He found the charge "funny and a bit ridiculous."
Imagine yourself eagerly waiting for your child to be born, and once that fateful day arrives, you need to pay the hospital just to be able to hold your newborn child.
That’s exactly what happened to a father from Utah named Ryan Grassley. This father had to pay to hold newborn!
Hospital charges to hold baby: “Funny and a bit ridiculous”
Grassley, who goes by the username “halfthrottle,” posted a photo of their hospital bill on Reddit, and it shows a charge of US$39.95 (around S$52) for “Skin to Skin after C-Sect.”
According to Grassley, “The nurse let me hold the baby on my wife’s neck/chest. Even borrowed my camera to take a few pictures for us. Everyone involved in the process was great, and we had a positive experience. We just got a chuckle out of seeing that on the bill.”
He adds that he found the charge “funny and a bit ridiculous.”
Other people weren’t amused
While Grassley didn’t mind the charge too much and even found it funny, other users on Reddit thought otherwise.
One user named terminat323, had this to say: “This is a great example of what’s wrong with the medical system. They charge for every little detail to squeeze as much money as possible out of patients. Pretty disgusting and why most people I know avoid going to the doctors unless they really NEED to.”
Another user, UKkangaroo, said sarcastically: “For the longest time mums and babies would not get immediate skin to skin contact after a c-section. How awesome that it’s being facilitated safely in hospitals around the world now!”
What do hospital staff have to say about it?
A user named FiftySixer, had this to say about the entire thing:
“As a labour and delivery nurse, I can kind of explain this. I didn’t know that hospitals charged for it, but doing ‘skin to skin’ in the operating room requires an additional staff member to be present just to watch the baby. We used to take all babies to the nursery once the NICU team made sure everything was okay. ‘Skin to skin’ in the OR is a relatively new thing and requires a second Labour and Delivery RN to come into the OR and make sure the baby is safe.”
He started a GoFundMe for US$40
Grassley has started a GoFundMe for US$40 to pay for the charge. He adds, “Any money donated over the $39.35 will be put towards a vasectomy because I never want to go through these sleepless new baby nights again.”
Having a child is expensive
All in all, Grassley found the experience amusing, and it’s great that he was a good sport about the entire thing. Though, it really does make you think, why would a hospital ask you for money just to hold your newborn child?
Professor Andrew Street, in an interview with the BBC, said that “I can’t imagine such charges are common at all, but in health systems in which billing is common, costs escalate, hospitals bill for ever more services, they invent new ‘services’, and they increase the price per service.”
He adds, “Patients or their health insurance companies struggle to question and control this billing behaviour.”
According to a report by Truven Health Analytics, on average, a natural birth in the US would set you back by US$30,000 (≈ S$39,500). For those who wish to have a C-Section, the figure almost doubles, costing US$50,000 (≈ S66,000).
This is why it’s very important to make sure that you’re not only financially able to support a child, but also able to afford the high cost of giving birth. You also need to take into consideration, how much monthly check-ups during the pregnancy will cost.
Here are some helpful tips that you should keep in mind when you’re planning to have a child:
- Make sure you have health insurance – Health insurance is extremely helpful, and it can help you with the costs of having a baby. There are a lot of available health insurance options, and you and your partner should take advantage of these.
- Look for organizations that offer financial aid – There are a lot of organizations that specifically cater to moms that need financial assistance to give birth. You can look to these organizations to help you out financially.
- You need to have a savings plan – If you still don’t have a savings plan, you need one. This helps you not only manage your finances for when you give birth, but also to manage your child’s future. Set aside some money for their education early on, and save yourself from financial woes down the road.
- Reassess your family budget – Once you have a child, you’ll have less money to spend on other things. So it’s very important to know which costs to cut back on, and where you can start saving. If you usually buy new clothes or gadgets every month, then it’s best to cut back on those so that you can save more money.
Republished with permission from theAsianparent Singapore
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