That's a Deal, Baby!

Rebecca and her husband now owe a hospital $3,200. Their insurance paid $1,800. She called to settle with the hospital, and they refused her offer but made a counter offer for $2,700. Should they accept it?

QUESTION: Rebecca in Charlotte says her insurance deductible is $3,500 after having her third child. Rebecca and her husband now owe the hospital $3,200, and insurance paid $1,800. She called to settle with the hospital, and they refused her offer but made a counter offer for $2,700. Should they accept it?

ANSWER: Yes, you should take that. That’s a great deal. And make a note to yourself for the future: If you ever face this again, before you go to the hospital, go in and negotiate. Cut your deal ahead of time on pregnancy.

On labor and delivery, you can get deeper discounts than this if you pre-negotiate it when you’re in the third trimester. Threaten to have the baby at a different hospital if you don’t get a deal. It’s the one time people go to a hospital and they actually want to be there. It’s actually good public relations for the hospital to have a thriving maternity ward.

You can use that to your advantage if you don’t have insurance or you have a high deductible to get a much, much better deal, but you have to go in ahead of time. Since you’re doing it after the fact here, what they are offering is a pretty good deal, and I would take it.