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Thread: Epidural / C-section: What were your out of pockets?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Epidural / C-section: What were your out of pockets?

    Interested to hear from ladies who had wanted a natural birth, only to have the birth result in them asking for an epidural, or the birth even advancing to the need for an emergency c-section.

    I really want a natural birth, but if it gets too much, I don't want to be so stubborn as to not accept something like an epi as pain relief - I just want to go with the flow at the time and make the right decision for me.

    However, of late I've been hearing terrifying stories of people being literally thousands of dollars out of pocket if they have gone down that road - and I just can't afford that

    I'm going private at Frances Perry House and would love to hear others who were in this situation, and how much you got back (and if anyone else was at FPH in the same situation, how much you were OOP!)


  2. #2

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    HI Kristen

    I wanted a natural birth for my first child but didn't get one. In fact i found my birth plan the other day and virtually everything i'd written on it - the opposite happened. With my DS#1 i had an epidural that i didn't really want - i was only 3cm and coping fine but was told that the aneasthetist was 'doing' a lady next door and if i wanted one i would have to have one now as he was going off to another hosptital after so i wouldn't get one. unfortunately i didn't trust myself not to need one later so i had one which was fine as at least i could sleep but i ended up having an emerg c-sect as DS wouldn't drop which i can't help wondering if it would have been different if i hadn't had the epid and had been able to continue labouring actively.
    In terms of money i don't think there were any out of pocket expenses for the epid or c-sect - only the meals that my DH had while he stayed!!!! i think this does vary between hospitals, obs and even aneasthetists so you would be best to ask before the birth.
    Sorry - i was in Townsville at the time so can't comment on FPH.

    Good luck and i hope you get the birth you want

    Julie x

  3. #3

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    Hi Kristen,

    I had an epidural and ended up having an emergency C-section with my first. I had to pay the aneasthetist about $250. That was all I had to pay. The rest was all covered. This time I had an elective c-section and don't have to pay anything at all. I had a spinal for this.

    All the best and it's great that you are going in with an open mind.

  4. #4

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    Kristen,
    I had DD at Francis Perry, I was booked in for a elect c-sect, the obst fees were no more expensive whether I had a VB or a c-sect, I did however have to pay for an assistant and a paed (compulsory in all c-sections) for the delievery and a few post visits in hospital. My anaestesis never sent me a bill (I think he was a no gap with my PHI).
    So all up it wasnt heaps just a few hundred more which was all claimable thru MC and PHI. Plus an excess which I knew I had to pay anyway
    Good luck hope you enjoy your Francis Perry stay.....I did
    Bec

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Thanks everyone!

    I hear varying stories, so it's quite ridiculous! One of my friends was out of pocket around $2K after rebates, and that was over and above the management fee she paid to the OB at 20 weeks, so I'm feeling a little vulnerable. Yet I know others have only been OOP for the same procedures, around 4-600, so it's all very strange!!

  6. #6

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    I ended up having an 'elective' c-section after a failed induction at a private hospital here in Qld ... and I wasn't out of pocket a single cent (including OB, anaesthetist, paediatrician). The whole birth cost me $36 ... for the Dr who put the drip in my hand for the induction. We have top level PHI.

  7. #7
    coopesally Guest

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    i had an emergency c/section with my first and didn't have to pay anything

  8. #8

    Join Date
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    Kristen - i was at FPH but had a vaginal delivery

    I suggest you ask your obs about it - they should be very upfront about the fees you can expect. My obs doesn't charge anything extra for a c-section, but you would have to pay for an anethetist and a paed - and if you speak to you obs he might be able to tell you who he generally uses and what fees you can expect from them.

    At FPH you were supposed to pay for extra meals, but we ordered them and never got charged

    Oh, and if you don't have a c-section - go with their Sofitel program - its great

    Good luck.

  9. #9

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    I was hoping for a vaginal birth for my second child and wanted to try to do it without an epi.

    I was induced, I did have an epi and I also ended up with an emergency c/section. I was not charged any out of pocket fee for the epidural. My obstetrician also did not charge any gap fee for the birth, irrespective of whether it was a VB or c/section. So on those two fronts I was not out of pocket at all.
    I did have other OOP expenses - hospital excess, paediatrician and a couple of others - but they were all things I knew I would have in advance so I had no nasty surprises.

  10. #10

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    Thanks Yael - yep, spoken to my OB already and she doens't charge any extra but if I have a c-section, I'll need a paed, anaesthetist and a secondary OB - and they are always extra so I'm just not sure what is 'reasonable'

  11. #11

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    I had an emergency c-sect and had two anethetists (one did my epi on the labour ward and then I was transferred to theatre and had a different one) - both billed my PHI direct and I paid no OOP for that.
    My total OOP for the pead was about $150 after medicare (not covered by PHI because DD was not admitted to hospital). Unfortunately, unless you have a preplanned elective you won't know who you get until the day making any expenses pot luck so to speak. However, you *should* have reached your medicare threshold so should get 80% of any fees back from them.
    Don't forget that if you have a c-sect there could also be a bill for the surgeon's assistant (you will have two surgeons - your Ob and another Ob that assists them). Mine was about $200 OOP for that.
    You could contact the hospital and find out which anethetists work from there and then contact their rooms and ask for estimates based on the scenario you think you are likely to be in. Or ask your Ob who they tend to use for c-sect - some have anethetists and peads they use (even in "emergency" cases) and might be able to give you an idea who is likely to be "on-call" around the time you're due. The anethetist in the delivery suite though is usually whoever the mids can get hold of.

    If it helps, my TOTAL OOP (surgeon fees, paed, pathology etc) for DD's delivery was less than $500 and this included paying for some path stuff for her as well.

    HTH

    MG

  12. #12

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    And if you do end up having a planned one then you have a right to choose who you go with.

    But i would do what MG suggested - call FPH and ask who works there, ask your obs if there is anyone they would go with, even in emergency, and call their rooms and ask

    Good luck!

  13. #13

    Join Date
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    THanks guys

    Spoke to my OB yesterday about it but she said it all depended on the time of day, which day and who was rostered on. At this stage, not having a planned c-section - if anything, if it does happen to turn out that way it certainly won't be planned, but I suspect being the wuss I am, an epi during labour is going to be a given - but I just didn't want to be hugely OOP by doing this and feeling guilty. God - what a pathetic excuse!!! haha but it's true!

  14. #14

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    Kristen - it's not pathetic and don't feel guilty - this is something I often said to DH (about being able to afford it). If you need one get one. Most medical professionals will let you pay it off over time - especially if they have a large bill!!!!!!!

    MG

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