Over the past few weeks since Lillian’s arrival, the medical bills have been slowly trickling in, chock full of fees from the hospital, doctors, specialists, and labs. How much does it actually cost to give birth in the United States these days?
To answer that question, I thought it would be interesting to tally up the costs of everything from my prenatal care to Lillian’s pediatrician visits. Be warned that this post will contain some large numbers. In fact, if you’re pregnant right now, or thinking of becoming pregnant, you might want to stop reading this so as to avoid a heart attack. Just a fair warning.
Okay. Anyway. For your entertainment and horror, here are the totals:
|Prenatal Care Appointments||$10,717.79|
|Lillian’s Pediatrician Appointments (so far)||$743.00|
|Total Medical Bills||$38,749.94|
So yeah… Almost forty thousand dollars worth of medical bills. And keep in mind that this wasn’t even a high-risk pregnancy or a caesarean delivery — Lillian’s birth was about the smoothest, complication-free thing that anyone could hope for. So it kind of makes my head spin to think about it. How can two days in the hospital be worth more than our car? How can anything cost this much?
Right now I’m just thanking our lucky stars that we have health insurance. After everything covered by our BlueCross BlueShield PPO — which seems to be about the closest thing to a gold-plated Cadillac that a working-class American can hope to get in the health care department — we’re on the hook for only $1,381.26 of that bankruptcy-incuding total.
(It feels weird to say that. Only $1,381.26. As if we’re billionaires or won the lottery or something. But according to this article, even with an “uninsured patient” discount, you could easily expect to pay ten times that without health insurance. So from that perspective, we really dodged a bullet.)
Anyway, I assume this sort of thing will vary from state to state and hospital to hospital, but there you have it. One random blogger’s health care costs for having a baby in 2011.
I’d be curious to hear from anyone else who’s had experience with the maternity ward, or with hospital / medical bills in general. Don’t the charges just seem unbelievably, outrageously, preposterously high? I have some opinions on the current state of our health care system, but I probably shouldn’t even get started on that…
Money image from here.