15 answers

Too High Maternity Deductable but Wanting to Have a Baby... Advice?

My husband and I are wanting to have a baby, however, our insurance deductible is $6500 and we just cannot afford that. We are trying to be responsible and not just go and have a baby without being prepared. I am sure we are not the only ones out there that have been in this situation. I was wondering what others have done in order to get around this, etc. I do not think we could qualify for Medicaid and Alfac doesn't do the maternty reburisement anymore unless it is through an employer- which is not an option for us. I just feel stuck and sad and frustrated. Any advice, opinions, etc would be greatly appreciated. We live in Utah (in case that matters for things)

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What can I do next?

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Many hospitals have a slididng scale or a charity reduction program. I took in some financial information after both of my kids were born and the hospital was able to write off a large portion of the deductible.

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The first 18 months of caring for a baby are so expensive.... Diapers and formula are your biggest costs (besides daycare!). I breastfeed for a while and then my daughter self-weened and we had to do formula. Powdered formula costs about $20-$25 a carton and lasted us 4-5 days. So, your monthly formula bill could be about $120-$150, maybe higher depending on brand and dietary needs. As for diapers, the number in a box/cost of per diaper range depending on size... Let's say it costs $20-$25 for 64 diapers; average diaper usage is 6-8 diapers a day. Let's say one box lasts you 8 days; you'll need 4 boxes a month or $80-$100. And let's says there's $50 per month in other costs (other food items, doctor appointments, lotions/soap/diaper ointment, clothes). So, you're estimating $250-300 a month (again, not including daycare costs) to support that new baby. (And even if you don't have formula costs initially after birth, you will have to get a car seat, stroller, breastpump if you keep working.)

My point is: If you started to save $300 a month (as if you already had a baby to support now), you would have $6,500 in slightly less than 24 months. If you saved $350 a month, you'd have the $6500 in 18 months. Plus, you and your husband would be in the habit of having $300 being out of your normal household finances. Remember, pregnancy is 40 weeks (10 months). You could always start saving now and wait 8-14 months until you get pregnant, and keep saving during pregnancy... That should allow you to reach $6,500.

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Hi M.,

I actually work in a Hopsital and see this all the time with high deductibles. I know that in our system we off a cash price for all OB deliveries. It's to be paid upfront and at times can be paid monthly until the baby is born. It is a huge discounted price. A lot of patients that have high insurance deductibles or out of pockets that have to be met before their insurance will pay 100% or even way less than that take advantage of this. Vaginal deliveries can run up to almost 10-15,000 dollars (this is the bill that is sent to the insurance..the patient hardly sees this amount) NOT including Dr and Anesthesia fees! Cesareans are far more since it is a surgical procedure. I would ask your Dr and the Hospital that they are contracted with if they offer these cash prices (self pay prices). Most of the time it's way less than 3,000 dollars. May still sound like a lot but when compared to $6,500.00 that's a huge saving.
BTW just because the insurance company has a good name...ex: BCBS..doesn't always mean that their plans are the greatest...I have seen plenty BCBS insurance with $10,000 deductibles with only covering 50% after that. You just have to research different plans. Always check the deductible, out of pockets, and then the percentage they will pay once it's all been met.
Hope this helps! Good Luck to you!
-L.

3 moms found this helpful

Many hospitals have a slididng scale or a charity reduction program. I took in some financial information after both of my kids were born and the hospital was able to write off a large portion of the deductible.

2 moms found this helpful

How much do you pay each month for health insurance? I would look elsewhere because that deductible is CRAZY!!!

1 mom found this helpful

We have a high-deductible plans as well. I went from having my first son of only $100 co-pay to my second daughter costing us $5600 b/c our insurance changed in just one year. We were freaking out at first when the change originally happened b/c I was 6 months pregnant and all I could think of was how am I going to afford $5600 in 3 months. Anyways, with the savings we had in our monthyl premium from changing from a traditional PPO to a High deductable plan we were able to put into our Health Savings Account to prepare us for the $5600. Granted, we did not have $5600 in 3 months but we were able to pay off by the end of the year. With our HSA it is pre-taxed dollars that go into the health savings acct. You should ask your employer (or if it is your husbands employer) at what $ amount can you put money into your acct with out it affecting your bring home check. For our situation I was able to put $50 a week into my HSA and I still had $1 or $2 more in my bring home check. Just remember the $50 pre tax dollars is not the same as $50 being taken out of your bring home check. So this is why I would ask your payroll department to help you figure out where your $ amount is to keep you balanced at what you currently bring home. If this isn't making sense than you need to speek with your department that handles your health insurance or the payroll department. if you take my post to them it should make perfect sense to them.

Good Luck! and hope you are able to work things out!

1 mom found this helpful

Go to a midwife and talk about your options. Be your own advocate and ask everyone lots of questions. I have done it both ways and I will never go to a traditional OBGYN again. A birth center will also cost a fraction of the cost. This isn't because they are not as good but because they will not do anything that isn't necessary. God made you to carry and birth children. I know you get ancy with your first but trust me (not that you know me) you need someone who is looking out for you not themselves. If you do go to a hospital, they cannot report you to a credit agency unless you do not make any payments. You could pay $5 a month until you get some cash...

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I know this doesn't answer your question, and it's a completely different world now, but if you wait until you THINK you can afford it, you never will.

I agree with maybe talking to hospitals/docs to see if they give some sort of payment plan or discount. But if your income is a certain level but you just have a high deductible, I'll be surprised if they offer a discount.

We too, by our choice have a $5000 deductible, but we are in a different stage of our life. My doctor, offers a discount and treats me as a "private pay" but that is her practice and has nothing to do with our income level.

Good Luck

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You can try and save money for a year, or alot of hospitals will let you set up a payment plan of 50.00 a month. I feel God will provide for you if you trust in him.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm sure you have a high deductible plan which many Companies are moving too. You can identify a hospital that may work with you, or you may want to look into purhasing supplemental health insurance that will cost less than the deductible.

A few things to research.....

You probably have a very low monthly premium. Here in NJ we don't have access to those kinds of plans. You need to get a plan with a big name insurance company with a low or no deductable. Do you guys have BCBS out there? For example when I had my son, all I paid was 15 dollars for my first OB visit and 100 dollars to the hospital. It was through my company but my husband and I were playing 350 dollars a month for the two of us. We now have private insurance and we pay close to 700 hundred for the three of us and we have no deductable like you mention.

I know people who have gone "old school" and basically had a midwife come to their home for a home birth. Many things factor into this of course -the least not being how you feel about that. It scares me a bit in case of complications, but it is an option. Often you can use a birthing center as well where you may only pay $2000 -$3000 for a midwife and the center instead of $6500.

Look into changing your deductible as well. It may mean waiting 6 months to a year, but maybe not. You never know what your pregnancy may be like -and not to be scary, but there could be all sorts of complications, you could be in the hospital for months on monitored bed rest, etc. It can REALLY mount up, so make sure you have something in place insurance-wise that you can live with in a worse case scenario.

I applaud you for giving thought to the expense and other factors surrounding pregnancy and delivery! I've seen people on here tell others not to even think about finances, and those are the people we all wind up supporting! You're on the road to being a good and thoughtful mom!

My SIL sells insurance and has a good policy for his wife who is also wanting another baby. If you are serious about this give him a call. If he can't help you he can point you in the right direction. Either way you'll have a solution to your problem.

Sam: ###-###-####

I've had two babies, one with a low-deductible (500) and one with a high (4500). Both pregnancies cost me between 5-6k total if you include premiums, and with the last one, I home birthed.

We have what I would consider good insurance, but once you start adding in the co-pays for ultrasounds, tests, etc. on top of premiums, etc. it just adds up quickly.

My home birth midwife cost 4k but we ended up spending roughly 5500 total.

Start saving. Having babies costs a lot of money.

My entire birth and prenatal care didn't add up to this. I had a midwife and a vaginal delivery at a hospital, no anesthesia and left the same day my daughter was born. It was great and ran less than $5000.

One thing you may want to consider is midwifery care and homebirth or a birthing center, instead of a hospital (if you have no known risk factors).
If you have a normal pregnancy and birth (and there is no reason to assume you won't) they provide superior care.
They often offer payment plans as well.

If you do end up needing hospital care for a high risk pregnancy or complications during birth, find your back-up hospital in advance, compare prices (often non-profits are more customer friendly in terms if payment terms) and explore loans (preferably a line of credit with a bank at a low interest rate, rather than a credit card). People get loans for amounts larger than that all the time...for things like cars or furniture...I think having a baby would be worth taking out a loan for medical costs.

Last but not least speak to an insurance agent (or two or three) and get rates and comparisons for better coverage... though if you switch there may be a waiting period.

Good luck!

When my kids were born we had crappy insurance (self employed) that paid $500 for maternity care. The doctor gave us a discount for cash up front and the hospital set up a payment plan with us. The running joke at my house was that we couldn't have another baby until the first one was paid off.

I think Karen N has a wonderful idea of saving every month. It'll give you something to strive for but if that doesn't work out then shop around for the best fit for your medical needs.

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