You Can Decline Services: What I Wish I Knew About Hospital Bills Before I Gave Birth

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Hello All,

Happy two days until Christmas. This year will be yet another year of giving homemade presents because I am BROKE! I am still paying off the $10K I racked up in hospital bills last July when I gave birth to my beautiful little boy on July 7th.

I was pretty shocked that it cost 10K to have a baby considering I have decent insurance through my job, used a midwife (which was a charge that was separate from the hospital bills) and I went the all-natural route. Ouch! After scouring my bills to see how this could have happened, I discovered a few things I wish I had thought of before going into labor.

You Can Decline Services: What I Wish I Knew About Hospital Bills Before I Gave Birth
Credit: tamakisono on Flickr

1. Bring your own meds!

Looking at my itemized bill, I saw that I spent $300 on pain medication. What? I didn’t have an epidural, and they only gave me Motrin after I had given birth. You better believe I called the hospital. Well lo and behold, I spent $300 on Motrin. The SAME Motrin you can buy at the store for $8.99 a bottle. Each individual Motrin cost $12.50. I had horrible cramps and took the three Motrin I was allowed every six hours. I was there for two days, so I took three Motrin on eight different occasions. 3 x 8 x 12.50 is 300. Spray anesthetic was another, could have saved $35 on the two bottles I used. I also could have saved $15 on Preparation H.

2. Bring your own Perinatal Ice Packs and pads.

This one was a doozie. You can buy 24 for $36.50 at Omegastores.com. I used 15 at $10 a pop. Lost 113.50 on that one. Also, I lost another $30 on jumbo sanitary pads.

3. Bring your own baby supplies.

I paid $50 for a small pack of diapers and two to-go packs of wipes. Retail value: $13.00. Also, I got a $4 thermometer for $18

4. You have the option to decline dining services. Honestly, I think it’s worth it to just eat the hospital food. But for seven meals at $15 a pop, if I had someone bring me food or if I packed my own, it would have easily saved another $30 minimum.

Not including the potential food savings, I could have easily saved over $500. I asked the hospital if patients are allowed to decline their supplies, and yes, they are.

While that's only 5% of the bill... that's also about what I spend on Christmas. YOWZA!

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