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Willowsong Birth Center - experiences?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Has anyone given birth at the new birth center here in Des Mines? I met with Cozette when I was pregnant with my son before the birth center was finished. I really liked her style and felt I best meshed with her but she did not take my (or any) insurance. So instead I went with Sheryl Puderbaugh who was very competent but I didn't feel was a very good fit for me.

When I talked to Cosette last, it was April of 2011 and she said they were working with insurance companies and lawmakers so that she could take insurance if women gave birth in a birth center.

Does anyone know if she does take insurance now (we have bc/bs) and what was your experience with the birth center?
post #2 of 7
I haven't, but was actually just researching them. I'll be watching this thread smile.gif dd you have a homebirth with Sheryl?
post #3 of 7

I went to their orientation on a couple weeks ago and got a really good feeling about both the current center "Healing Passages" and Kari who we spoke with.  We don't have insurance so will be paying out of pocket.  For a first pregnancy it'll cost us $5800.  You may give them a call or go for another orientation (which is free). 


The FAQ page on their site states:


Healing Passages Birth & Wellness Center represents the facility fee and we hope will be covered in-network. Willowsong Midwifery Care’s professional fee is covered as an out-of-network service by insurance plans. It is really important that you fully understand how your out-of-network coverage works. The birth center’s facility fee is separate from the professional fee of the midwives. The global fee for all prenatal care, birth, and postpartum services is significantly less than area hospital delivery charges, which makes your out-of-pocket costs comparable to, if not less than, a normal vaginal delivery at the hospital.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Bumping this up as I continue to research area midwives. Is there ANYONE in the Des Moines area that takes insurance for a home or birth center birth?  Perhaps their is somewhere outside DSM, in the surrounding areas.  While I would love to go with Cosette, I simply do not have $6000 or even half that available to me before reaching 34 weeks (due 10/25 approximately).  Complicating things, my dh failed to sign up for the health savings plan at work so I do not even have that to tap into.  We have already borrowed as much as we can from dh's 401k for the down payment on our house. 


Any other ideas. I'm just surprised that so many are able to come up with several grand in such a short period of time.  I do realize it will (hopefully) be reimbursed but that doesn't help getting that amount in the first place.

post #5 of 7

Have you called them recently?  They DO take insurance, it just depends on your provider whether or not they cover it.  Since we don't carry insurance and I wanted to be covered in case of an emergency, I got "pregnant medicaid".  While that doesn't cover Willowsong, it does cover lab work and ultrasounds.  Who else have you contacted that DOES NOT take insurance - so that the rest of us know?



There are midwives at Iowa Health hospitals:



There's this lady:


post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
To be fair, I have not contacted anyone THIS pregnancy but with my previous one 15 months ago. As I understand it from their website Willowsong is not in network with any insurance so one would have to pay upfront and wait for reimbursement from their insurance.

I have contacted Sheryl who takes BC/BS and I'm sure others. Dana Erickson works the same as Willowsong in that you have to pay the cost yourself and then be reimbursed. We simply don't have several grand even if we are reimbursed.

And AFAIK those are the only three homebirth midwives in the area.
post #7 of 7

I'm also looking at delivering at Willowsong, but of course (unfortunately) finances are a HUGE consideration.  We have BCBS, a PPO plan with a health savings account.  I need to figure out if there will be any reimbursement if we were to pay up front out of our HSA, and if so, can I put that money back into my HSA?  I would hope so.  Since Willowsong looks like they are "out of network" I think my coverage is only 60%, and it says "after out-of-network deductible" which is $8000!!  Ack!  In that case, it seems like I wouldn't even be reimbursed anything.  I wish this was easier to understand and figure out.  Just want to have a baby, people!  haha.  

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