This past Wednesday, my wife and I earned new titles: Mom and Dad. For the last several days, I’ve been thinking of what I’d write about it. It’s such a momentous occasion that I figured I’d have an equally momentous, insightful, article about it.
What I do have is one observation that I hadn’t heard in the millions of nuggets of information passed to me over the months…
Becoming a parent is amazing… no shock there. However, it is predictably amazing, which I think is unique experience. Maybe it’s a lack of sleep, but I can’t think of anything else that’s so predictable. We had a full nine months of preparation. We had many friends go through it. Billions and billions of people on Earth have gone through it. It couldn’t be more natural. At the same time, if all is going well, the end result is completely predictable… ten fingers and toes, two eyes, a nose, and some other anatomical stuff.
If anything comes up that’s a surprise, it’s a bad thing. There are no pleasant surprises. No baby comes out singing with perfect pitch or throwing perfect spirals. Yet, they are still amazing.
I’m sure everyone has something unique that they noticed about their baby. It’s our first, so maybe all babies have this. However, we noticed that in the beginning stages of his cry for attention sounds very much like Peter Griffin’s version of Axel F:
I realize that up to now, I’ve got nothing related to money in this post. I can’t leave it at that. While on zero sleep I think I figured out a big issue with health care billing in the United States. I went for a TDAP vaccine booster and flu shot. The TDAP is a simple tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) can be dangerous to kids, so they advise anyone with close contact to the baby to get it.
I called up my health doctor and told them about the baby and that my wife’s doctor recommended I get it. My doctor agreed and scheduled me to come in. While there, she offered to give me a flu shot… seemed like a great idea. The two shots were administered by some kind of nurse’s aid (if the girl was a day over 22 I would be shocked) with no doctor present (the doctor came in earlier and asked a couple of basic questions). The office visit, less than 15 minutes long, was billed to my insurance for $369. A quick internet search shows that flu shots are $30 at CVS, making the TDAP a $339 shot according to the doctor’s office. My insurance decided to pay $196 of it, which the doctor’s office took as payment in full.
The mark-up on the visit was incredible. A look at the this website suggests that the TDAP should have been $30. One wonders why health insurance prices are going up. Perhaps it’s because something that should have cost less than $60 was billed for $369 and settled for $196. At the very least you’d think that my insurance should be able to negotiate a better rate than CVS offers the general public.