Anyone prepaying for prenatal care and delivery?

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Registered: 10-12-2010
Anyone prepaying for prenatal care and delivery?
7
Wed, 01-11-2012 - 12:31pm

Clearly we were spoiled with our insurance coverage with the past babies. I knew that, but now I'm knowing it for real.

OB office gal calls today and first, is all uppity because my insurance co won't tell her how much is in my MSA account (which I'm glad; it's none of her business how much savings we do or do not have --her business IMO is only what is covered by the insurance and at what rate), and then cheerfully informs me that the doc is going to want the $1,850 she will charge for prenatal and delivery charges up front by March 13. Now, I understand paying up front somewhat because our insurance is sh*t-tastic, but at 20 weeks? I think I may have a panic attack.

And then I find out that all of this will go onto our next insurance cycle. Our plan runs from April to March, so we get to pay a lot of $$... our deductible right now is $3k. We've just about met it (thanks to an ER visit when I almost cut the tip of my finger off in October), but get to start over in April. We should get insurance paperwork any day now for that, since open enrollment is in February, and I'm going to up us to the top tier which has a lower deductible, lower copay, and lower yearly max out-of-pocket... kicking myself that we didn't do this last year.I already have3 kids; we should be at the max level. I'm clearly a spaz. I already emailed hubby to up our MSA contribution to the max we can do per year, so that will help immensely for the upcoming cycle.


Brie
Mom to Libby/17, William/12, and Jacob/8
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2012
Wed, 01-11-2012 - 1:49pm
my dr is the same, but they do monthly payments. they figure out how much it will all cost then divide it by the amount of time they want the money by....dont remember it being as soon as ur dr tho. maybe you could talk to them about payments....i mean, what are they gonna do? not come deliver the baby when the time comes? that would not be cool at all but theres always an on call. kwim?
 IAmPregnant Ticker<
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Registered: 07-08-2009
Wed, 01-11-2012 - 3:46pm

We are, in payments, because we're having a homebirth.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2010
Sun, 01-15-2012 - 6:40am
Yeah, she said that if we find we're short come the middle of March, we may be able to work something out by way of payments, but she sounded as though they want the bulk of it by then. I don't think it's going to be a huge problem for us, especially now that I know that we're getting a nice refund in taxes, but I still think it's too early to be demanding money. I'm thinking the hospital will be the same as far as prepayment, but definitely not the same timeframe. We have to register by early June, and by then we'll have a lot more $$ in the MSA.

LOL, it's always something! :)

Brie

Brie
Mom to Libby/17, William/12, and Jacob/8
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2008
Sun, 01-15-2012 - 3:27pm
That blows, my dr's office bills globally so it's all billed at the end (with the exception of the confirm pregnancy first appointment). It's too bad your dr's office won't work with you knowing that your deductible starts over in April. They're going to get paid either way so you'd think they might work with you on that.

I work in the health insurance industry so I was overly analytical about when we started TTC. I already talked to the dr's office about how they billed for pregnancy, and I knew we had a January renewal so I planned a calendar year pregnancy....almost happened just perfectly! My first appointment was Dec 22nd so I'm out a couple hundred bucks (I'm on an HSA) that won't go towards anything since my deductible started over, but for me it was worth it to be able to go in and confirm heartbeat!
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2010
Sun, 01-15-2012 - 5:28pm

Well see, that's what happens when one plans a pregnancy. ;) This totally blind-sided us, so there's that. Plus, we didn't have such concerns with the other 3. This is our first pregnancy on the HSA (which is what we have, not an MSA as I originally posted), so how doctor and hospital billing occurs was never something I had to consider. We had tiny office copays with our first three, and that was it. No deductibles, no copays once the deductible was met and before the cap hit, so I didn't pay anything extra to the doc, the hospital, the anesthesiologist, or for the circs for the boys. I'm learning so much about our plan now, though, so that's good.

Since we're going to be contributing the max allowable for our contribution soon (once hubby actually makes the call), we should be ok. I won't have enough come mid-March to completely fund the balance via the fund, but we will be able to dip into savings and then I can always pull that money out of the HSA to reimburse us if I need to. I'm not quite as freaked out as I was.

And, I guess global billing might be better. Esp. since I'm planning on getting us to the higher tier once we hit open enrollment (next month). Lower deductible and copays, so we'll fare better out-of-pocket. Premium will increase, but since it's all pre-tax, we will at the very least break even. And it's easier to not see money that's put away than to have it and try to save it.

I'm glad you're well positioned for this! Our 2nd ultrasound wasn't covered by insurance at all (so didn't go toward the deductible), but I only had to pay $112 for it. So, if I need to do that again to ascertain gender, I don't mind at all. You're right -- those expenses are totally worth it. :)

Thanks,

Brie

#4 EDD 8/5/12


Brie
Mom to Libby/17, William/12, and Jacob/8
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-19-2008
Mon, 01-16-2012 - 2:44pm

I've never heard of such a thing and I just can't believe it! It just doesn't seem right. Are all of the practitioners in your area the same. Is going to another care facility make a difference? We're in a different boat. Luckily for me, I have FANTASTIC insurance and I pay very little for it. So I can pretty much go anywhere I want and no one will question me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2008
Mon, 01-16-2012 - 3:37pm
eight-
You likely pay very little because your employer is nice enough to pay for most of your coverage. I see a lot of employers paying between 75-100% for EE only, but none for dependent coverage. So the cost to add a spouse is usually a big shock to people because they only take into account what they personally pay for their coverage, not what their employer is contributing as well, which is the major chunk. Also, most carriers and plans have pre-existing condition limitations. If they didn't, imagine how much your rates would jump up if someone went without making health insurance a priority for a number of years because they didn't want to pay, and then once they were diagnosed with a major condition, they could jump on the plan and get a $100,000 surgery right away. The insurance company has to pay all that money without receiving any premium. The problem really lies with the cost of health CARE. Health insurance is always a choice- either you want to pay to protect your risk or you don't, but everyone needs health care and some of the charges these doctors and hospitals charge should be illegal!! So I would say health CARE is where the big mess is! Insurance just has to work with the mess that the health care system created! Maybe you don't have group coverage, and maybe I'm wrong because each state is a little different, I just thought I would try to explain that. :)