“We hear from a lot of parents having their second, third, fourth child asking why they got a bill for X amount when their bill was so much lower for their previous child,” she continues. “It’s very important you discuss with your company what physicians are in and out of network. Just because a physician is on the unit at a hospital doesn’t mean they’re in network for you. Being aware that you might accrue a higher cost because a physician rounding to see you or your child is outside your network is good knowledge to have. And it does often happen with specialists, like in the NICU.”
What do I do if I’m pregnant and don’t have insurance?
“I don’t think people realize how much labor and delivery costs when you don’t have insurance,” Albergo says. And the answer is: a lot. A 2018 Guardian article estimated the average cost at about $32,000 for a typical delivery.
“If you don’t have insurance, I would find out what your state can do for you. I’d utilize resources via the web, just walk into a hospital and ask for help,” she recommends. “I know in Illinois we try to give as much help as we can, and the best thing to do is to be transparent, get all the care that you need and worry about your finances on the back end. Make the choice for you and your child with your health in mind; as long as you are open with the healthcare system, they are always willing to help.”
Some hospitals and doctor’s offices will offer payment plans, though again, it’s something you need to discuss with your provider from the get-go.
“If we know prior to delivery that the mom and child need financial assistance, we can make arrangements,” Albergo says. “However, if they didn’t inquire about help before, and now feel they can’t pay their max out of pocket, we can negotiate a payment plan after services rendered.”
At the end of the day, “healthcare and finances are ever changing,” Albergo says. “Stay informed and hopefully everyone will have a great experience.”
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