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July 26, 2017


Greenville, SC

My son was born 6 weeks early and stayed in the NICU for 23 days. The hospital is in network. The neonatologist group that cares for the NICU babies was not.

Three months after babies left the NICU, they had an appointment, set up by the hospital, with a developmental specialist group. I called my insurance company to see if this group was in network. The rep didn’t “think so,” but it’s hard to say since there are different offices in different parts of the country. Some are in network; some are not. She recommended my son’s pediatrician instead, since they are in the network. I pointed out to her that a developmental specialist for premature babies is not the equivalent to a pediatrician.

While my son was in an incubator and I was trying to be at the hospital to feed and hold him, I was sitting in the lobby racking up cell phone charges while talking to various insurance companies, all of which gave me different answers. I am trying to be responsible and my husband and I both work very hard, but I have already paid 10% of our take-home pay on my maternity costs, since I have a high deductible plan and my pregnancy spanned 2014 and 2015, so everything I paid toward my $2600 deductible, didn’t count as of January 1, 2015.

I work at a bank and I can be fired for bad credit and/or unpaid debts. I have a $2000 annual deductible and a $24,000 bill from the neonatologist group alone.

What other industry exists, where you use a service, and find out the cost AFTER you’ve already used the service?