Insurance covers pregnancy, maybe not!

Day: 34+4

We enjoyed Elissa’s class again tonight, there was one more couple joining us. I like the class because she’s worked as a labor nurse and has a lot of experiences seeing different births. I particularly like the fact that she explains the risks and benefits of medication, from a nurse’s perspective. In some cases, different pain medications are used for a good reason and did help some slow labor to progress to avoid C-section. What really shocked us was the conversation we had with this new couple, they don’t have insurance, or in their case, their BCBS requires additional pregnancy premium one year before the pregnancy starts, so they are not covered! Isn’t that ridiculous? So they are paying everything out of their own pocket, to OB and hospital. I feel really bad, since the deal they made with the OB has a much higher price tag than what we paid, also I don’t think they have any idea of what the bills are going to be from the hospital after the birth, they better hope for a complete natural birth, once the epidural and other intervention, like forceps, vacuum extraction or NICU are involved, who knows what the bills will be like? I suggested hiring a midwife and use the hospital as a backup, they said, “oh that’s scary!” so I talked no more, it’s too late in the game for them anyway, they are in their 34th week. I remember my hospital stay back in 2003 was over 50K for one week, and I wondered how they are going to pay off their debt, their attitude is that they have tons of student loans already, they will just work with the hospital and pay it off in 5~7 years. Both Michael and I were shocked hearing it, we don’t know whether they will be so cool when they start to pay off their debt, probably will take them much much longer.

We went over the breathing skills and pain management techniques for labor and delivery, that’s always my favorite part of the classes! I am familiar with most of it from previous class and watching videos but the practice is always good. Elissa also talked about the complications involved with pregnancy, and shockingly, the number 1 cause of death of pregnant women is not preeclampsia, like in other industrialized countries, it’s HOMICIDE!!!



Filed under Third Trimester

5 responses to “Insurance covers pregnancy, maybe not!

  1. Michele

    Oh Cynthia, I am SO glad I had Maxim and Dominic in Switzerland. When I was pregnant with Maxim, I was not insured as I moved Cantons and was not yet “signed up” as a resident in the Canton of Bern. So, I paid out of pocket for my OB visits which wasn’t more than 2,000 for the entire nine months and I was seeing a private insurance doctor and had super treatment. I did finally get insurance for October and Maxim was born on the 4th, so I never saw a hospital bill until I finally asked for a copy. I stayed in the hospital from Thursday until Monday and the bill was 2’900 USD but because it was a public hospital where I gave birth, there was fine print on the bill saying that the Canton picked up about 33% of the costs. And, Dominic was almost gratis since I was in the labor room for a total of 1h20min before he arrived!

    • Even with insurance, like Michael and I do. We have a $4000 deductibles before the insurance starts to pay for anything, his company picked up the first $1500 so we still need to pay $2,500 as insured, but I’m glad at least we have insurance, I can’t imagine going into a situation like this w/o knowing how much we have to pay ahead of time.

      Just a few prices to mention:
      Because we switched from one OB to another, we recently got the bill for the monthly 10 minute visit with the old one, each 10 minutes cost $570 (and this excludes the urine test, lab work and ultrasound).

      Our ultrasound visit with the technician at the OB’s office is over $300 each time, and the first ultrasound I had with the specialist was $700.

      This makes me wonder a hospital birth with intervention, epidural or C-section, will cost. Hopefully I won’t need to know. Elissa was telling the couple yesterday they could bring their own Tylenol since everything at the hospital will cost 10 times more.

      Here is a site I found on the cost for non-insured in a US hospital, vaginal birth $9K~$17K, for C-section, $14K to $25K.

      While most people rave about the health care reform, I can’t help thinking, getting everyone signed up for insurance will really solve the problem? It’s not that people don’t want to be insured, they can’t afford it!!! Can’t insurance companies stop making record high profits and give a break to everyone who needs it…Insurance shouldn’t be a privilege, it should be a necessity for the society because we will all get sick eventually, and it should come out of the tax dollars. It works in Japan while a hospital stay costs $10 per night, why can’t it work here? Just my two cents.

  2. Michael

    It really is sad that new parents have to be faced with enormous dept when bringing a child into this world. Shouldn’t a new birth be something that our entire society rejoices and celebrates over?

    Not in the USA. In the USA: Money, Sports, Religion, and Elections are rejoiced and celebrated over. I really feel bad for those that do not understand and are simply following what society tells them to. Why does the society look down on others that get free help? Why is bankruptcy and foreclosure looked to as “bad” or “negative” options?

    I’ll tell you why: the people in power want to maintain their power and if the average person utilizes his options to better themselves, then the people at the top can’t make as much money and ultimately their power slips.

    Lucky for the “capitalist”, the average person in the USA is easily fooled and will continue to put themselves in dept that they will never be able to repay. Hence, they are willingly enslaving themselves. So Sad.

    • For people who live in one place and only know one system, it is very difficult to see what the alternatives are therefore when they make the claim, “this is the the best country in the world”, it is not valid because their opinion is based on no comparison.

      The system changes and evolves all the time, and if people are not on top of things, the system tends to benefit the few elites – in this case the insurance companies. The “norm” we are used to today weren’t the “norm” back in the days, just think of the all the new taxes, and checked baggage fee, etc. Yet we tend to ignore the fact that US health care is rated only #17 in the world this year and is the most expensive.

      My 4-year college degree in China cost me $500 in total, and that includes textbooks, room and board and all fees. I believe Michele said that University of Zurich is free as well. Not sure if free education will still exist in the next 20 years but if we assume education (or health care) should cost money now, most likely they won’t be in the future.

  3. Just an update (today is May 27th) the couple’s situation got worked out and they got medicaid, originally they were denied. So happy to hear that!

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