Monday, November 21, 2011

The Gratitude Project - Day 21

One thing I like to complain about (which I assure you, there are many!) is our health insurance. Like many people, our insurance premiums and co-pays keep going up and up and up, but what is covered goes down. When you do have to submit a claim, you get arguments and nickle and dimed to death so that you end up having to pay the maximum amount possible. Seriously, after Bubba was born it took over a year to get all the disputes we had with our provider settled, and even longer than that to get it paid off. Even now, we have not paid off the bills from when I was in the hospital last fall. It's stressful and it's ridiculous.

Just today, I had my first prenatal appointment and I noticed on my insurance card that our co-pay had gone up AGAIN to $45. When we first got married, eight years ago, it was $30. I inwardly griped about the increase to myself, but what can you do? If you don't pay it, you don't get seen, end of story.

Well, then I saw my doctor and we discussed a few things. First, because I've had kind of irregular cycles this year and my somewhat recent miscarriage, she wanted to get an ultrasound to date my pregnancy. She said that seeing a heartbeat actually reduces the risk of miscarriage by quite a bit, so it was definitely advisable. Also, there was another ultrasound that she wanted to do at 13 weeks to screen for chromosomal disorders. Finally, there was the big ultrasound at four and a half months to measure development and get a peek at the baby's sex.

We also discussed VBAC. She said that based on my prior history she didn't see that being a likely possibility. My child, while only weighing six and a half pounds, had an exceptionally large, SIXTEEN INCH head. Indeed, the first words she said as she pulled that boy from my belly were "Oh yeah. No way that head was fitting through that pelvis!" Also, he was born at full term but my body did not want to give him up. I never progressed past 4.5 centimeters. I just don't seem to have childbearing hips! HA!

She did say that if I did happen to go into labor on my own, and I came in dilated past six centimeters that she'd let me try if I wanted, so that's good. I'm not holding my breath though, and in my mind I'm already cool and settled with another c-section.

This means that here at the outset I'm already looking at THREE ultrasounds and a surgery. Those things aren't cheap! The c-section alone costs $20,000, I kid you not. All of a sudden that crappy insurance I've been complaining about looks a lot better. Perspective will do that! The three grand I had to pay for it is definitely the more preferable number. Also, a phone call to our provider this afternoon told us that as long as the ultrasounds are for a medical reason, there is no limit to the number that is covered. We described the three my doctor wanted and were told that all three should be covered. The only ones they don't cover are the ones for non-medical reasons, such as just to look at the sex or if you just want your mom to see the baby. Apparently people do that.

So, today I am thankful for health insurance, no matter how crappy it may be. It's better than having nothing and getting stuck paying full price!!!

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Blogger Katy Cameron said...

Yikes! I always forget how there must be a price behind these things because the NHS is 'free'. I say 'free' because although you can go anywhere, any time and get seen, operated on or whatever for free, we do pay National Insurance at around 7% of our salary on a monthly basis. I'm quite okay with that though, a) because it's always been so, so I've never known not having 20% tax + 7% NI taken off my pay before it even hits my bank account and b) because I think I have more than got my money's worth in my lifetime out of the NHS!

6:11 AM  

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