Giving birth in a hospital can be stressful for many parents especially if they are worried about getting hit with a huge bill at the end. A mother who recently gave birth to triplets in the NICU of a local hospital was shocked when the facility sent a bill for $1.5 million.
She posted a video of her reacting to the outrageous statement on TikTok under the username @the_brown_triplets where it quickly racked up millions of views.
“If you want to know how much it costs to have triplets in the United States without insurance, listen up,” she says in the video. “Jaymes was in the NICU for 31 days, she needed a little bit of oxygen, she needed photo light therapy, and she was just there to feed and grow, she was two pounds, 14 ounces when she was born. They charged us $447,037.53.”
But that’s not all. Her two other children also needed additional care, which increased the total balance.
“Polly was in the NICU for 32 days,” she continued. “She just needed the same things as James, except she needed a little bit more oxygen and she needed a little bit of caffeine while she was in the NICU. They charged us $542,785.39.”
“Baskyn did the exact same things as James, except he was in the NICU for 35 days, he just needed a little extra time. So, they charged us $481,261.2. This doesn’t even begin to cover my 11-day hospital stay before the babies were born.”
Her experience set off a tsunami of comments and reactions online. Many parents who have had children in the NICU said they were also charged exorbitant amounts of money for care. Most said they were charged anywhere from $500,000 to $1 million for every child who received treatment.
“My son was in the NICU for 121 days and had an ambulance ride to a bigger hospital,” one person wrote. “His total was something like $1.75-2M.”
“Sounds about right,” another user wrote. “Our insurance was billed $1.6M for my twins being in the NICU for 60 days.”
“I had a 27-weeker that was in for over 3 months,” read another comment. “The bill was over a million, but we paid $0 with insurance.”
So, how much does it cost to have a child in the NICU?
Experts say the cost of care can vary dramatically based on the facility. However, many children’s hospitals typically charge between $6,500 and $8,000 per day in the NICU. That means a week in the NICU could easily cost a family $50,000 or more, according to data from Investopedia.