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    The road to motherhood isn’t just paved with sweat, blood and love -- it’s also paved with gold. Gold, because a lot of expenses come with having a bigger family.

    Before the baby even arrives you’ll already be spending a lot on a whole arsenal of stuff. That’s why you’ll want to be as wise as possible when it comes to choosing where you spend your money. This includes being money-wise on your hospital bill spending for D-day. You'll want to save as much as you can so you can give the best to the new love of your life.  Here are some tips on how to do just that. 

    1. Check your PhilHealth membership
    The PhilHealth maternity coverage you’ll be getting depends on two variables, whether you’ll be giving birth via normal or caesarean delivery and the type of medical facility you choose to give birth at. 

    For example, normal delivery in a small hospital or other small birthing facilities, like a maternity clinic, will amount to P8,000 coverage from PhilHealth which already includes both hospital and medical fees and doctor’s fees. Caesarean section mothers are covered with a total fixed amount of P19,000.

    PhilHealth only covers the first four normal delivery births, and you need to be up-to-date with your contributions to make use of this benefit. Remember to submit the necessary requirements within 60 days from your hospital discharge date. Visit PhilHealth.gov.ph for all the details. 

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    2.  Check your company's health insurance
    If you work for a company, chances are you have health insurance. Or perhaps, your husband who works at an office has enrolled you as a dependent. For both of these cases, don’t hesitate to ask what your health insurance covers. It’s different for every company. 

    Talk to the Human Resources department where you are employed and ask them to explain the details to you. You can ask your husband to talk to the person in charge of compensation and benefits where he works if you’re a dependent.  

    3. Research on hospitals
    Research about hospitals ahead of time. A lot of hospitals have details on the packages they offer posted on their website. You can call their desk for inquiries on prices. Visit the hospital if you can to have a feel of the place. Aim for a hospital that you feel comfortable in and can afford.

    Ask your OB-GYNE what hospital she recommends and to give you a rough estimation of how much the hospital bills and the professional fee will amount to. Explain your financial situation to your doctor and ask if he or she has any suggestions on how you can reduce your hospital expenses. Don’t be embarrassed to ask, as your OB-GYNE would understand for sure.

    4. Skip the private room
    Opting for a private room will cost a lot more than staying in a ward or a semi-private room. Assuming that you give birth without any complications, what inconvenience would it be staying in a room with other mothers for a few days compared to being able to buy a better crib, carrier or breast pump for your newborn?

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    5. Find out what’s included
    Sometimes, hospitals will charge you way more than their regular cost (such as toiletries, medications, etc). Ask in advance so you can bring your own instead. Bring toilet paper, wet wipes, cotton balls, rubbing alcohol, maternity pads, etc. You can ask your doctor what over-the-counter medications they’ll most likely be giving you after you give birth so you can buy these beforehand as well. 

    On the bright side, some hospitals have freebies on their maternity package. Don’t forget to ask about this too and sign up for one if they have it.   

    6. Inspect the bill
    In your rush to get your new bundle of joy home, you might not realize that you’ve paid more than you should. Don’t forget to be nit-picky with your hospital bill. Check every item and ask about the ones that you don’t understand or are too vague. There is the possibility that the hospital charged you for items you didn’t avail of or didn’t use. 

    March 13, 2014. "Having a Baby? 8 Ways to Save on Hospital Bills". hoopayz.com
    Aug. 4, 2014. "How to Lower Your Hospital Delivery Bill". usnews.com 

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