When you give birth to a preemie, the cost of the whole process doesn't usually sink in right away. There are tons of numbers flying through your brain (weights, statistical odds, ventilator settings, etc.), but hospital bill figures usually are not among them.
Eventually, though, it will either occur to you that this is going to cost a bundle or some kindly social worker will approach you to help you find the Medicaid office.
Since our hospital bills for our (relatively healthy) micropreemie topped three quarters of a million, I'll be the first to tell you to ABSOLUTELY apply for Medicaid. But if, like us, you don't quite qualify for that, I also urge you to pursue other state funded insurance programs for children with special needs. It was through one such program that we received supplemental insurance for our little girl.
Most, if not all, micropreemies require pretty extensive follow-up care. Having a secondary insurance company to pick up co-pays and prescription costs has proved invaluable to us. Perhaps even more valuable has been the fact that their customer service representatives are all from MY state and are familiar with children with ongoing special needs. We do not receive the same quality of responses from our big-box national insurance company through my husband's work.
Babies are precious... and priceless. Good insurance helps ease the burden of the healthcare price tag.