Pregnancy is a whirlwind experience, and things like medical bills might not be the first concern you have when you get pregnant. However, pregnancy might be the first major medical experience you go through, and it requires you to interact with the healthcare system frequently—from insurance, to doctors’ offices, to hospitals. Here are 5 tips for dealing with medical bills while pregnant:
If you’re planning on having a baby soon, check your insurance plan so there will be no surprises! What is your deductible? How much is your copay for office and ER visits? How much is your coinsurance for services like ultrasounds, labs and blood work, and hospital stays?
Once you get pregnant, start setting aside the amount of your deductible in a separate bank account so that you know you won’t accumulate a lot of debt during the next 40 weeks. We also recommend setting aside a few hundred dollars beyond your deductible for those coinsurance payments and any emergencies that come up along the way.
Starting with your very first doctor’s appointment to confirm your pregnancy, take notes every time you go into a doctor’s office or hospital. Keep track of what happens during your appointment, what tests you receive, and how much you pay at the office. Bills might come weeks later, and your notes will help you double check for errors.
Look for errors on your bills.
Start a spreadsheet online as well as a physical folder where you keep track of each encounter with the healthcare system. What did you get billed for? How much was the allowed amount? How much is your patient responsibility? It’s helpful to refer back to these if you need to negotiate with your doctor or insurance.