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Old 11-30-2012, 07:39 PM   #1
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Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

Okay, so I have a random question. My insurance plan covers prenatal visits 100%, as a well visit. The delivery goes towards my deductible. I recently switched OBs, and my portion of the deductible is about $1700 for the birth, and this new office wants to be paid in full by the 6th month of pregnancy for my out-of-pocket portion. I'm already 36 weeks so I'm well past that. I had a visit this past Wednesday where they took some money from me, and the paperwork says that the balance is due 12/26. I'm in no way going to have that sum available by then, so if they make me pay it, I'm going to have to arrange a payment plan with them.

But, I'm planning a homebirth this time, and was wondering if I end up paying the "delivery fee" to my OB's office but end up having a homebirth, if I'll get that money back at some point, since it went toward services that I didn't use?

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Old 11-30-2012, 07:55 PM   #2
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Similar situation with my first OB. They wanted everything paid (all care and hospital stay) upfront by 5 months. I knew I wouldn't remain at their office and asked if I would get a refund. They said they would refund me for the months I wasnt there and delivery. I would assume they'd do the same for you. Unless they want to claim its an on- call fee or something.
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:11 AM   #3
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Re: Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

My sil's hospital made her prepary for her c-sections!!! I thought that was crazy. My hospital (in the same big city area) does not make you pre-pay. I set up a payment plan and they are fine with that.

Anyway, I don't know about your original question. I have over-paid some medical bills (unknowingly) and the couple hospitals I've done that with have always sent me a check for the extra.
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Old 12-01-2012, 07:01 AM   #4
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I switched obs after already paying my amount in full and I did not get any money back and I didn't use her after 33weeks
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 AM   #5
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Re: Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

Ask and then you will know for sure.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:38 AM   #6
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Re: Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

Yeah, you are going to need to ask them. I know OB's charge a "global fee." It is one flat fee for OB services, including appts and vaginal deliver (I assume more if it's a c-sec). It is also very typical for them to want your portion up front. It's to protect them financially. I've been with 6 different OB's throughout my pregnancies (moves and ins change and such). They have all asked for my portion up front. The latest was by 36wks, if I remember correctly. I would imagine that if you don't have them deliver, you will get a portion of it back.

However, now that I think of it, you might not. You are going to have to pay your deductible for whatever you do end up owing. So, mine works like this, I have a $1000 deductible. If they charge $5000, I pay $1000. If they charge $1000, I pay $1000. I have to pay my deductible before they will pay anything. My ins will pay anything OVER my deductible amount. So, for me, if they were originally charging $5000 and it dropped to...say....$3000, I would still pay my full deductible of $1000. If you pay a percentage, then I would think you might get a small refund of the difference between percentage of the original amount and the percentage of the new amount.

Hopefully, that makes sense.
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Old 12-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #7
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Re: Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

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Originally Posted by HeatherlovesCDs View Post
However, now that I think of it, you might not. You are going to have to pay your deductible for whatever you do end up owing. So, mine works like this, I have a $1000 deductible. If they charge $5000, I pay $1000. If they charge $1000, I pay $1000. I have to pay my deductible before they will pay anything. My ins will pay anything OVER my deductible amount. So, for me, if they were originally charging $5000 and it dropped to...say....$3000, I would still pay my full deductible of $1000. If you pay a percentage, then I would think you might get a small refund of the difference between percentage of the original amount and the percentage of the new amount.
Right, but with our insurance, prenatal visits themselves are covered 100% as a well visit, without touching or affecting or affected by the deductible at all. This fee in question is JUST for the delivery, which DOES go towards the deductible.

But either way, I'm definitely asking before I pay any more, and if it ends up that I'm not getting it back, then I can work out payment after delivery if I end up in the hospital.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:07 AM   #8
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Re: Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

If you show up at the hospital in labor, they have to deliver the baby. It might not be your OB, but someone has to. If you are only going to the hospital in the event of an emergency, I wouldn't pay up front. This is something I've only recently become aware of, and I think it's pretty disgusting. Our health care system is such a joke.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:15 AM   #9
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Are you continuing ob visits until the end?
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:20 AM   #10
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Re: Pre-paying for a hospital birth but then not using hospital... get a refund?

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Originally Posted by Harmony96 View Post
Right, but with our insurance, prenatal visits themselves are covered 100% as a well visit, without touching or affecting or affected by the deductible at all. This fee in question is JUST for the delivery, which DOES go towards the deductible.

But either way, I'm definitely asking before I pay any more, and if it ends up that I'm not getting it back, then I can work out payment after delivery if I end up in the hospital.
Interesting. I've never heard of the appts being a separate charge. I've always seen it as a global fee. Of course, I don't claim to have seen it all.

I can't imagine they would keep it if it is for a service not rendered. That would be really unethical IMHO.

I'll be interested to hear what they say. Hope it works out easily.
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