When I had my first preemie, one of the many things I did not anticipate was the mountain of paperwork and bills from the insurance company that would pile up in my mailbox long after we came home from the NICU.
My husband and I had separate insurance plans, which caused a lot of confusion. Bills were sent to one carrier, rejected, sent to us, and forwarded to another carrier before they were finally processed. I felt like I was constantly on hold, listening to soft rock music while some representative was tracking down the latest bill and figuring out where it should go.
When my second preemie was born, we were all on one insurance plan and I thought it would be a simpler process. A year later, however, I found myself straightening out errant bills yet again! With my third preemie, I had a better experience as (so far!) there haven’t been any major tangles in the billing (now that I’ve typed this, I almost don’t want to check tomorrow’s mail…).
Here are a few tips I learned:
- Know your insurance plan inside and out. Call your insurance company and ask them question after question until you understand your benefits. It is easier to coordinate your preemie’s care when you know what you’re working with.
- Stay ahead of the game! If you get a questionable letter or explanation of benefits from your insurance company, don’t wait for a bill to show up in the mail. Call the insurance company right away and get it fixed stat.
- Keep records. When you call the insurance company, write down the date and time, who you spoke to, and what the result was. Sometimes they will even give you a reference number at the end of a call for future use. It comes in handy when you get a different person picking up the phone each time.
- Breathe deeply, keep calm and carry on, etc. If the stack of paper seems unbearable, just go stare at that adorable preemie face for awhile. Priceless.