Appointment #6, Just Another Checkup

Another month has come and gone and we had another monthly checkup to attend. This went almost exactly as the last one, just sitting down with the doctor (a new one this time) and her asking if we have any questions, which we didn’t. The confusion of the official due date is brought up each time, it has been changed 3 or 4 times, but all in all doesn’t even matter anyway. The baby is going to come when it wants, not when they predict. So Lisa peed in a cup and we waited, and waited, and waited (seriously at least 30 minutes, the longest wait yet). Then the doc used the Doppler to listen to the baby’s heartbeat, took a few measurements and we were sent away.

Nothing really interesting to report here. They haven’t sent us our complete monthly financial statement yet so the totals for the last few appointments aren’t accurate. I’ll update them when everything comes in. I’m also still unsure if we are being charged for the monthly checkups.

Visit Summary
Charges: $0

Running Total
Appointments: 6
Charges: $3,218.90
20% Charity Adjustment: -$643.78
Grand Total: $2,575.12

Hospital Charity, 20% Off Bill (What to do if Denied State Aide for Pregnancy)

As I briefly mentioned in the first post on this blog, we didn’t make enough to afford health insurance and our current employment didn’t provide benefits. When Lisa became pregnant, we reached out to certain state aide programs but were denied for all of them on the basis that we make too much money. I will go into more details on our personal finances, the cost of health insurance, and what the cut offs are for state aide in a future post, but the point of this post is to talk about what to do if you don’t qualify for state assistance on the account of making too much money. (The short version is that we don’t make a lot of money and the thresholds to qualify are quite low.)

After being turned down on every other avenue we had no where else to look other than the hospital that will be providing the services. We met with a financial counselor and had to provide our Medicaid denial form, last 3 month check stubs, and last years tax returns. She explained to us that often, but not always, the hospital is willing to give financial assistance to people in our situation. It was relatively simple, we just had a quick 5 minute chat and gave the documents requested, yet it took nearly 7 weeks before we heard anything back. When we did hear back, we were told the hospital was able to provide us with what they called “a 20% charity reduction”.

So on all future bills it should show what we are charged at full price, the subtracted 20% charity reduction, and we will be responsible to pay for the remaining 80%. We also were able to setup a payment plan where we pay $200 flat per month with no interest. So basically, for every $1,000 in services, we have to pay $800.

This was good news and we are grateful the hospital is willing to help us out, so if you find yourself in a situation where you are turned down for any kind of assistance, I would recommend talking to the hospitals directly. If you are able to, you may want to sit down with more than one. We live in a small town so we only had one practical option available.

I estimate that after all is said in done our final bill will end up being around $12,000. So with this discount, that brings it down to $9,600 for a savings of $2,400. Again, this is just my guess based on some quick Google searches and talking to other people, and assumes no complications. I’m trying to focus on the positives – a savings of $2,400 is good (and two years of payments at $200 per month) instead of focusing on the final amount that will surely keep us in debt for years to come. Not to mention our little monkey that should bring us great joy.

So I’m happy we will be saving 20%, although the final amount we will have to pay still remains a mystery.

Appointment #5, 2nd Ultrasound

We were told we needed to schedule the 18 week ultrasound a few days after our last checkup. So we did. We showed up on 10/25 and it went pretty much just like the first. Lisa, armed with a full bladder, changed into the hospital gown, we engaged in small talk with the ultrasound tech for a few minutes and then were looking at our slightly larger little alien fetus again.

The Fetus is Growing!

The Fetus is Growing! (Click to enlarge)

Everything seemed well and our little guy or girl was growing just fine. Good news. All in all, it took about 20 or so minutes from sit down to walking out.

Surprisingly, the bill for this ultrasound was actually less than the previous. Not sure if the ultrasounds become less complicated the farther along during the pregnancy or whatever, but this one was noticeably less expensive than the 8 week. From our perspective, everything was very familiar, but hey, I won’t complain.

That being said, I have noticed from previous hospital visits throughout the years that they can be slow at sending bills. So this may not be complete, and a month or two from now we could be slammed with another charge. One thing that stands out is we were not billed for “921 OTHER DIAG PERIPHERAL LAB” like we were for the 1st ultrasound. Let’s hope that it wasn’t necessary for this, or something like that.

Here’s our statements for this. For some reason, they didn’t send us the detailed reports like the first couple appointments. Everything was just added to what we already owe.

10/25/12

402 OTH IMAG ULTRASOUND $624.00
ADJ – SELF PAY CHARITY -$124.80
TOTAL: $499.20

Appointment 5 Financial Statement

Appointment 5 Financial Statement (Click to enlarge)

ULTRASOUND OB DETAILED, SINGLE $330.00
HOSPITAL CHARITY ADJ 20% -$66.00
TOTAL: $264.00

Appointment 5 Financial Statement, #2

Appointment 5 Financial Statement, #2 (Click to enlarge)

So we’re about half way through but I imagine everything will become more expensive near the end, especially the actual birth.

12/01/12 Update: We received what we assume is the final bill for this, so the charges are current… I hope.

Visit Summary
Charges: $954.00
Adjustments: -$190.80
Amount Due: $763.20

Running Total
Appointments: 5
Charges: $3,218.90
20% Charity Adjustment: -$643.78
Grand Total: $2,575.12

Appointment #4, Monthly Checkup

It’s October 22nd, just another monthly checkup at the doc’s office. There is nothing to talk about here, it was the same as last time. We walked into the office, wife peed in a cup, we sat around, doc asked if we had any questions, used the Doppler to check the heartbeat and we were off.

At this point I’m not sure if we are being charged for these checkups. I assume they wouldn’t have us come in without demanding some cash, but I haven’t received a bill for last month’s visit. I’ll be sure to update when I know for sure.

Scheduled an ultrasound for later in the week, yay monies!

Visit Summary
Charges: $0

Running Total
Appointments: 4
Charges: $2,264.90