Monday, March 16, 2009


I mentioned over at Althouse that my stay in the hospital (I was seven or eight weeks premature) cost $25/day versus the $2,500/day last time I checked. That's the baseline. It doesn't cover any extras, just a warm crib in a room full of other cribs and nurse/nuns. (Now ) And a doctor checking in once or twice a day.

I mis-spoke. The cost of NICU back in my infancy was ONE dollar/day. My entire stay cost, adjusting for inflation, about $160.

My poor parents (with no insurance, or at least none that covered this) had to pay that out of pocket.

I wonder if they wrote a check.


  1. About a year ago I switched our family over to a high deductable plan for a family of four. The premium drop was dramatic-essentially 1/3 what it was. Yet I continue to funnel the same amount of money into a pre-tax health savings account. The difference is that that 2/3 now goes into an account that I control and can take with. Yes, we pay up to the first $8k per year in expenses, put the catastrophic insurance is still there. So far our expenses have been routine. I of course wouldn't recommend this for a younger couple about to have a baby, nor for an older couple with fixed relatively high expenses. But it works for us, and was a painless way to to start accruing a sizable healthcare savings pool.

  2. Yeah, I'm getting one of those this year. I've been looking for something like this for a long time and my employer finally offers it. (Plus, if I leave, the savings account goes with me.)

    If I can do that and some other benefits, I can reduce my inevitably increasing tax burden. It's hard to justify doing any contracting work, though.

  3. What these sorts of plans will encourage is putting routine healthcare respon$ibility back in the hands of individuals. The idea needs to matched by the easier availability of routine healthcare for responsible people to choose from-i.e., I expect my choice to take more direct out-of-pocket responsibility to be met by availability, and eventually even expanded choice.

  4. My husband's employer presented new insurance plans last year that essentially forced us to put $$ into an HSA. We too have higher deductibles, but I have no complaints overall.

    chickenlittle, I am hoping that one day, if we're lucky, (and we can stave off universal health care long enough--don't know if that's possible anymore) we will end up with more reasonable prices as well as more choices.


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