Quite Possibly the Cheapest Baby Ever

I found this little gem that I’m about to show you a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve waffled on posting it because of the timing with the current national healthcare controversy; I’ve never intended to be political on my blog and in fact I still don’t intend that*. I just thought that this was pretty cool and amazing in some ways, and I wanted to share it with you.

We often make fun of our mom for keeping EVERYTHING. Really, she does. Sometimes it’s a little strange, because we find things and wonder why she kept them. Sometimes, as in this case, it’s fun.

I found the hospital bill from my birth. No, I’m not kidding. Actually it’s not really a bill; it’s more of a receipt or a statement. Regardless, it’s almost 41 years old and I had a good chuckle when I checked it out.

First of all, my birth cost less than $550. That in itself is something to behold. Yes, I know it was almost 41 years ago, but even if you adjust that for inflation, it would still be…well, who am I kidding? I might be able to do the four basic math functions with MENSA-like skill, but when it comes to complex equations like “adjusting for inflation”, I’m no smarty-pants.

Second, the drugs only cost $9.05. Today, $9.05 would buy some really great placebos. And maybe a package of Tic Tacs.

Third, the five-night stay was $395. Cheap, yes, but the fact that it was a five-night stay and my mother gave birth naturally definitely proves that this is from the 60’s (LATE 60’s, mind you!), because nowadays the women who have natural births practically give birth in the car at the traffic light right outside the hospital before going home with their new baby (and a bill for thousands of dollars).

Lastly, you will note that there is not a laundry list of charges for things like Tylenol (or Bayer, or whatever pain reliever was used back then!), a pillow, the water pitcher, or any of the other ridiculously over-priced things that a hospital will now bill you for, squeezing every last dime (and then some) out of you and your insurance company. Amazing. The bills we received after our boys were born were pages and pages long. And covered EVERYTHING. Literally.

It makes you want to go back to a simpler time in some ways, doesn’t it?


Yep, you can click on it to make it larger if you’d like.



  • Teacher Tom

    Most hospitals and all health insurance was non-profit back then. It shouldn't surprise us that things cost way more in the age of for-profit healthcare . . . I'm just saying . . .

  • Dea

    Funny stuff! The only cheaper bill I've seen was the one for my grandpa, and he was $5 because my great-grandma referred 5 friends to the midwife! LOL!

    I'm with Tom – and only adding that it's the result of Nixon's ideas on making it for-profit, and making insurance companies exempt from anti-trust law. Sigh….

  • BeautifulWreck

    I found my Aunt's hospital bill, which is 50 years old in some Dead People stuff. She was a preemie and the total bill was $325.

  • Anonymous

    Glad you feel that it is good to hold on to somethings sometimes. I found your sisters bill and will give that to her the next time I see her. Still going through pictures, and trying to organize them.

    Grandma W

  • The Mrs

    Even in Canada, everyone pays the bill. It just goes to the government first rather than directly to the hospital.

  • Tom

    Just extrapolating, in 41 more years it should cost several million dollars to have a baby. There's population control right there.

  • Otter Thomas

    That is funny. While our system is not good I think the last place I want to see governmetn Beaurocracy is in the hospital. People I have talked to in Canada say it takes months to see a doctor. Many times they have to come to the US if it is serious.

  • Melisa with one S

    Katie: That's not the first time I've heard/read that. 🙂

    WM: Wow is right! That's what I was talking about!

    Teacher Tom: I know. Kinda makes you think, huh?

    Deanna: Delivery for referrals! That's awesome!!

    BeautifulWreck: "which is 50 years old in some Dead People stuff" bwahahaha!

    Mom: Yes, sometimes. But don't get crazy!

    The Mrs: I knew there was a catch…

    Hockeyman: You're right. I should've left it at Tic Tacs.

    LceeL: Hmm. London? I'll have to investigate what you're talking about!

    Tom: Eew! You're probably right! My poor future great-grandkids…

    Otter: That's what I hear also!

  • Michelle

    Wow. That's ummmm impressive (and yes, my last friend to give birth naturally did it in the parking lot of a fire department). I love the bill! And the fact that your mom kept it.

    As for the healthcare debate, I have a LOT of opinions but I'll keep them to myself.

    PS Where does your asterisk lead?

  • Momo Fali

    Yes, in some ways it would be better to go back in time…but, kids like mine wouldn't likely have lived back then. So, I'm going to have to vote that we stay in the present…with its messed up hospital bills and all!

  • Melisa with one S

    Tara: Yeah, I guess it's all in the way you look at it. 🙂

    Katie: Um, like feminine hygiene (err, maxi pads…sorry male readers!)

    Michelle: oops, did I leave an asterisk with no ending in there again? Oopsie! Haha, guess it goes NO WHERE.

  • surprised mom

    I absolutely love the fact your mom kept the hospital bill from your birth. I wish I could see mine and compare it to my girls. Their's were in the hundreds, but in the thousands! Gotta love those individual charges, i.e., $35 for one Tylenol!
    I chose to give birth in a teaching hospital with a fantastic neo-natal unit because I was "older" giving birth. I wonder if that adds more to the bill?
    I agree that healthcare in this country needs to be straightened out a bit, but I don't want the government running it either. All I have to think about is Social Security and Medicare and I get the shakes!
    So, how are we celebrating your birthday this year? A little Jack Daniels and Coke?

  • Stacey

    Oh how times do change! Thanks for sharing this, it was interesting to see some of the HUGE differences! Wonder if my mom has a receipt from when I was born…

  • S3XinthePantry

    I work in hospitals (so I had homebirths) but I tell you insurance does so much to DELAY, DENY and get in the way of health care it drives health profesionals crazy! (And who wants crazy health professionals).

    Put it this way – Doctors take an OATH to care for their patients. Insurance companies report to their shareholders.

    I try not to get political…but I agree. There ARE better ways!!

  • Anonymous

    From Dawn:

    I don't remember seeing a bill after Nick was born. We paid $50…then Champus covered the rest…in a private hospital, not gov't owned. That was one good thing about being married to a sailor. 🙂

  • Sue

    I guess I shouldn't be worried about the girls affording to go to college, maybe I should start saving so they have enough to have babies so I can be a jolly grannie in the future!

    I can't believe that your mom saved that! So cute!

  • Myranda

    So, I'm commenting about this about year later but I had to tell you how much I cost to be born. I have you beat! I only cost my mom $8! And I was born in 1990! With drugs! (No natural for her) I was born at the hospital on the Air Force Base where my mom was stationed. With active-duty military insurance, all my mom had to pay for was her meals while she was in the hospital. She stayed in the hospital for about 35 hours total and had 4 meals. I believe my mom also had those "receipts" for a long time because I remember coming across them years ago. My younger brother would tease me that because he was more expensive ($15) he was worth more, but I knew the value of a deal!