Having a baby is such an exciting time. Your emotions are all over the place and you can’t wait to meet and hold your precious baby.
No one talks about the bills you are about to get in the mail.
While I was pregnant I called my insurance to make sure my doctor and the hospital would be in network. She went over my benefits and stated I had a $4000 deductible. From the conversation, I took it that labor and delivery would cost us $4000.
I then realized that I would actually have to pay our out-of-pocket max which was $6000. That was a little harder to swallow.
Then, at the very end it hit me. Yes, I would have to pay the out-of-pocket max, but not for just me. Our baby would also have bills from L&D, so we would in fact have to pay the family out of pocket max of $8000. Now that was a shock to the system.
How is one supposed to pay $8k when they just had a baby and are not working. I thought we may get a little break and have a month or two before the bills came in. Nope. We received our first bill within the first week of coming home.
I received a lump sum for my 6 week leave at the beginning of my maternity leave. When I went back to work, I had to get back on the payroll cycle, so I went just under two months without another paycheck. I also had to make a payment plan with my employer on how to pay back my insurance premiums from when I was gone. So, for the first three checks my checks were less due to insurance on top of the higher bi-weekly premium now coming out for three people.
I was making monthly payments, but the hospital threatened to send me to collections if I didn’t comply. I talked to several people and it saddens me with how unfriendly and unwilling they are to work with patients. I was never late and was making monthly payments, but they still treated me like I was uncompliant. How was I not complying, I was making on time payments every month! I had three options: 1. make monthly payments of $450. That wasn’t going to happen. I was back to work and now had to figure out how to pay $640 in daycare a month. 2. Qualify for financial assistance. We made too much. 3. Go on Medcredit for monthly payments with interest. I thought you couldn’t charge interest on medical. We had no choice, had to go on Medcredit. The interest on a $6500 bill was a lot! My smaller payments were not making a dent as it was paying the interest every month. I took some money and paid a portion of it just to get the interest manageable. This is how people go bankrupt from medical, you can never pay down your balance as you are just paying the interest every month.
This past November I switched jobs that included a better health plan and bump in salary. I used the extra money to start making big payments. I realized that making one payment a month would not work for paying down the bill. So, every paycheck I started making payments. I do believe this is why we were able to pay down the bill a lot faster and this morning I made our last hospital payment! $8000 in 18 months. That was exhausting and mentally draining. I am so very happy to not have this over our heads anymore.
Make it a great day,