Money Money Money

I knew that having a baby was expensive.  We all do.  The idea that babies = money is not new, and is hardly lost on anyone.  We just never sit and contemplate exactly how much it costs to actually have a baby.  When people say that babies are expensive, we or at least I, start thinking of the crap that babies need/want.  And all the toys, swings, play yards, bottles, pumps, furniture and diapers (just to name a few) that start to over run your once perfectly put together home.  We rarely if ever think of the actual hospital / doctor bill that comes with having a baby.  I finally heard back from my new OB/GYN.  Before I was scheduled for an appointment I was transfered over to the billing department and I had a chat with a very nice woman, and it went something like this:

Her: “We looked into your insurance coverage, and it seems that you haven’t paid anything towards your deductible.”

Me: “That’s correct.  I’m pretty healthy and don’t need to go to the doctor all that often.”

Her: “Well, that means that you’ll have to pay your deductible in full before insurance will cover anything, and that amount is $1,750.” (apparently I have crappy coverage)

Me: “Wow.” (This is about the time that my heart rate and blood pressure spiked.)

Her: “After you deductible is paid, you’ll have a remaining balance of $241, that we’ll set up a payment plan for.”  (At least that’s the number I think I heard, I could be mistaken, I was becoming light headed as these figures were being thrown at me.)

Me: “….ok”

Her:  “On top of this, you’ll have to pay 30% of your hospital bill (full hospital bill is usually around $7,000 for a normal vaginal birth), which is separate from our bill.  Do you still want to make an appointment?”  (I figure that I’m going to have to pay this no matter what practice I’m apart of, so….)

Me: “….Yes?”

Her:  “Ok, I”ll transfer you.”

Now these figures don’t seem that bad off hand.  But, when you’re an administrative assistant that makes well below the national average, and your husband is a teacher in a state that is ranked 49th in teacher pay (Thank god for Mississippi, is our state motto), and hasn’t had a raise since he started teaching (did I mention the last pay freeze in our state lasted 10 years (could you go 10 years without a raise?)) these numbers cause a mild panic attack.  Especially when I just looked at my bank account.  For those of you who don’t know, January is the worst month, payment wise, for teachers.  The last paycheck that J got was on December 19th (before the winter break) and he doesn’t get paid again until January 30th.  Essentially, we go a month and a half without a paycheck, during the most expensive season of the year.  I know that we’ll be fine, and I know that we’ll make it work.  I know all this, and yet I’m still worried about it.  My heart rate has yet to settle back down.  J has kindly and soothingly told me that we’ll be fine, and even came up with a plan for us to be able to pay this, but yet I’m still worried.  Money sucks.

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