The financial burden of miscarriage can be just as difficult to deal with as the emotional toll it takes. Learn about the ways miscarriage can impact your finances and how to cope.
10 to 15 percent of people who know they are pregnant will experience a miscarriage. The great majority of miscarriages occur during the initial trimester. Regardless of how common miscarriage is, it is rarely anticipated and usually heartbreaking. While it comes as no surprise that losing a child is a deeply emotional experience, it is less well-known that it may also be costly.
While insurance typically covers costs connected with miscarriage, there are sometimes significant co-pays and other fees associated with pregnancy loss that is not covered, as well as high deductibles to satisfy. Physical examinations, ultrasound(s), bloodwork, drugs, anesthetic, and potentially surgery all add up to a significant cost. Yet this does not include missed work time, the cost of at-home healing necessities, or the great pain and grief associated with miscarriage.
Medical cost site Healthcare Before insurance, the cost of a dilation and curettage (D&C) operation, which removes the uterine lining following a first-trimester miscarriage, is estimated to range from $2,400 to $7,500 or more, according to Bluebook.
Worse? “Numerous ladies receive separate bills for these treatments. For instance, a bill for the emergency room visit and a separate bill from the anesthesiologist,” New York-based perinatal psychologist Annette Attolini-Fertuck, Ph.D., stated. The receipt of these bills is a regular reminder of their tragic loss.
She notes that miscarriage tends to be a silent loss. The majority of women who experience miscarriage receive minimal emotional and financial help.
The Actual Price of Miscarriage
Major organizations, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, do not list the cost of a miscarriage. However, all experts interviewed for this article confirmed that the cost of a miscarriage truly depends on the type of insurance you have, and that typically, costs of procedures such as a D&C are at least partially covered.
According to Dr. Attolini-Fertuck, miscarriage can still be costly.
Prices depend on treatment, and there are normally three types: expectant management, medical management, and surgery (D&C).
Waiting things out is frequently the least expensive option, but it comes with the emotional cost of waiting. Based on the circumstances, it is also not a possibility for everyone.
Even when comparing the same two operations, costs might vary significantly based on where you reside, the surgical facility, and other considerations. Even a routine D&C can cost thousands, according to the clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Northwestern University, Lauren Streicher, M.D.
For the vast majority of people with insurance, however, the cost of a miscarriage is determined solely by their insurance deductible.
For Arden Cartrette, a Pittsboro, North Carolina-based blogger who had two miscarriages (one naturally and one after complications from taking Cytotec to induce a miscarriage), this meant spending $10,000.
She states, “The cost of our second miscarriage was terrible.” “We both have decent jobs, work full-time, and have a regular amount of debt for homeowners, but having approximately $10,000 in hospital bills was terrible, especially since we could not bring our child home.
Boston-based 29-year-old Jordan Marlow, who suffered a miscarriage and a D&C at 10 weeks in June 2018 and incurred close to $4,000 in medical expenses, said that her invoices began arriving a month later and totaled about $4,000. “We were both stunned by the price and reminded of that terrible day when our lives were irrevocably transformed,” she recalls.
Dr. Streicher explains that there are additional variable, unplanned costs connected with miscarriage, such as the need to take time off work. Cartrette notes that other unforeseen costs may include recuperation necessities such as maxi pads or adult diapers for bleeding.
In actuality, though, all costs linked with miscarriage may appear alarming. Doctor. Streicher states, “No one anticipates having a miscarriage.”
What Should Change
When Winifred Mak, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the department of women’s health at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas, encounters patients who are experiencing a miscarriage, she does not immediately provide any remedies. I tell them to go home and grieve. She discusses therapy choices with her patients when they are ready.
Provided you do not require emergency medical attention, that is an important strategy. Dr. Attolini-Fertuck states, “Following a miscarriage, women are left with profound sadness, fear of the unknown, and hopelessness.” “OB-GYNs must be more cognizant of the emotional toll a miscarriage takes on a woman.”
Unfortunately, not all women receive treatment in this manner. “When the doctors offered our options, they were empathetic, but also outlined the procedures in medical jargon and demanded an immediate response,” says Marlow. I believe it is vital to have the time to consider what is occurring and what decision must be made.
When their medical bills began to arrive, Marlow and her husband began to question the overall integrity of the healthcare system. “We wondered if the physicians had recommended a D&C because of the related cost.”
Cartrette claims that when she contacted her hospital to set up payment arrangements, they refused to cooperate with her to find an inexpensive choice. “This added to the tension during a difficult moment. It is challenging to grieve the loss of a pregnancy and be concerned about the financial load.”
What to Do if You Had a Miscarriage
Regrettably, tackling the financial obstacles associated with a miscarriage may require you to be an informed patient and take matters into your own hands.
Request all available options and ample time.
Unless it is an emergency, you are not required to choose your treatment immediately. Dr. Attolini-Fertuck recommends that women inquire with their physicians about less expensive alternatives to a D&C. Do not be afraid to question your physician about alternative therapy or procedure choices. Once you have considered all of your alternatives, you can discuss them with your spouse and/or physician.
Refrain from mindlessly paying an uncertain debt.
If you believe that something is unfair or should be covered, file a claim with your insurer. Dr. Streicher explains, “Insurance firms count on the fact that when they hand you a humongous bill, you will pay it.” Sometimes it is beneficial to combat it.
Be forthright with your physician and insurance provider.
If you lack insurance or are concerned about the expense, you should ask questions and express your concerns. Dr. Streicher emphasizes that the location of a surgical procedure (such as a doctor’s office vs. a hospital, or vice versa) might affect the cost. And sometimes, your physician may be able to work at both locations.
Having preliminary chats could save you money. According to a 2007 study from the University of Michigan Medical School, the cost of a D&C performed in a hospital was nearly double that of the same surgery performed in a doctor’s office.
Determine whether anesthesiologists are insured.
Knowing that all doctors involved in your care are in-network will save you money. This is not something you should have to think about. Mary Jane Minkin, M.D., a board-certified OB-GYN and clinical professor at Yale University School of Medicine, says that many operating room facilities employ anesthesiologists who are not network members.
Compile a list of useful resources.
Cartrette recommends resolve.org, fertilityiq.com, and pregnantish.com to individuals experiencing a miscarriage. resolve.org is a resource for infertility and pregnancy loss that includes support groups. fertilityiq.com is an excellent resource for information on advocating for yourself (a digital resource for people going through infertility and miscarriage). She also blogs on hello-warrior.com about her own experience with pregnancy loss.
Dr. Minkin emphasizes the need to take time to heal after a miscarriage, regardless of financial circumstances. She advises all her patients that miscarriage is generally the result of something that occurred when the sperm and egg combined. She tells patients that their actions have nothing to do with it.
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