17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It never hurts to ask...and ask...and ask...

Especially when it made me $750 richer!
This post is dedicated to Kage who nudged me into "asking".

After DD2 was born I was shocked at the price for the healthy delivery. The cost without insurance was overwhelming, but even with our insurance we were in a bind. I figured it was just the price of delivering out East. I wrote it off to "living in NY." Then I mentioned it to Kage and she convinced me I'd better start poking around because that price was way too high.

First I called my insurance company...I got nowhere. No financial aid--only a way to pay monthly. So we began payments. Then I asked my doc's and the hospital's billing depts. and they could do nothing. Hmmmm.

When it was time for my anual exam, I explained the situation to my doctor in person. She was surprised when I told her that her practice charged me $7000 for a healthy, no complications delivery and was especially surprised that I was left with $900 of it to pay myself. She figured someone may have been taking advantage of the practice's agreement with the insurance company and charging extra. She said people that are much more difficult to care for still pay close to nothing! She told me she'd talk to the lady in billing and take care of it. Whatever that meant--but I was optimistic.

Well, I'd already made our first monthly payment of $150 and I'd just sent a check for the second month. I called the practice a couple days ago to check on the status. My balance had been $750. My doctor, who I LOVE, walked in the very day of my apointment and "adjusted off" the entire $750!!

But wait! There's more. So, they told me that the second check I'd just mailed in would be put toward my anual exam. I told the lady that didn't make much sense since insurance covers that exam and that I'd like a refund. She talked to her manager and called me back and told me they'd put the money toward that $750 payment. (Meaning I'd really only be getting $600 off.) I didn't know what to say, but was glad enough to have the bill eliminated. So, that was that.

Then that night I came to my senses!! Who are they to take that money from me!? My doctor had adjusted $750 off--not $600! That was a "gift" from her to me and they're swiping $150 of it.

So, I called back the next day and confronted the manager. All she had to do was have my doctor's permission to give me back the $150. She called her and it was done in less than 5 minutes!! Sheesh!! Couldn't they have told me that yesterday!? I was a little annoyed.

But most of all I was SO HAPPY because we really need that $150 each month. What a relief!!

Never hurts to ask! Now we're going to Burmuda! ....uh, I mean...Now we can pay car insurance! : )


  • Way to go Katie! I am so glad you stuck up for yourself. The payoff monetarily is nice, but don't you just feel so great inside?
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/21/2006 09:50:00 AM  

  • When I got an IUD put in a year and a half ago, the insurance claimed it would be 20 bucks co-pay for the dr.'s visit and that's it. 20 bucks for very good birth control! Loved the IUD, it was great. Then we got the bill.


    We had to pay $775.

    Turns out the "CNM" that had put it "in" me was not on the insurance list yet. And by the time we realized our mistake, a year had gone by and she was no longer with the practice (for unrelated reasons --she was very competent). However, had the other two CNM's put it in, we would have been covered.

    So, I now ask too. I ask before every procedure, exam, and probe --will insurance cover this? And better yet --are you, as the dr., on my insurance to do this?

    I'm glad your experience turned out so much better than mine. Yay! :) :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 3/21/2006 10:34:00 AM  

  • 7K just sounds crazy-high for a normal delivery! Like 3 times too high...

    Good for you for sticking up for yourself. Doesn't it feel so good?
    posted by Blogger Tracy M at 3/21/2006 12:36:00 PM  

  • Ouch, cheryl! I remember at BYU I had an anual exam done by my obgyn after baby #1. I got the bill and realized that insurance only covered it if I had the BYU health center do the exam!! AARG!

    And yes, carrie and tracy m, I felt so good to stick up for myself--especially that last 150.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 3/21/2006 12:56:00 PM  

  • Good job Katie - this post reminds me to follow up with people. I've gotten good at hounding my stores for payment on invoices but I'm not as dilligent when it comes to insurance companies for my family. For some reason, they really intimidate me and I'd sooner pay the bill than call and try to figure out why its so much more than I was planning on. This post has given me a kick in the pants - thank yoU!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 3/21/2006 01:07:00 PM  

  • insurance companies suck. they will try to get you every time. My insurance compnay paid the WRONG HOSPITAL for my ER visit in December! Hello? Why would they send a payment to a hospital that didn't even bill them? And why didn't that hospital contact them, and say what's with the check? We've never even heard of this patient. No, they just cashed it.
    Crazy stuff. I was even double covered that month only (good time for the ER, I guess) and they tried to tell me I wasn't. You really have to battle, but it's worth it.
    posted by Blogger The Wiz at 3/21/2006 02:40:00 PM  

  • Cheryl,
    I'm so glad you shared that story. It's not something I would think to ask on my own.
    I'm currently running in circles about a bill sent to me that should've been sent elsewhere, and it's got everyone involved very confused. Military insurance, the price is right, but you get what you pay for! *rolls eyes*
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 3/22/2006 10:10:00 AM  

  • Ooh! Just thought of this and had to add it. If your, or your DH's, company offers it, take the cafeteria plan. And AFLAC. Or anything else that will help cover the cost of pregnancies and births.

    Our cafeteria plan re-imbursed us the $575 it cost for my echocardiogram last summer. Which, of course, is totally unrelated to pregnancy, but it's good to know it covers other random things, too!
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 3/22/2006 01:39:00 PM  

  • Cheryl--I'll have to see what a cafeteria plan is--never heard of it. (So I doubt it's offered.) AFLAC, huh? I do love those commercials. :)

    Wiz--I cannot believe your story. That's so wrong in so many ways. Really, did you just pinch yourself thinking this kind of mindlessness could only happen in a dream (or nightmare)?
    posted by Blogger Katie at 3/22/2006 06:41:00 PM  

  • Shows you really need to know what is going on and not just trust people to do what is in your best intrerst. Kinda sad and makes me a little paranoid. But one of the great things I perfected in New York was the har of verbal confrontation. Glad you got the money back.
    posted by Blogger Brandolyn at 3/25/2006 02:54:00 PM  

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