Thursday 9 March 2023

How to Deal with Surprise Hospital Bills After Childbirth

Credit: garetsvisual Via Freepik

The long wait to see your new baby ends with childbirth, which is an exciting experience for most families. Unfortunately, surprise hospital bills can ruin the moment and divert your attention. A surprise medical bill is an unexpected bill, often for services received from a health care provider or facility that you did not know was out-of-network when receiving the services.

A study about the prevalence and magnitude of potential surprise bills revealed that 18 percent of families had one or more potential bills for delivery, newborn hospitalization(s), or both. Unfortunately, surprise bills can cause an immense financial burden for many new parents. The good news is that you can deal with surprise hospital bills after childbirth using the following strategies.

Anticipate Potential Bills in Advance

Giving children comes with a long list of responsibilities, from shopping for the baby to saving for expenses and taking time off work. After carefully planning each process, the last thing you want is a surprise bill to cause stress. One way to deal with a surprise bill is by preparing for it. Consider putting some money aside early into the pregnancy and saving it for unforeseen bills. This will prevent you from touching savings for other important milestones in your child’s life and reduce stress.

Be Cautious When Singing Consent Forms

Families must be vigilant in reading their childbirth bills or signing consent forms. Since surprise bills typically appear due to out-of-networking care or services, it’s essential to carefully read the form and determine what you agree to. Consenting to out-of-networking care means you are likely to pay much more out of pocket.

In addition to being cautious during paperwork, you can also work with your insurance company to ensure in-network care throughout your pregnancy and childbirth. Learn more about the coverage and discuss the basics with your healthcare providers ahead of time.

Learn About the No Surprises Act (NSA)

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, effective January 1, 2022, the No Surprises Act (NSA) may protect you from surprise medical bills under certain circumstances. You must have a group health plan or group or individual health insurance coverage to be eligible. The NSA may ban surprise bills for emergency services without prior authorization, out-of-network cost-sharing, and out-of-network charges for supplemental care.

Your rights under the NSA will vary depending on whether you are insured. You have rights in both cases, but the level of protection may vary. If you need clarification on the NSA, contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services No Surprises Help Desk or the Consumer Assistance Program.

Take an Installment Loan

When you incur a surprise hospital bill you are obligated to pay, it can be helpful to take an installment loan. An installment or short-term loan can help you clear your bills quickly. Many online platforms offer a simple application process and offer access to quick cash in 24 hours with no paperwork required. A vital benefit of an installment loan is that you can pay off your surprise bill and focus on other aspects of childbirth, such as taking care of your baby and improving your health. Choose the amount based on your needs and customize your loan terms to create a payment plan that works best for you.

Welcoming your child into the world is a beautiful and memorable experience. The last thing you want is for surprise hospital bills to get in the way. Follow the strategies above to deal with unexpected bills and focus on what matters more!

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