- My husband and I are expecting a baby in September and while we're
both very excited, I'm starting to get a little freaked out about
all the costs, namely the hospital stay and whatever other practical
expenses pop up unexpectedly during the process. Got any calming
advice? - Hesley
Hi Hesley - Congratulations! I'm happy you and your husband
get to welcome a little bundle of joy into the world. It's unfortunate
that we often have to worry about money during such an exciting
time, but that's how these things go. The good news is you're planning
ahead and that will help you prepare for some of the bills and potentially
avoid a few unnecessary payments.
Having been through this process myself, one of the important steps
I learned was to call both your insurance provider and your care
provider before doing lab work and ultrasounds. Even with great
coverage, you may still have to jump through the seemingly needless
hoop of getting authorization from physicians. For example, your
provider may cover lab tests and blood work, but certain tests will
only be covered if your doctor submits a request for authorization.
Even if your insurance company has stated that they cover these
tests, you still need approval.
This is a recurring theme for some pregnancies, so it's possible
you can save yourself a lot of money just by asking questions. Bringing
these matters up may also help you uncover additional means of financial
assistance. Depending on your income, the state might cover a portion
of the hospital stay, so that's definitely worth looking into.
For the practical expenses, just keep thinking about things practically.
Some people pour thousands of dollars into decorating a nursery.
If money is a concern, don't go over the top in your baby preparations.
You also shouldn't hesitate to ask for hand-me-downs and help from
other young parents that you know. People with children are usually
very willing to help out the newcomers, and that kindness is something
you'll want to take advantage of.
While you do your best to avoid huge expenses, make sure you're
putting as much money as possible away for baby needs. As you said,
a lot of these costs pop up out of nowhere, so you'll want money
that's ready to go when something comes up. Without starving yourself,
see how much money you can budget for when the baby arrives.
Keep asking for guidance, Hesley. Different people will advise you
differently, so keep gathering info as you find your way. As long
as you're making good choices, I trust everything will fall into
place. Congrats again and good luck!