With a new arrival on the way, there is probably a lot on your to-do list. Between sifting through pregnancy advice and mom-tips, staying healthy, and generally preparing as much as possible for a safe delivery, preparing for financial curveballs from your medical provider probably feels like one straw too many! High hospital costs, especially during and soon after pregnancy, can come as a surprise, but with a little bit of prep, you can avoid over-paying for your hospital stay. Here’s a break-down of some of the best ways we’ve found to be financially prepared for a hospital visit!
- It’s all about “networking”
One simple way to avoid extra costs is to have a quick chat with your insurance company! When you call them, be sure you have this information on hand: the doctor’s name, the location, and the contact information of the places you plan to use for your prenatal and postpartum care. You’ll also want to have your insurance ID number (found on your insurance card) handy.
Ask your insurance company if your plan is contracted with your desired doctor and hospital. Another way to ask this is, “Are my doctor and the hospital / facility in-network with my insurance plan?” It’s best to use an in-network provider if you want to manage your costs!
The second thing to ask is what your annual “out of pocket maximum” is for your individual health insurance plan. Remember, your deductible is the minimum amount you will have to pay before your insurance kicks in, but you could have additional out of pocket expenses such as coinsurance, so it’s best to budget as if you had to pay your out of pocket maximum.
If you want to learn more, check out this list of questions to ask your insurance company when you’re preparing for pregnancy costs!
- Make a list, and check it twice!
Ask your hospital for an itemized estimate of costs. They may give you a list of services and prices; you can then decide if there are optional services you want to receive or decline. For example, if your hospital offers babysitting after labor, and you’d rather not pay for that service, you’ll know to decline it if it’s offered. Pro-tip: these itemized lists are often just estimates and subject to change, so stay in the loop and check in with your provider!
If you’re worried about potentially large hospital costs, ask your doctor if there are any available payment plans. Most providers offer a 0% interest rate for financing for up to 12 months, so applying for healthcare financing might be a good option if you want to avoid large payments.
- Have an Eye for Detail
Even if you’ve chosen the best possible hospital and called a strategic team huddle with your insurance company, stay alert and pay attention to detail during your hospital stay. It’s best to assume that every service you receive will have its own cost, even if it’s small, so don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or the staff for total transparency and to politely decline if you’d rather not receive an optional service before and after your delivery.
With these three things in your toolkit, you’ll be prepared to deal with the cost of your hospital stay, ensuring that your energy and time can be spent on more important things, like a healthy pregnancy!
There’s an app for that?!
Most of the logistics and billing systems of our day-to-day lives have apps that can smooth out processes and save us time – so why shouldn’t the same be true for your hospital bills? Soon, it will be!
RexPay is a developing app that is designed by patients and medical experts for patients and their doctors. By allowing you to scan and store copies of your bills securely, RexPay helps keep your medical costs organized and allows you to pay medical providers right through the app, which is a big time-saver! For more tips on dealing with medical bills, visit the RexPay blog, follow them on social media – and keep an eye out for the app on the app store soon!
Author: Madeline Inskeep