Friday, April 20, 2007

Million dollar baby

The bills for Trystan's (and mine) medical care have started arriving. I guess they're not actually bills, but statements of the claims that are being made against our health insurance. It is amazing how much money the two of us have cost over the last several months. My prenatal care itself cost a fortune--I had 5ish ultrasounds, plus NST's 2x a week for 3 months, and weekly doctor visits for those same 3 months. Follow that with a C-section, though my hospital stay was a little shorter than normal (2 days instead of 4).

Then comes Trystan. First, there was a renal (kidney) scan at Missouri Baptist because of his "dilated kidneys" that had been diagnosed in-utero. Then the ambulance ride to Childrens. Two weeks in the NICU. Consultation with pediatric surgeons, followed by the colostomy. Two echocardiograms. Another kidney/bladder exam where they shot dye up his bladder and took X-rays to determine if there was any backflow (I'm sure that has a real name, but I don't remember). There were cardiologists, surgeons, an attending physician, a fellow, and our own pediatrician all following his progress during that time, in addition to the nurses and all of the supplies, medications, monitors, etc.

So far, I think I've seen bills totalling close to $200,000 for Trystan alone, and I don't think everything is yet accounted for. The largest charges are the NICU stay, and his surgery (the charge from the lead surgeon alone was over $65,000--that doesn't count the anesthesia, supplies, etc). And just think, we will have two more surgeries this year--one to repair the imperforate anus, and another to reverse the colostomy. If the recovery time on those are similar to the first one, we're talking another Half a Million dollars in healthcare expenses.

I feel so VERY VERY VERY lucky to have good health insurance right now. I haven't seen what our out-of-pocket cost will be, but I actually don't think it's very much. According to the insurance company's website, the "out-of-network" deductible is only $650 for the year for an individual, or $1500 for the family. The "in-network" deductible says "N/A", and all of the doctors, hospitals, etc that we've used are considered "in-network". I know that the prenatal care + birth was supposed to cost just the initial $10 copay (yes, that's total for the entire pregancy and birth)--I think mine was actualy double that because I had a second $10 copay for the group that did my level 2 ultrasound. Normal expenses for Trystan's hospital stay would be covered under that $10 payment, but I don't know if the transfer and surgery and all that is or not. In any case, I'm thinking that at best, we owe nothing more, and at worst, up to $650. I assume we will have co-pays for all of the follow-up care (which run from $10-50 tops).

Not bad for health insurance that doesn't even cost anything out of my paycheck. Did I mention that I love my job?

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I love your employer's benefits too. I don't think you should have to pay anything for his stay in the hospital. It's covered 100%. It's the ER that costs $50. Any doctor's office visits will cost, but scheduled surgeries or tests should not. It's a good plan. Poor lucky baby boy, when does he go in for the other surgeries.