My sister has been having a hard time because they lost their insurance. She is due with her first child in January. Since June, I’ve tried to help her find some different options, and nothing has really come out of the search for options except for multiple denial’s & further frustrations. Tried and failed to get them on the Oregon Health Plan, and failed to find help from multiple other venues.
We did finally find a doctor’s office that would even see her. That was good .. I guess, except that the cost to them without insurance is over $800.00 for the remainder of her prenatal care itself. That figure DOESN’T include any of the hospital birthing costs, any ultrasounds, or other lab tests or blood work that they would run.
So lets break this down.. $800.00 for the following:
- a Month 6 check-up
- a Month 7 check-up
- (2) Month 8 check-ups (assuming it would then go every two weeks)
- (5) Month 9 check-ups (assuming they would then be weekly)
This is a rough total of 8 Check-ups (so $100.00 an appointment then) where they will most likely in a time period ranging between 10 to 20 minutes they would: take quick blood pressure, measure her belly, listen for a heart beat, say “yep you’re still pregnant” and she’s out the door. In the last few weeks, I suppost they will check dialation.. but seriously $100.00 for that 20 minutes? (and thats probably being generous on the time allotment). I would seriously like to see an itemized bill for why that 20 minutes should cost that amount.
I know that in the “great scheme of things”, especially to those that deal with far more expensive treatment, this may seem like a minimal amount. But for an extremely new young couple that both make barely over minimum wage… this is all very overwhelming. I really wish I could help them more.
The more I deal with the current state of health care in general, the more and more I feel it is all about money first and individual care last… Its not even about doctors and patients anymore.. its all the “third party” beauracracy that has taken over. I can’t help but think that we’ve let insurance company influence & inflate actual costs for care, in addition to we’ve let really stupid, sue-happy individuals mess things up to the point that many doctors can’t even provide certain services any longer because of liability.
What a problem we’ve let take hold! Even sadder is that I know I probably don’t even realize the half of it.
My sister’s mother-in-law had bought them a device that allows them to listen to the baby’s heartbeat when they want… My sarcastic side wonders if they could get a discount if they checked the heartbeat on their own before the appointment and just told them they could hear it? My sister-in-law is a nurse up in Portland.. I could have her teach me over the phone to take blood pressure and I could do that part before she went to her appointment… oh.. and where did I put that measuring tape I got in a sewing kit, we could measure her belly too…. …… ok I’ll stop.. I’m sure I’m probably being unfair.. Its just frustrating.