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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bill for Baby? No problem.

At least in 1956. Total bill for 4 day hospital stay, delivery, drugs etc at Sacred Heart Hospital, Allentown, Pa? $80.20. I note my dad paid $50 bucks and paid the balance later.

Click here to enlarge photo.

Here are ALL the charges incurred during the 4 day hospital stay when I was born:

Room and Board ($9.00 per day) - $36 (4 days)
Labratory - $6.00
Operating Room and Delivery - $10
Drugs - $4.45
Anesthesia - $7.50
X-Ray $1.00
Nursery - $12.00,
Baby Bracelet - $1.00
Misc. $2.50


Aimee said...

How uncanny - I just got my "courtesy" statement for Bun's birth from St Luke's. Ready?

19,000. Yep, that's three zeros. And I was only there for 2 and a half days.

But that didn't even come close to the NICU bill for Bun . . .

The Digital Hairshirt said...

Brand spankin' new baby girl . . . PRICELESS!

Stephen said...

When I was born, there was no bill from the hospital. There was, however, payment, in the form of years of NI contributions from both my parents.

gemoftheocean said...

Aimee. I was thinking of you and the other new moms. Even without NIC it's still astonishingly expensive. It's all those tests and every conceivable thing!

Stephen, it's like one of those old-timers said: "There's no such thing as a 'free' lunch." It's like a "free" puppy. :-D

Digi - who knew I had a Mastercard Commercial.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I'm fascinated by the fact the x-ray and the baby bracelet cost the same.
Like Stephen my birth was paid for in NI contributions and my kids have been paid for in astronomical taxes for crummy maternity care.
But of course each baby is priceless. lol.
My friend is in hospt even as I type-hopefully she'll have her son in her arms by tomorrow :)

gemoftheocean said...

WSNS: I know that X-Ray charge astonished me too.

My favorite though? Operating Room AND Delivery -- 10 bucks.

How Doc Martin made money, who knew?

Lots of babies coming into the world in the 50s! Best to your friend and family. Mom said that was on the inexpensive side then.

I note that "room and board" then as now relatively expensive.

I think they send new moms and babies home entirely too soon now.


Anonymous said...

Baby bracelet $1.00--the anesthesia is $7.50 in comparison that must be some bracelet.

1956 the year I was born--you have the hospital bill, I want to see the bracelet--is it still around?

gemoftheocean said...

Tara, the bracelet might be around somewhere. I remember seeing it.

Nothing special! White beads with last name spelled out, and a few pink ones for the rest. DOUBLE strung. [wow ;-D ) The bead stringers must have had a good union.


On the side of the angels said...

different now - I have friends just along highway 80 from there [dubois - I lived in falls creek] and they had three youngsters [and even though they had health insurance and she was a nurse who got reduced rate healthcare she still owed $27,000 four years after having her youngest !!

gemoftheocean said...



College bills are out of sight now too. I was lucky enough that most of my time in college I could live at home, San Diego has a number of fine colleges including a branch of the University of California (we have 3 ranks of publicly funded colleges out here plus all the private universities) -- the UC system takes the top 12.5% of graduating high school seniors, the Cal State system takes from the top 1/3rd and the local communiy colleges -- which offer lower division courses and a lot of training programs take all comers.) The system was pretty cheap 3 bucks per academic quarter+ books which weren't an arm and a leg. When I graduated, I had no debt because I paid as I went (and parents chipped in for my first and last year too.)


swissmiss said...

I told my husband that the hospital bill was $80 and he just about died. You can't even get one aspirin for that amount today. I think my kids were over $20, closer to $30 because I had a few extra hospital-types there for the C-section (two doctors, anesthesiologist, nurse anest, crew of worker-bees and nurses and a neo-natal nurse just for the baby) Amazing the cost of health care today. Aren't bypasses like $500K? Makes drinking hemlock seem like a wise and noble thing to do.

swissmiss said...

That's supposed to be $20K to $30K, don't know why the K's didn't show up then, but showed up on the $500K...must be leprechauns.

Cathy said...

My total bill was 5 bucks.

Of course, I was born at an Army base.

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