Unfortunately, medical insurance and rebates are complex. You should be reassured that when Dr Bells secretaries quote your costs using the information you provide there are no tricks or hidden extra charges.
In particular, if your delivery is out of hours, is by caesarean, or is complex and requires extra procedures- Dr Bell will not charge you extra.
Multiple factors influence your obstetric charge and final out of pocket costs;
Do you have medicare rights?
If so medicare rebates and the safety net will apply.
Do you have private health insurance?
If so is obstetrics covered at the date of your delivery?
Does the level of your cover include 'gapcover'?
Although it will not affect our charges, are you covered as a private patient in a private hospital? (as opposed to a private patient in a public hospital only).
Which health fund are you in?
In short, the more your fund pays Dr Bell, the less he will charge you.
Has Dr Bell managed and delivered any of your previous pregnancies?
If so, a discount will apply. The more children he has delivered for you, the greater the discount.
Because of the above, to find your actual charges and your estimated 'out of pocket' please ring the surgery (however see below for the likely fee and out of pocket).
Our fees are structured so that your pregnancy care with us is both affordable and predictable. At your first antenatal visit, we will explain our fees and their payment in detail. You will know exactly how much you will be 'out of pocket' to us as our patient. You can financially plan for your pregnancy care. Dr Bell is sensitive to all the financial pressures that are present at this stage of your life.
Generally, for over 90% of patients who are privately insured with a standard policy that covers obstetrics at delivery, includes gapcover, and have medicare rights- the charges will be;
First Visit and Scan $185 (Government Rebate $70- out of pocket $115)
Antenatal Visits at government rebate (ie. no out of pocket)
A variable amount for the 'Retainer Visit' which is payable at 20 weeks.
This will be about $2900
(You will get a Government rebate of about $500, leaving an out of pocket of about $2400).
The exact amount depends on which health fund and the policy table you have paid for.
I try to be as fair as possible. The more I get from a fund, the less I charge you.
If Dr Bell has delivered a child for you then there is a discount.
If you have delivered one child with Dr Bell, the discount is $500.
The more children he has delivered for you, the bigger the discount :-)
Delivery (The charge equals your health fund rebate. That is, there is no 'out of pocket')
Post natal visit $75 (Government Rebate $35)
If you 'shop around', it can be hard to compare one obstetrician's fees with another. There is no point being quoted a small "retainer" payment if the antenatal visits incur large out of pocket payments per antenatal visit or 'extras' such as a caesarean section incur extra charges against you. You may wish to inquire if you will see your specialist at each visit. You will see Dr Bell at every antenatal visit.
What if I don't have Private Health Insurance?
If you are not in a health fund, but are covered by Medicare, we can still offer you an affordable package for Dr Bells services.
In this case, you would usually elect to deliver at Westmead Public Hospital as a "Self Insured Private Patient" to reduce costs. Although in a Public Hospital, you would still be under Dr Bells care. The hospital will charge you about $1500, but that price remains fixed regardless of how long you stay or whether complex extra services are required. Since I will not get anything from a health fund, then my charge will be higher (approximately $3500).
I am an Overseas Visitor
If you are from overseas and are not covered by Medicare we will tailor a fee package according to your circumstances.
This will also take into consideration whether you are covered by an overseas health fund.
During the pregnancy, you will likely experience out of pocket expenses for tests (eg. NIPT, routine pathology) and ultrasound scans.
When having your baby there may be charges from the hospital- they should tell you if your fund doesn't cover everything if you contact them and tell them your fund name and cover type.
A paediatrician will make sure all is well with your baby and may charge out of pocket expenses not covered by the fund.
If you have an epidural or caesarean the anaesthetist may also charge out of pocket expenses.
There may also be a fee from a surgical assistant, but I rarely need an assistant. If you need blood tests in the hospital there may also be out of pockets (I make every effort to avoid ordering unnecessary tests).
These other providers are not under Dr Bells control. Some are provided by the 'on call' service so it can be difficult to predict the out of pocket accurately.
However, I am aware that unexpected significant out of pocket expenses is a live issue. I (and my obstetric colleagues) are aware that this is a real issue and are actively taking steps to ensure you are not charged excessively and can have informed financial consent before attending hospital.
We accept for payments cash, EFTPOS, direct debit, Visa and Mastercard.