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4 Things I wish I had known about hospital billing before I had my first baby

When I was a first-time mom, I had no idea how things like hospital billing worked. I’d always been on my parent’s insurance and hadn’t ever dealt with the cost of a major medical procedure or any of the specifics that have to do with giving birth. Some of these are pretty obvious to me in hindsight, but maybe I’m not the only mom out there who was kind of clueless, so if you’re in the same boat then no shame! Being a parent means always learning new things, so why not start now?

They charge separately for baby and mommy care. While this seems obvious now, I wish someone had told me before I got the hospital bill as a new mom. While I was still covered because I was still on my parent’s insurance, I had to apply for Passport for Autumn when she was born and I had known beforehand so I would have had all the paperwork ready.

If you can pay your balance in one lump sum the hospital will give you a discount. While I’m sure this isn’t true at all the hospitals, but even if you have insurance then you can ask the billing department for a discount, it can’t hurt!

 

If the bill is more than you can afford, you can ask for assistance. I knew that hypothetically there were things to help people who were broke, but I didn’t know what kind of information they would need. Just so you know, here are the things I had to provide, and some things that might apply to your situation:

  • Tax returns for the previous year
  • 2-3 recent pay stubs of all income for your family
  • Proof of any of the following your family receive: social security, disability benefits, pension benefits, child support income
  • Documentation for any other income you receive

If you know your financial situation is already tight, then having this stuff all together in one place before you go to the hospital in the first place will make it easy to handle your bills in your post-baby haze.

You might have to apply for Medicaid first before the hospital will give you their assistance or discount. When I had Autumn I was already on Medicaid, so it was a moot point, but when I heard that I would have had to apply for Medicaid first, I was glad I saved myself a step. You may consider applying to save yourself time and a lot of money.

If you’re a new momma to be, or if you’re expecting, then I’m glad you’re here. It doesn’t have to be scary dealing with the financial side of pregnancy, there are lots of resources out there! Please leave a comment with any questions you have about dealing with the costs of labor and delivery, or anything on your heart!

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