what their self pay rate is.  In both of my pregnancies, it was about $2000-2500 total.  That included the dr's visits and dr's fee for delivery.  I had to pay a $500 deposit and then make a monthly payment and have it paid off by 28 weeks.  I have talked to multiple OB's and never heard of a rate over $3000.  You can sometimes negotiate less if you pay in cash (not on a credit card) and if you pay it in a lump sum rather than in installments. 

    Also call your hospital (or multiple hospitals) directly and find out about a self pay rate for maternity.  When my son was born, it was a private hospital and the charge was $2500 as long as I was there less than 5 days.  It covered all of my delivery costs.  I just had to pay it by the time I checked out to get that rate and there was no deposit. In a public hospital it could be less and you might be able to pay it out on a much longer time frame.  You will need to make sure that whatever OB you choose is affiliated with the hospital you want to use. 

    You will have to pay out of pocket for ultrasounds and lab fees but those are usually billed later and can be paid out.  I've had to pay around $100 for an ultrasound. 

    I also had a high risk pregnancy in the past but moved to a different city so I couldn't use the same dr.  They will transfer all of your medical records if you request so they know about your history.

    It will obviously be expensive no matter what, but at least you should be able to work something out where you don't have an insane deposit up front and can pay it all out over time.  Good luck! 

     

  • image marista99:
    OP, where are you located--what state?

    I'm in Pennsylvania.  

  • image LuvMyFurbaby:

    image marista99:
    OP, where are you located--what state?

    I'm in Pennsylvania.  

    Hmm, don't know much about PA but I know in MA and VT everyone has access to (somewhat) affordable health insurance and is required to have it.  I don't suppose moving is an option for you?  I mean I would guess not, but I'm just trying to think of a way out of this issue for you.

    I pay a good $400-500 or so a month out of my teaching salary for insurance for myself and DH, so $600 to me sounds high but not totally unreasonable. $1200 is just insane.  No one can afford that.

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.  It really, really bothers me that so many honest, hardworking Americans--as I assume you are--cannot get insurance or remotely affordable healthcare. It just does not make any sense.

  • image marista99:

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.  It really, really bothers me that so many honest, hardworking Americans--as I assume you are--cannot get insurance or remotely affordable healthcare. It just does not make any sense.

    Thanks. It really bothers me, too, and it makes me want to scream when people say we don't need healthcare reform.  

  • I live in NY and I know it's very different from almost every state (they require by law that everyone who qualifies receive assistance even after the 5 year federal limit).  But, I think that there is some differences if you are pregnant or have a child.  You might want to look into it as it is a special circumstance which might at least cover you until your child is 3 months old.  It's definitely worth asking someone in your local county department of social service.
  • image LuvMyFurbaby:
    image marista99:

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.  It really, really bothers me that so many honest, hardworking Americans--as I assume you are--cannot get insurance or remotely affordable healthcare. It just does not make any sense.

    Thanks. It really bothers me, too, and it makes me want to scream when people say we don't need healthcare reform.  

    Me too!  We're self employed and have just always paid out of pocket because the insurance rates are so crazy.  (DH has a pre-existing heart condition.)  I can't wait for the day when something actually happens with healthcare reform (if it ever actually does).  

  • image hmstrait:

    FIRST- I am having a similar problem because while I have good insurance now through my husbands company- he is about to leave and start his own business and NO ONE will give me insurance since Im already pregnant and thats preexisting so I have to either pay cash for everything or beg my husband to stay with his company for at least 6 months.

    NEXT- I am seeing a birthing center/midwife- you should consider the cost. While our hospitals run about $15,000 for a birth, the birthing center with state aid (which almost pays for nothing) is $500. The birthing center is ten times better than any other doctor ive ever heard of. They care and listen and spend time with you and do whatever you ask.(they are also safer than hospital births and less stresful)

    IF- you dont switch to a cheaper option (which I know there are not many), Then call the OB office and demand that you cant pay that upfront that you HAVE to make a payment plan. Take control. I used to work for a doctor and they cant say no to you (the doctor always worked with people who were up front and honest about their financial situation)- if they do, you NEED a new doctor.

    Im so sorry, I am a worrier BIG TIME about finances and I know how stressful that is, Ive been crying for days since my husband said he was going to quit and go full time with his own business (which means no ins.)

    hmstrait, you should be able to get group health insurance as a small business for your hubby's new company. Your hubby just needs to make you his partner and you would both need to be covered under the group plan. There are a lot of health insurance companies that consider a 2 person company to qualify for a group health insurance plan and on a group plan maternity is not a pre-existing condition (at least in the states I know the laws in) so your pregnancy would be covered. In NV a 2 person group plan runs about $700 which doesn't include the copays or a deductible but is still less than paying out of pocket. I found an association health insurance plan to cover me which is less than the group plan hubby and I would have had to get and i'm gonna take some $ out of my 401k which isn't ideal but better than stressing over where I'm gonna get the money.

  • I would be a mess if I was you right now. I can't believe you're supposed to just show up with $5,000. Who has that kind of money just laying around? My SIL didn't have a job or insurance when she got pregnant and I think DH said her whole thing only cost $500. I'll try to find out how she did it. She lives in AZ and I know you said you make too much to get state aid. I'll ask her what she did. Good luck in this!
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  • Wow. Did you ask them if you could make payments? If they are unwilling to work with you, you might want to check with another OB or perhaps a midwife. I am seeing a midwife and the total cost for everything is only going to be $2,500. She is letting me make payments that is best for my financial situation.

     It's not fair to have to worry about finances while pregnant. Something will work out though. 

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  • image LuvMyFurbaby:
    image marista99:

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.  It really, really bothers me that so many honest, hardworking Americans--as I assume you are--cannot get insurance or remotely affordable healthcare. It just does not make any sense.

    Thanks. It really bothers me, too, and it makes me want to scream when people say we don't need healthcare reform.  

    It bothers me also! We all should have access to affordable, quality healthcare.  Paying $5,000 at an OB first appointment seems quite ridiculous to me.  It should also be illegal for insurance companies to disqualify you because you're pregnant and it's a pre- existing condition. 

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  • image sweetpealee:
    image LuvMyFurbaby:
    image marista99:

    I'm so sorry you're going through this.  It really, really bothers me that so many honest, hardworking Americans--as I assume you are--cannot get insurance or remotely affordable healthcare. It just does not make any sense.

    Thanks. It really bothers me, too, and it makes me want to scream when people say we don't need healthcare reform.  

    It bothers me also! We all should have access to affordable, quality healthcare.  Paying $5,000 at an OB first appointment seems quite ridiculous to me.  It should also be illegal for insurance companies to disqualify you because you're pregnant and it's a pre- existing condition. 

    I believe it is illegal under HIPAA (I'm not sure if those regulations are federal or state), however, I'm being denied by private insurance because of past treatment for an adrenal disorder.

    I also don't qualify for the state "high risk" insurance, because I am techincally insured right now (eligibility requirements include being uninsured for the past six months). Unfortunately, I'm "under-insured."

  • image jendenise0401:
    image hmstrait:

    Im so sorry, I am a worrier BIG TIME about finances and I know how stressful that is, Ive been crying for days since my husband said he was going to quit and go full time with his own business (which means no ins.)

    hmstrait, you should be able to get group health insurance as a small business for your hubby's new company. Your hubby just needs to make you his partner and you would both need to be covered under the group plan. There are a lot of health insurance companies that consider a 2 person company to qualify for a group health insurance plan and on a group plan maternity is not a pre-existing condition (at least in the states I know the laws in) so your pregnancy would be covered. In NV a 2 person group plan runs about $700 which doesn't include the copays or a deductible but is still less than paying out of pocket. I found an association health insurance plan to cover me which is less than the group plan hubby and I would have had to get and i'm gonna take some $ out of my 401k which isn't ideal but better than stressing over where I'm gonna get the money.

     

     Thanks jendenise0401, I called around yesterday and EVERYONE (cigna, cobra, i dont qualify for state ins.- those are the only ins. the birthing center takes anyways besides BCBS) said, since your already pregnant, we cant do anything for you, if you would have started the plan before your pregnancy you would have totally been covered. BCBS was the only one that said they will cover maternity BUT my inlaws have to be on the plan because they are co-owners of the business. They are not gonna do that, they have cheap insurance themselves because my mother inlaw works at a hospital and she is not going to do field work in the company with her boys so she is staying at her job. So... poop.

    We have good BCBS in which my husbands company is paying for the $2000 deductible and there are no co pays so it cost us nothing right now. My husbands mentor for the business offered to buy the plan for us from his company but I dont think thats possible is it? I thought if you leave the company, you leave the ins.

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