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HOLY MOLY that was expensive!!!

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
DS was born a year ago, and yesterday I got a letter in the mail from our insurance company summarizing the cost of care. I guess they received bills from various providers up until last month!

It turns out that our relatively short NICU stay (21 days) cost $175,486.71. That's over $300 an hour! My six day stay cost over $65,000. wow. How do people with less (or no)insurance actually afford this? I can't beleive it. We only spent $500 for the co-pay, and that was it. I can't even begin to fathom having to worry about costs when your babe is in the NICU. Terrible.

I have a question about this- becuase DS was a preemie, is there any chance that he could be denied health coverage later on? And becuase I had pre-eclampsia, could I be denied coverage of my next pregnancy?

Oh, and the breast pump company just sent us a bill for the entire cost of the hospital grade pump. They say we failed to return it! This is going to be interesting. I've been fighting with them for the past year about this.

Just wanted to share.....
post #2 of 51
Wow! I think ours came down to something like this:

My hospital stay (10 weeks including c-section): $75,000

Ds's hospital stay (42 days including a surgery, nitric oxide, and an oscilating vent): $292,000

We paid $380 out of pocket for the entire thing.

I would be interested to see who had the biggest hospital bill!
post #3 of 51
Thread Starter 
Interesting.... your bill comes to just around $300 an hour, just like mine. I think yours is 289 or something. I wonder if that's the average?
post #4 of 51
We call our preemie the $100,000 dollar baby. I guess our insurance company got off cheap based on you folks. We had a 2 month stay, but she did relatively well (no vent, no surgery, no dire medical conditions to treat). This last baby who was born at home by comparison will cost $2400 (the midwife's full fee IF she charges me that since we are friends and I assist her in a pinch at births or doing post partum visits on mamas if she gets swamped).
post #5 of 51
My niece was in the hospital for 17 months. She was born at 28wks and stayed the first 6 months in the NICU. After that she was transferred to the PICU. My SIL jokes that they upgraded her after the first million.

I have no clue what the financial aspect of this is, but since niece needs continued care outside of the hospital they've applied for SSI or something similar to help with cost adn then on top of their regular insurance (which is already expensive!) they get medicaid for the medically fragile.
post #6 of 51
So weird about the $300 an hour! Our stay was 225 days long and was 1.6 million dollars and I just plugged it in and it was a little over $300 an hour.

Now, if we could break it down to who is worth what.

Nurse = $20 - $24 an hour.
Respiratory Therapist = $16 to $18 an hour
Doctor = $150 an hour????
Electricity $11 an hour lol (I figure they use a lot of it)
Pharmacist $100 an hour

Any other ideas?
post #7 of 51
The NICU stay at the hospital was 309K. That included the transfer, vent, nurse care, breastmilk storage and adding formula to it, rx, o2, blah blah blah!

That didnt include the Drs bills which was about 150K.

MY c section and hospital stay was about 35K. The anithos was about 5K, the OB billed about 15K which would have been about 3.5K for a normal delivery. Maggie was at that hospital for about an hour and that was 35K for those services. Then for Feed and Grow, she came back to this hospital and stayed for about 3 weeks. They charged 95K.

So we paid our 5K deductable out of our medical savings acct which is part of our insurance and the $141.54 wasnt covered for her hearing test.

We always say shes our almost millon dollar baby!

I have the bill from our nicu in the scrapbook.
post #8 of 51
My DD's 2-month stay was $400,000. My own stay (1month in-hospital bedrest, c-sec) was $80,000. My family always says we hit the jackpot. (The year after DD was born, our insurance carrier also declared bankruptcy . . . coincidence? Hmmm . . . )

I thank God every day that we had great insurance then. If that happened again now with our lousy insurance, our lives would be ruined, at least financially.
post #9 of 51
The cost varies greatly depending on the hospital I've found. We have two big hospitals in town and the one my kids were at is far less expensive than the other. My son had a 63 day stay that was completely uneventful, 24hrs on the ventilator 5 days on CPAP and then a cannula for 8wks. His bill was 195,000. My daughter had a 225 day stay complete with ventilation the entire time, several weeks on the oscillator, 4 surgeries and over 10 infections. The cost of her stay is still being debated but we hit 1M at 4mos. It looks as if the final pay out is going to be about 1.9M. But those numbers only include hospital stay, nursing, medications. Radiology, doctors/surgeons, anesthesia, EMS, etc all bill separately.
post #10 of 51
I can't find the exact numbers right now, but I believe Lilly's 63-day stay cost about $440,000 and Kate's 65-day stay about $460,000. I think my own 19 (I think) days (20 if you count one night at another hospital) were about $35,000, though I may be confused. I know the total came to just shy of a million, and I figure with the Synagis and Kate's O2 requirements, we definitely hit the million mark that first year. Luckily halfway through the year we ended up switching insurance because we transferred off mine and onto my husband's, so we didn't run into lifetime benefit issues.
post #11 of 51
We got off pretty cheap for our two. And we were in the NICU for 78 days/
DS was $163,350 ($90/hr) for the hospital portion of it, not too bad, but then he was only on the vent for 24 hours and had no major issues at all. Also for 3/4 of that time in there he shared the same bed with his sister, yet we were charged for 2 beds... This doesn't include an additional $60,0000 or so for the neo bills.

DD was on $156,000 ($83.33/hr), for the hospital portion only. This doesn't include the $65,000 for the neo's bills
and my 4 day stay with a c-section the hospital portion of the bill was only about $9000.

Our insurance was great. I only paid the $35 co-pay for a hospital stay for me and DS. Since DD was so small she was considered disabled at birth and medicaid covered her.

I would think that if the insurance companies get picky enough that they might not cover certin conditions because of prematurity.. who knows with them.

Molly
post #12 of 51
DS's 37-day NICU stay cost $120,000 (so $135/hr, but I don't think that bill included doctor fees). We ended up paying the $5,000 out of pocket maximum. I know that his isolette alone cost $1,100 PER DAY. And his stay was uneventful, just on a vent for a couple days, cpap for a couple days, then cannula. No surgeries, no surprises, no complications.
post #13 of 51
Our boys' NICU stays of 82 and 90 days totalled well over a million dollars. Frightening.
post #14 of 51
For 8 days in the NICU we paid very close to 5k out of pocket for peanut's medical bills. The total bill was between 25 and 30K. However, we got many bills for things separately.
post #15 of 51
My DS was literally one of the million dollar babies. We got him on to my BCBS right after birth: we didn't know better. In NC my 25w preemie qualfied for long term medicaid thru his SSI. We recieve $30 checks every month b/c they consider him disabled. ( Hah!, he's just small and catching up- to us, but every lttle bit counts! )

We have since learned that BCBS will cut him off at a certain million $ mark.

We are moving out of NC to VA and are now told we have to reapply for medicaid which seems totally bogus to me.

Seeing as he is doing better, and it is not so constant w/ the doctors/ surgeries etc. in the past year I feel a bit better about this. I don't think we would "qualifiy" for medicaid now. And I REALLY don't know how we would have stayed afloat w/o the medicaid as a secondary insurance in the past.

We'll see what happens. Hopefully NC and VA just have their signals crossed!!

As a foot note: neither BCBS or Medicaid would pay for my 5+ m of pump rental, even w/ notes from the doctors explaining that my DS was critically ill and could not breastfeed and would most likely die on formulas w/ his intestinal condition!! Makes me sick to my stomach! If I had had more time or energy I would have gone on a war-path.
post #16 of 51
My uncomplicated c-section and 3 day stay: $21K
DS's 40 days in Special Care (3 days vent, 6 hours CPAP, 4 days cannulae, no complications, iron and caffeine for meds): $100K (20K for his neos)

our out-of-pocket: about $1,600 including 6-months hospital pump rental and a Medela PIS Advanced purchase that BCBS wouldn't pay for.
post #17 of 51
Thread Starter 
Wow mammas! I'm glad I'm not the only one who had sticker shock, and it's great that it looks like none of us actually had to cut a million dollar check to foot the bill! It's really interesting to see the different costs; there's probably so many different things that influence how much the bill was, from geographic areas down to the kinds of diapers and syringes they use!

Does anyone know what I should do about this stupid breast pump issue? Basically, a medical supply company rented me a lactina breast pump (requested by the doctor and covered by insurance) for 21 days. The day after DS came home, someone called at 8 in the evening, saying that they were from the supply company and that they would be by at 8am the next morning to pick up the pump. It made me sick to part with my pump, but they insisted that the rental period was over. The next morning, some guy came to the house and took the pump. In our new baby daze, we didn't ask for any paperwork. The bills started coming in a few months later. The supply company said that they never sent anyone to pick it up, and they even checked the courier records. So apparently, someone from the hospital found my address and impersonated a courier to get the pump. It sounds so crazy, but that is the only conclusion we can think of thus far. The supply company admitted that this has happened before (someone outside of the company making off with a pump), but they have sent us a bill for the cost of the pump. I was thinking of filing a police report, but there is no way of knowing that it was actually stolen, and it was not my property. What else can I do?

Thanks!
post #18 of 51
Id say thats kind of on the cheaper side... My 27 weeker racked up 80,000 in just 2 days in one hospital!! I said WTF were they doing to him?? He maxed out medicaid a few times all within 2 years.. He is also one of the million dollar babies... two or three times. He had a LOT of long stays. His entire first year except for maybe 4 weeks and like 80% of his second year was in the hospital :/ His first year he had 13 surgeries, vent, feeding tube... lots of tests.. his second year vent, more surgeries, more tests.. He has the SSI medicaid.. which pays for more than the regular medicaid but even with that medicaid still wanted to kick him out of the hospital a few times.

I just got a bill the other day from my last stay.. It was almost 2 weeks... The bill was only 35,000.. They even sent an itemized list of every single thing that was charged to me.. Every toothbrush, every pad, every test.. I found it kind of interesting. BTW That included c-section, transfusion, everything..
post #19 of 51
Oh yeah and an interesting thing about medicaid.. My sons current home vent.. To buy it off of the shelf it would cost around 8,000... Instead medicaid pays 9,000 a month and has been for almost 2 years... Imagine how many vents they could have bought and owned instead of rented? Instead of just paying the 8,000 and doing the hundred or so dollars worth of repairs and tests on it every year they pay way more... Funny how insurance works. Its almost like with the synagis..
post #20 of 51
I have no idea what my Little Bit cost total. Everybody around here bills seperately. The hospital did wind up refunding most of my stay and waived our portion of hers because they dropped the ball when she was born and didn't tell us that she qualified for SSI/medicare. I found out the day before she was released and it wasn't retroactive. I didn't even ask that they do this, and I keep waiting to get another bill.

As far as pre-existing conditions, and keeping insurance coverage, we have changed companies since she was born, and I am pregnant again and we didn't have any trouble. I did wind up on someone's list to be monitored closely and a nurse from the insurance company called once a month for a while to ask questions, but I'm a less than a week from my due date now, and I haven't heard from the nurse at the insurance company in a while. The questions weren't really rude, they were more along the lines of has your doctor checked this or that. I took it to mean that they wanted to be sure I was being monitored as closely as possible.
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