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Homebirth Midwife w/Hospital or OB affiliation in TC

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am pregnant with #4 and having just moved to MN, I am totally underwhelmed with birthing options. My insurance will cover 100% of my prenatal and birth (with a $25 co-pay) with an spendy OB/Gyn in a spendy hospital, but a birth in a birthing center (one is actually opening up a few miles from my house) or homebirth will cost my family nearly $2800 (which we do not have this year) on top of the obscene monthly contribution we make to our insurance. I vent. The long/short of it is, I'm looking at 2 options:

1. I've been told that if I can find a homebirth midwife who works under an OB/GYN and/or hospital that is in my network, at least my prenatal care would be covered and perhaps we can still birth at home. Anyone know a midwife like that?

2. I've heard good things about St. Joes (and they are in my network), but I'm having a time finding a midwife practice affiliated with them. I live in SW MPLS and would obviously like to find a practice somewhat close to us.

This is probably our last child and I am dreaming of a homebirth, so I really hope I can find someone willing to work with me. PLEASE help!
post #2 of 12
my advice is to talk to hb midwives and ask what kind of luck they've had with your insurance. don't go by what your insurance is telling you. my insurance provider told me they wouldn't cover a hb midwife, but it turned out they would pay the out-of-network rate for my hb cnm for prenatal care and for various care during the birth, post-partum and newborn stuff, etc. i would have had to meet my deductable anyway, although maybe you don't have to deal with that.

i'm in duluth, but i think my mw's back-up from the twin cities was named janet schwab. not a recommendation or anything since i never met her - just that she's also a cnm, who tend to have better luck with insurance than a cpm would. oh, also ask midwives what the birth itself costs. in my case, the total care was like $4000-$4500 but the fee for the birth was only $1000. so if your insurance covers everything but the birth, that's not so bad. your mw may also be able to bill enough for prenatal and other care that even though they don't cover the birth, they pay enough for everything else that it covers her entire fee, kwim?
post #3 of 12
1. I haven't heard of any homebirth midwives that fit your description. Hopefully someone else will chime in.

2. I know of two midwife practices that deliver at St. Joe's. There may be others, but these are the ones I know of personally.
- Generations in Shoreview (currently have 3 midwives)
- Healtheast midwives at Mac/Groveland in St.Paul (have a dozen or more midwives last I heard)

Good luck! I hope you find what you are looking for. It is hard when you don't know what your insurance is going to do until after the fact.
post #4 of 12
I am in the TC working with a hb group called Trillium Midwifery. One of the midwives (Clare Welter) is a CNM and they use a third party biller -- I have heard all of this can lead to insurance co.s being more likely to reimburse for them. I am not counting on anything being covered, but of course I will be happy if it works out that way.

A couple other thoughts: I have heard that it is best never to call your insurance company yourself - they will always say they don't cover a hb but that isn't necessarily true. Best to have statements coming from a provider (your midwife or biller) if possible. Also, you should talk to some midwives and just be upfront with them. Many would be willing to work with you on payment plans or other options if you have money issues.

Good luck, and welcome to MN!
post #5 of 12
I am in the TC working with a hb group called Trillium Midwifery. One of the midwives (Clare Welter) is a CNM and they use a third party biller -- I have heard all of this can lead to insurance co.s being more likely to reimburse for them. I am not counting on anything being covered, but of course I will be happy if it works out that way.

A couple other thoughts: I have heard that it is best never to call your insurance company yourself - they will always say they don't cover a hb but that isn't necessarily true. Best to have statements coming from a provider (your midwife or biller) if possible. Also, you should talk to some midwives and just be upfront with them. Many would be willing to work with you on payment plans or other options if you have money issues.

Good luck, and welcome to MN!
post #6 of 12
I delivered with Janet Schwab CNM (mentioned above). She was great but has since moved to Colorado....

She used a billing service. Her entire fee was $3500 (which I would've paid if needed). My insurance said they would pay for 80% of PNC (she was out of network) but none of the birth itself because it wasn't in a hospital (I guess they assumed the PNC was in her office, not my house). However her billing service worked it, the insurance sent me a check for $3400!

I think the regular rate for PNC with a CNM is way over $3500, so just billing the regular hospital rate for CNM PNC got her the money.

Whatever they did, it worked!

Many midwives will work out payment plans with you too. If this is your last baby and you really want a HB, I hope you find a way!

Good luck! Christina
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by heymama1+1 View Post
I delivered with Janet Schwab CNM (mentioned above). She was great but has since moved to Colorado....

She used a billing service. Her entire fee was $3500 (which I would've paid if needed). My insurance said they would pay for 80% of PNC (she was out of network) but none of the birth itself because it wasn't in a hospital (I guess they assumed the PNC was in her office, not my house). However her billing service worked it, the insurance sent me a check for $3400!

I think the regular rate for PNC with a CNM is way over $3500, so just billing the regular hospital rate for CNM PNC got her the money.

Whatever they did, it worked!
Ditto. Almost exactly the same story for me. (I used Janet Schwab too.) In fact, I ended up paying not one single penny out of pocket for my homebirth.

FWIW: Clare Welter is, as far as I can tell, following in Janet's footsteps. Clare is a HB CNM, like Janet was. She's using a third-party biller too. She "tagged along" with Janet for some time to help her discern whether she wanted to do this, and to learn the logistical ropes of being a CNM who does homebirths. (Which is, apparently, a tricky thing in MN.)
post #8 of 12
Yes, I actually met Clare at one of my prenatals... Janet brought her along to meet me as she was her backup. I liked her very much and if I did get PG with a 3rd I'd love to deliver with her; I got along great with her. It's nice to know there's someone out there now that Janet has left. If only insurance covered CPMs...

Christina
post #9 of 12
Trillium Midwifery!!!!!!

Hands down. I delivered with Clare and Emme in July and it was such a beautiful picture perfect experience. I loved them.

FWIW - 3 weeks after Ben was born I received a check from my insurance company for 70% of the fee I was charged. Another couple of weeks later I got another check for 70% of other misc. charges. Needless to say, my homebirth turned out to be cheaper than my previous hospital birth at St. Joe's. (St. Joe's was really wonderful by the way.) The third party biller they use charges $100 or 7% of reimbursed charges, whichever is greater. But it still was worth it IMHO. Also - I'm not sure if it's still holding up, but we gave Clare and Emme our Birth Pool in a Box, so your birth pool may be free (Not sure if it's still working though??)
post #10 of 12

If you end up at a hospital

... due to cost issues, St. Joe's is great and I did have a very good Generations expirience.
post #11 of 12
In Minnesota all insurance companies must cover prenatal care services (whether in network or not)

They only cost they will not cover is the actual birth itself. If your MW practice utilizes a billing service (and many do) your chances of getting insurance to pay for services is greater.

I highly recommend Trillium Midwives and also Jeanne Bazille!
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tine View Post
Ditto. Almost exactly the same story for me. (I used Janet Schwab too.)
Me three! Our insurance paid 70% of Janet's fees, maybe more. I lost track of how many checks they sent. And this was after the insurance rep I called LAUGHED at me when I called to ask about HB coverage.

I third Trillium! Emme was also at my birth and is wonderful; I've heard great things about Clare and Gail too.

So basically, don't trust anything that your insurance company tells you beforehand.
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