Monday, March 11, 2013

Money money money, it's a rich man's world

We just got our first Explanation of Benefits from our insurance company in the mail today for Elsie. I was expecting it to be pretty ugly, after all that she's been through. And it was pretty ugly: almost $60,000. And then I noticed that this exorbitant amount was only for her first month! All I can say, is that I'm ever so grateful that we had insurance when Elsie was born, and so thankful that she qualifies for Medicaid as well. I can't imagine trying to pay off $60,000 for one month in the hospital.

Anyway, I'm not complaining about the cost, I know that the state-of-the-art medical technology that has kept Elsie alive is expensive. I'm grateful for it, and she's worth it. I thought it might be interesting to make a little list on the blog here of some of the costs for your viewing pleasure, in case you are curious about the price of being a micro-preemie, as well as to keep a record that we can look back at someday in the future.

  • Each day at the hospital costs between $972.83 and $1,035.36. Per day. Wow. And that's not including things like x-rays or diagnostics. Those are extra, of course.
  • PDA Ligation (heart surgery) cost $4,098.62; the anesthesia for the surgery cost an additional $1,738.
  • The "ambulance" ride to PCMC, which was not actually an ambulance but was an isolette on a gurney that was walked down the hall and through several elevators, cost $6,406.66.
  • The procedure that was done at PCMC (looking at her intestines) cost $568.41.
  • "Imaging", which I'm assuming is x-rays, cost $93 each time it is done. Elsie had 5 x-rays during the first month.
Like I said, these are just a few of the costs from her first month of life. I think it's interesting to see the price tag that is attached to these tiny babies. I've heard from a few friends with similar stories, whose baby's first year of life cost between $1-2 million dollars. Crazy!

I haven't updated for a few days because there is not much to report. Elsie is continuing to do well. She reached 3 pounds last week, and has a little double chin. So funny. Clayton and I are going to visit her this evening and tomorrow morning. It is our tenth wedding anniversary today, and instead of the vacation that we had been contemplating before Elsie was born, we will be celebrating a little closer to home. 


  1. Thank goodness for insurance and for Medicad! I will no longer complain about spending forty dollars on diapers and wipes anymore.

  2. Yes, MedicAID is a blessing in this situation. I'm proud of you kid, and so glad that this blog helps people like me who are FAR AWAY keep up to date on what's going on with the babe. I lurve you.

  3. Ditto! Ditto! Except I LOVE you!

  4. She is worth every penny! I'm so happy things are going well! Keep up the good work Baby Elsie!!!

  5. Wowsa! That's a whole lot of money (especially to walk from one hospital to another...good grief!) Keep growing, baby!

  6. Her cute double chin! My kids usually had more than one! ;D Money is earthly, not to be overly worried about. (I so totally know what you mean, though!!)

  7. I am friends with Cameron and Sara. I had my baby at 24 weeks. Your baby seems to be doing so well! I am so happy for you! Now you know why they call micro preemies million dollar babies. My Emmalynn was in the NICU for 147 days and her big procedures were things like PDA ligation, tracheostomy, and gastrostomy. Her total bill came to $921,999.80 (they are doing a second audit to make sure)!!! Good luck and if you ever have questions I'd be happy to answer them!