Thursday, March 20, 2008

Reduce your Hospital Bill for Childbirth!

Hi all!

Here is a list of some advice I gave to my sister whom is due any day!!!! She asked me for advice on how to save some money on her childbirth hospital bill, and what she needs and doesn't! I hope this big sis gave some good advice and would like for you all (my visitors...regular or not) to leave more ideas or experiences in the comment section. I am going to share any ideas you give me with my sister with hope I can give this information soon as she is ready to go any minute! :-) Yay! I will be an Aunt! I hope it is an Easter Baby!

Okay...here is a fast list of the advice I gave her (maybe it is useful for you as well):

  1. *What I got AT the hospital and should NOT have; Nivea Cream (nothing special....charged me $17.00 for it...few dollars in the store! It was for my son's little cracked heals...wasn't a big deal...they just love to offer things when you ask questions...but they fail to tell you how much or that you are charged for it!)
  2. *Advil (they gave me these like a couple times each day and two at a time and charged me $5.00 PER PILL...you know a whole jar doesn't cost that hardly)
  3. *I did NOT buy this at the hospital because someone warned me to bring my own: Dermaplast (I didn't need this due to a c-section....this is VERY necessary if you are giving birth the normal way as you are going to have stitches will itch! They will charge you like $20 for a small can of it, and it cost me $3.00 at walmart, same stuff!)
  4. *If you plan to use a BreastPump and have one, Bring It! They kept insisting and brought me one even when I told them I had one. I got charged for the rental of the pump and parts that I didn't use to the tune of over $1000 for everything. I protested the bill (make sure you get an itemized statement) and had it taken off. They didn't give me any trouble.
  5. *You will have a "painkiller" button that they will tell you to press when you feel pain...it is just simple medication..and every time you press the button they charge you for it. At the end they come and look at a couter and write it down! I didn't realize it! It was like $5.00 a button press and I got button happy! So push the button if you really are in pain don't sit in pain, they are there to help you afterall, but if it is a normal feeling or whatever don't.
  6. *Big Savings here: ***Whatever you do..DO NOT let them take the baby out of the room unless they say it is for shots or something. That you can't avoid. But if you are just tired and need sleep and want them to take the baby...DON'T DO IT! They charge $500 each time they roll the baby out! And not only that...they will bring the baby back if it starts crying or hungry, or needs a diaper change...they aren't going to do that for you in the nursery..they BRING IT BACK for YOU to do! They did that to me!!!!!! Not worth $500 if you ask me. The whole idea for me was to have peace and quiet...what kind of peace is that? The baby would have slept anyways! If you need sleep, make sure someone is there with you and rest easy!
  7. *My sister had asked me a good question...did she need to bring bottles? I said no because they have little bottles that are disposable for you if you need supplemental milk. They are so cute too!
  8. *Now, if you are going to use YOUR pump while in the hospital, you will need to bring like two or three breast pump bottles, but that is all! I did take the pump and a couple of breast pump bottles and that is all!
  9. *Don't forget to take the items they tell you are Yours in your bassinet! Very useful stuff and you will pay for it regardless!
  10. *It is too late for my sister but for all you out there in blog world not pregnant yet...get yourself some supplemental hospital insurance. I did and it paid the part of the bill I had to pay after my insurance! Technically I paid NOTHING out of pocket! :-) I did have to pay out of pocket until I received the reimbursement check but still....it was paid for! Nice, Very Nice!
  11. *Don't forget to go on your hospital tour to see what is supplied for you and maybe things you could bring like a gown, etc... to cut cost!
  12. *Most importantly, if you feel like being pampered and not worrying about the bill..by all means.. DO SO! You deserve it! Every mother needs pampering!
  13. *Don't go cheap on those hospital pictures either! Bring your own camera, video camera, etc...but DO BUY THEIRS TOO! :-) I got the next to the largest package...you do have to pay them right then but you have your pictures in hand with your baby on your way out the door! Hold on to those memories!
  14. *About forgot...don't forget to bring your car seat! You can't leave the hospital with your baby without it! :-)
  15. *Alright Bloggers! YOUR TURN!!! Post Comments to my Comment Jar PLEASE! I want to help my sis as much as possible! We can all learn something from this for the Next time...or First for others! :-)

Happy Thursday!

P.S. I am not against the hospital services...I had wonderful doctors and nurses! Great manners, etc... We bought our nurse flowers. My husband did a drawing for my doctor. We enjoyed our stay. I just wanted to share how I saved some money or Could have, had I known.

8 comments:

lynnae @ being frugal.net said...

Great post! I'm going to link to this in my roundup on Saturday!

This isn't really money advice, but I always advise moms to take advantage of the lactation consultant before they leave. At my hospital, you pay for the service anyway. And by getting nursing off to a good start, you can avoid some pain and frustration, and in some cases you can avoid giving up and going with bottle feeding (which saves money). I'm not saying bottle feeding is bad, but if you really want to breastfeed, a lactation consultant can be VERY helpful.

Connie S. Alspaugh said...

That is very usefull to know. I don't recall being charged for a lot of that stuff though. After my second was born, they changed a lot of the rules at the hospital. They no longer take newborns to nursery. MOM keeps them in room for whole stay. If they need baby for any reason, they do the weigh ins out in hall. They even had a new bracelet for baby and MOM to wear. In case someone tried to take baby out of the area. It would sound off. Anyways I have 4 and almost seems like a life time ago. OH and if I recall right, those photos only get taken if you have baby when they are open. Weekend births don't always get done. :(

Great post. I will be back to read more. Congrats to you sis and you. ;)

Melanie said...

Lynnae: You are absolutely right about the lactation consultant!!!! Thank you for the reminder...I will pass that to my sis! See...reason I love blogging...you get useful information and FAST!

Connie: I know what you mean...I did check my itemized list (had my son 2 1/2 years ago)...as friends had warned me of this but not everything I listed. I saw the Nivea Cream on there and was shocked to be honest! I was very unsuspecting of that. I felt like it was a "gift" or something. :-) For the nursery...it was similar for me...the baby stayed in the room with me..which is what I preferred but they would offer to take him to the nursery for me to have a "break" and the one time I did...Ouch! I guess it depends on the hospital! On the bracelets...they had one on my son's ankle (the alarm) and the name tag on his little wrist. The alarm fell off one time, he was so small...he was 6lbs 4oz. Thank you for the feedback! If you think of anything...please post it! I think everyone's input helps us all!

Happy Easter all!
Thank you again for the fast responses!

Melanie said...

Lynnae: Thank you for adding my post to your Saturday roundup! That is awesome!

Anonymous said...

It's been awhile since I had my babies, but I think it really depends on your insurance. I wasn't charged for any of that stuff. My first went to the NICU so no photos were taken, my second, don't know if they took photos as they never asked me to buy any. The third I got the photos and I really think my husband could have done better...it's things like that where you can save money. If you don't have a relative who breastfed, by all means use the lactation consultant. The first few weeks nursing can be really difficult, but not only is it a big money saver, but absolutely best for both mom and baby, far superior to bottle feeding if you can do it.

Connie S. Alspaugh said...

You are too sweet. I look forward to seeing your blog on Ecard drop on mine.

Michelle Dawn said...

Wow! This is a great list. All I can say is thank goodness I'm Canadian :) I'm due in a few weeks and I couldn't imagine dealing with the additional stress of worrying about money while in hospital.

womantowomancbe said...

If you have to pay out of pocket, or if you have to meet a deductible or pay a percentage of the costs, then you can "just say no!" My friend had a C-section (necessary in her case because her baby was positioned sideways), and didn't even stay at the hospital a full 48 hours, but had a $25,000 hospital bill. Her insurance covered most of it, but I think she still had a 20% copay, which worked out to $5,000 out of pocket. I had two home births, and the fee for the midwife's services was about $3,000 for each one (we didn't have insurance). My sister had a midwife-attended hospital labor, and got 1 shot of pain medication during labor, and she was charged I think about $150 fee for the doctor's services--he was in the room maybe 5 minutes. This did not include the cost of the medication or anything else. Even if you pay a percentage, little things add up! Going natural (no drugs, active labor, upright pushing, etc.) is not only healthier for the mom and baby, but easier on the ol' pocketbook!

Kathy