Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Broken

There is something fundamentally broken about our healthcare system. I had about as low-intervention birth as it's possible to have. I had two bags of saline and one bag of antibiotics. I had no drugs, catheters, epidurals, surgeries or special monitoring. F spent no time in the special care nursery, didn't have a circumcision, and had no special monitoring. We were discharged less than 48 hours after I gave birth. The hospital billed our insurance over $23,000 (so far) for this. Our insurance paid about $5300. They are saying we owe $1300 out of pocket. Was it a gold-plated IV stand? Ooooh, wait, they did give me 2 Motrin and an iron pill. That must've been it.

Stuff I don't understand:
  • How my crazy low-intervention birth could cost $23,000.
  • Why it's OK that the insurance company only pays $5300. (For those of you playing along at home, that's about 25% of the billed amount).
  • Why we pay so much in insurance premiums every year only to owe thousands more out of pocket.

4 comments:

Aunt beth said...

It was all of those gold threads in the sheets you and Finley were lying on.

LaLa said...

That's messed up. I'd ask for an itemized bill. You'd be surprised what may be on it that shouldn't be. I also contend that if hospitals can negotiate an "insured rate" that everyone should get that rate. People without insurance get a double hit - they are responsible for the bill and the bill is stupidly higher than those with insurance. What's up with that?

mummu said...

Here's a story for you. A couple booked a poshy hotel in victoria for a last romantic weekend before their baby came. She went into labor that weekend, so they called the midwife, she came to the hotel and delivered the baby in what the father said was a lovely, relaxed setting, just like home. And the hotel did all they could to make it a really special experience. The only cost to them would have been the hotel room. Plus they get a free stay every year for the next 18 years - on the baby's birthday, compliments of the hotel. And if the mom works, she will have a paid year off to stay home with the baby, 70% paid for by the government of Canada, the other 30% by her emplyoyer, if she has a good extended health benefit, (cost shared by her and her employer - mine is about $30 per month). Any time you want to move to Canada, just let us know and we'll sponsor you. They need nurses here....

Jenn said...

Jo -- It makes me so sad that our country doesn't seem to think that healthcare is a basic human right. If only Ry could do his job in Canada ...

 
Designed by Lena