Overstayed Your Medicaid

, , , | Healthy | December 23, 2017

(After our son is born:)

Nurse: *to my wife* “And I’m just confirming that the baby is covered by your insurance for at least 21 days?”

Wife: “Yes, that’s correct.”

(Later:)

Doctor #1: “Hi, Mom & Dad! Congratulations! I’m [Doctor] and just here to look over the little guy. Oh, he’s a cutie!” *examines the baby for five minutes* “Well, everything looks good. Congratulations again!”

(Even later:)

Doctor #2: “Hello! I’m [Doctor #2]. I’m here to examine [something else] with your son. Congratulations, by the way! Oh, he’s a handsome guy!” *examines baby for five minutes* “Well, everything looks good. He seems to be doing great!”

(Later still:)

Doctor #3: “He’s doing great, but his levels aren’t quite where we would really like them to be. I’m going to keep you guys here for another night to monitor him.”

(Months later we start seeing bills from pediatricians whose names we didn’t recognize at all for “neonatal exam” and other odd things. Two years later our daughter is born in the same hospital.)

Nurse: *to my wife* “And I’m just confirming that the baby is covered by your insurance for at least 21 days?”

Wife: “No, I’m on a self-funded plan so that isn’t the case. We’ll be putting her on the state-based Medicaid plan with her brother and coverage will be retroactive to her birthday.”

(Later, as in less than 24 hours after the birth:)

Nurse: “Looks like you guys get to go home today! Just so you know, her levels aren’t quite where we would want them to be so you’ll need to set up an appointment with your primary care pediatrician to have her checked within the next day. Congratulations again!”

(The next day at our pediatrician’s office:)

Pediatrician: “Why in the world would they discharge you with her levels like this? This is very concerning to me. She needed another night in the hospital. Did any pediatricians at the hospital look at her?”

Wife: “Just one. Weird, because last time we saw like four or five; they’d just pop in and we’d never see them again.”

Pediatrician: “These numbers are not good. We need to get her to the ER today.”

(Off to the ER (at a different hospital) and our new-born daughter had to stay the night for some urgent treatment. She’s fine now but the lesson is learned that we mention Medicaid to the hospital with extreme caution.)

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