The Price of Twins

Yesterday, we celebrated the one-year anniversary of the twins coming home from the hospital (for the first time) and I received a response to my inquiry from the hospital billing department.

Even though everything has been finalized since April and we paid the last of the bills in June, they keep on sending us monthly statements noting that insurance is pending. I asked them the status, since they’re still sending us paper. Their response: “The account has not finalized and is currently pending with insurance for non-covered charges. Please allow time for processing.” Well, alright. ⌚️

While on the subject, I calculated the cost of all of this, assuming nothing new comes from the year-in-waiting statements. 💸🤑

The bills include Vanessa’s prenatal, labor, delivery, and typical recovery stay of a couple of days; the delivery of the twins, their 11-day NICU stay, the NICU doctors, their follow-up emergency medical transport, ER screen (spent an hour in the ER between the ambulance and going to the patient room, that hospital stay, and the on-floor doctors. Since this was always a high-risk pregnancy, being a multiple birth, there were a solid number of ultrasounds.

Grand Totals

  • $306,643.36 billed to insurance ($99k per twin was the NICU itself).
  • $165,958.43 discounted through insurance agreements.
  • $132,904.00 paid by insurance.
  • $1,257.30 discounted directly to us by Seton—the hospital network that included both hospitals used.
  • $6,523.90 paid by us out of pocket.

In contrast, when Catalina was born in 2011, the insurance I had then did not cover maternity care1. While they covered Catalina’s hospital, post-birth, it did not cover anything for Vanessa or anything for Catalina pre-birth. I mentally blocked out the actual number, but we paid about $14,000 out of pocket for that normal, non-medicated pregnancy.

  1. Now all health care plans include maternity, as far as I know, as a result of the ACA/Obamacare. 

Making Ends Meet

As my extended social network learns that I’m staying at home with the girls, I’ve been increasingly asked for advice on how to make it work financially.

There is no one-size fits all approach to this issue or else, I believe, more people would stay at home with their kids. The easy answer would be to have a spouse that makes plenty of money, but our society isn’t setup like that anymore for most people.

We had a nice financial setup before having kids. We both worked non-profit jobs, so we weren’t filthy rich, but we (looking back on it) had few expenses. When Olivia was born, Vanessa was making a few thousand more than I was making and Vanessa was going to stay at home. Instantly we took a 50%+ paycut. Read More