Having a Baby? 8 Ways to Save on Hospital Bills
Congratulations, you’re having a baby! While pregnancy can be one of the most exciting times in a couple’s lives, the costs associated with prenatal care and delivery can be overwhelming. The average cost for a normal vaginal hospital birth with no complications is about $9,000 according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. That cost doesn’t include anesthesia or prenatal care either.
Most of us will have insurance that will cover a portion of those fees, but even if you only have to pay 20%, you’re looking at about $2,000 out of your pocket.
You may want to consider a homebirth or a birthing center if you’re low risk because they are often less expensive. Our focus here is on ways to save money on a hospital delivery.
1. Know Your Health Insurance Plan
Every health insurance plan is different and will have different levels of coverage. If you have questions about what is covered, call your insurance company and ask for an explanation, call the HR team at your company if that’s where you get your health insurance, or call HooPayz if you’re one of our members.
Even if your coverage is less than what you’re hoping for, clearing up what is and isn’t covered in advance will at least let you know how much you’ll owe. Then, you can begin saving that amount of money.
2. Always Use In-Network Providers
When you have a baby, you’ll have your OB/GYN, the hospital where you’ll deliver, and your baby’s pediatrician.
Make sure all of these providers are in your network or you could pay thousands more. If your OB/GYN is in your network, chances are pretty good that the hospital he or she delivers at is also in your network, but check anyway.
3. Shop Around
Not all hospitals charge the same amount for a delivery. Call around and ask for the price of delivery, plus anesthesia (if you plan on getting an epidural), and any care for the newborn. It’s important to compare apples to apples.
That’s why we’ve created a checklist that outlines the top questions to ask when comparing hospital prices for your delivery. Download the Money-Saving Checklist for Your Baby’s Hospital Delivery now. Feel free to Pin It to Pinterest, share on Facebook, tweet, and send to friends.
Don’t let price be your deciding factor, but it’s good information to have to help make your decision. Some OBGYNs may only deliver at one or two hospitals. In that case, check the price at those hospitals, unless you’re willing to switch doctors.
4. Find Out What’s Included
Some hospitals charge extra for amenities like a private room (up to several hundred dollars extra per day) or using the TV (up to $8/day). Find out what exactly IS included and what is not included. Is anesthesia included in that rate? What about well-baby care?
If toiletries and over-the-counter medications are included, by all means, use what you need. If they’re a la carte, ask what the hospital’s policy is on bringing in your own. We’ve seen reports of people being charged $10 for an acetaminophen, $40 for a feminine “maternity pad”, and $26 for a thermometer. Yikes!
5. Ask about Fewer Prenatal Care Visits
Getting necessary prenatal care is very important, but if the schedule of recommended appointments is too costly, talk to your doctor about paring back the number of appointments to what you can afford. Or explain the situation and ask if he or she could consider a discount.
6. Pay Cash
Sometimes doctors or hospitals will accept a reduced rate if you offer to pay in full up front. Ask if the hospital has a financial counselor. This person should be able to talk to you about a discount. Once you’ve used the checklist to call for a hospital’s price, ask the financial counselor for a 40% discount for hospitals and 30% discount for doctor’s fees.
7. Find a Pediatrician In Advance
Don’t forget to find a pediatrician for your new bundle of joy before you go to the hospital. We’ve heard of new mothers using the hospital’s pediatrician only to find out they were out-of-network or that they were a specialist and cost way more, or weren’t covered at all.
Plus, it will give you peace of mind knowing that the pediatrician you’ve chosen will be there to check out your new baby.
8. Go Natural
Having a delivery that is as natural and drug-free will save you money. This isn’t always possible or desirable, but it’s something to keep in mind. Some women choose to forgo an epidural and other pain medications during delivery. Sometimes a C-section can’t be avoided, but when you can, going as natural as possible can save you thousands of dollars.
We Want to Hear From You!
We hope these 8 tips help you save money on your baby’s delivery. If you have questions, or have experiences to share, please comment below. If you’ve used our checklist to call hospitals for prices, let us know that, too! We love to hear from our readers!