Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Baby Delivery Costs at Private Hospitals (TMC vs Mt Alvernia) - How Much Cash Outlay You Need?

December is normally a month of high spirits for most. It is the time we celebrate Christmas and look forward to a brand New Year. Kids enjoyed their school holidays and adults taking a breather from work by clearing annual leaves and looking forward to receiving bonuses (if any)! For me, it is bundle of joys, as we welcome our new member to our family on Saturday. She is healthy and that is of utmost importance.

Happiness always comes at a price though. For a start, the innocent cries will cause sleepless nights. Moreover cost of raising a child does not come cheap in Singapore. Hospital bills are getting more pricy, especially if you are delivering at private hospital wards.

In this post, I will detail how much it will cost parents from pregnancy to successful delivery. I will use examples of my kids born in 2014 (Thomson Medical Centre) and 2011 (Mount Alvernia Hospital) to show the costs as follows.

Actual costs from prenatal to delivery
 
An example of one of the TMC bills

Variations in costs

Ward Type / Days Stay
* TMC room rates – click here
** Mount Alvernia room rates – click here

In TMC,if you are going for 2-Bedded Room, there can be savings of S$350 a day from above bill. 2 days savings is S$749, GST inclusive. 2 Days is considered reasonably short stay for very healthy mummy. Normally it can be extended to 3 to 4 days depending on Mummy and Baby condition, thereby costing more.

Jaundice Treatment for Baby
Our baby also stayed extra day for Jaundice treatment this time round. In 2011, the elder were re-admitted to hospital for treatment for an extra 2 days. Jaundice treatments amounted from S$600 to S$830 for our case.

Birth Type
My wife goes for natural birth which is a savings for me. Natural birth is the cheapest. For assisted delivery (such as vaccum or forceps etc), an additional ~S$600. Caesarean delivery (LSCS) is more expensive compare to normal delivery. For elective LSCS, additional ~S$1.2k. For emergency LSCS, additional ~ S$2.3k. In all cases, 2 days stay is assumed and prices are estimated and round up to nearest tens of dollars, including GST. Below is an estimate.


Amniotic Fluid & Harmony Test
Most people will have passed the OSCAR (one stop clinical assessment of risk) test, and need not to go through further test. Not us. In both cases, we are uncomfortable on the risk probability results, and go for further tests. Harmony test cost additional ~S$1.6k while Amnio test costs approximately similar back then in 2011. Price may have escalated just like ward charges.

Doctors’ Fees
Gynae’s fees variation can be substantial. My wife’s gynae for TMC is Dr Benjamin Tham & Mt A gynae is Dr Ho Hon Kwok. Dr Ben Tham (2014) is absolutely fantastic for us. Excellent service with reasonable price and never pressure you to go for extra unnecessary charges. He is always so cheerful and makes you cheerful as well. 

Dr Ho (2011) is possibly the opposite, that is the reason why we changed from Mt A to TMC. Me and wife gave both thumbs down, not only because of escalated price, but poorer service from to nurses to doctor. Extra tests were inclusive at high charges but never explain in proper. For my bills, Dr Ho HK prenatal fees are approx. S$1k more expensive. His charges during delivery were also higher by S$800. 

Overall Dr Ho was S$1.8k more expensive and that was 3 years ago. Pediatric’s fees can also vary, but variation is smaller since amount charged during delivery is lower. 

FBI/SBI membership
Oh yes, if you sign up for FBI/SBI (First / Subsequent Born Incentives) memberships, you can also receive discount from your bills. It costs S$60 to apply as a cardholder and in my case there is S$160 discount off my total bill. Therefore net discount is S$100. Refer here for more information of FBI/SBI membership.

Inflation

In 2011, my baby’s Mount Alvernia single room day rate for adult ward is only S$428 (incl. GST). Now it is S$532.86 (incl. GST). A whooping close to 25% increase in just 3 years. That is 8% inflated price per annum. From the pictures in the website, I noted that Mt A had renovated their wards.

Ward Pictures

TMC Premier Single Ward - source: Pictures taken from my Camera, 2014
   
Mt A Single Ward - source: Mount Alvernia Website 2014

Rolf’s Summary

Overall, it will probably cost S$10k +/- for prenatal, delivery and pediatric charges in a private hospital depending on various factors as mentioned earlier. Twins are 50% more expensive as a ballpark.

A cash outlay is in range of S$6-8k.

Subsequent Pediatrics visits will probably cost S$1.5-2k spanning over 1.5-2 years after your child is born. Other costs to consider includes confinement lady costs (S$2k minimum), confinement food for wife, milk powders, pamper, prams, clothes, selection of auspicious names, baby showers, or even the need to hire a domestic helper etc.

Baby Bonus
Of course we all know that government is also doing part to subsidize in the form of Baby Bonus Scheme. 1st and 2nd births, S$6k cash gift while 3rd and 4th S$8k. In 2011, I only received S$4k - SAD!

Please note that the bonus will be disbursed in 3 installments over 12 months. Therefore you still need the advance cash. There is also CDA account where government will match our savings dollar for dollar up to a certain cap.

To know more about Baby Bonus, please refer to link here. And for baby born in 2015, there is SG50 Baby Jubilee Gift.

While the intangible joy of having children to a greater extent overshadows the tangible aspect, we still need to be prudent in financial planning considering the high costs if you are looking for a more exclusive service in private hospitals.

So, are you considering having a baby in 2015?


8 comments:

  1. Hi CW,

    Not merely money but Eat time also. They may give you something in return sometimes....."troubles". Haha....no lar...kidding...they do give joy!

    Rolf

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Rolf

    Congrats on the birth of your second child.

    My son was born in tmc as well and it did cost about 12 to 13k. At least the baby bonus does help a bit in mitigating those early expenses. I dont get a baby bonus for my first child. Sad :(

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi B, SMOL,

    Tks for the well wishes. Merry Xmas to both of you!

    Hope in 2015 you get 10 baggers! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. do we required to settle the bill upon discharged? or they will bill to house?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Merry Xmas, actually it's always funny to address people by anonymous! Haha. Hope I am not disrespectful in this sense.

      Payment is paid before admission in fact as a form of deposit.

      Delete
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