The American healthcare system is ‘broken and expensive’
There is a lot of preparation that couples go through when expecting a child. They have to stock up on diapers, buy a stroller, install a car seat, and make sure they get plenty of sleep. Bringing a child into the world is both tiresome and expensive. So, with a baby on the way, a Vox reporter wanted to know the answer to one simple question before taking his wife to the hospital, “How much is it going to cost?” One would assume that with a healthcare system that embraces free-market principles, consumers would be able to shop around to find the best price. But, as this father-to-be learned, it’s impossible.
A study by Yale University which compared the prices of over 800,000 U.S. births found that the cost for a hospital room can vary from $1,189 to $11,986. So to learn the price for a room, the reporter contacted the hospital where his wife was to give birth, and all he got was the runaround. After two weeks and 30 phone calls he finally talked to a pricing consultant and she said it would cost $347 after insurance, but gave no reason why.
Hospitals come up with their charges by first negotiating rates with the insurance company. Then, during your stay, costs are incurred for everything from time with the doctor to procedures to medication. Then the bill is then sent to the insurance company and it decides how much the parents are charged based on their policy. Finally, four weeks after the birth of their child, the proud parents in our story received their bill and it was $500 higher than they were quoted. God bless America.