Giving birth in America can be a costly proposition, especially if you aren’t covered by health insurance. While the average hospital stay runs about $8,000, it can easily be double that or more, depending on the length of your hospital stay and what hospital you choose.
Uncomplicated childbirth may run about $3,000 in hospital costs, but that can easily rise into five figures. If you need a C-section, then you can add $5,000 or more to your hospital bill. To make matters worse, a routine Cesarean section can cost $20,000 or more, depending on where you live.
In America, the average insured family pays from $10,000 to $20,000 for a normal birth; the national average in the US is $12,000. With private insurance, the average is $9,400.
What is considered a normal birth? The answer is not clear, but it is birth without complications for mom and baby. Complicated births with a c-section can cost $30,000 and up.
The costs of having a baby and how they are paid are complicated because costs can vary widely across the country, and even within a state, and even from hospital to hospital within the same city.
If you are expecting a baby and are planning to have a hospital delivery, you should be well aware of the costs involved. In order to better understand costs, you’ll need a few key pieces of information.
The most important number is the hospital’s cesarean risk rate. This is a measurement of how many c-sections are performed at that hospital, as a percentage of overall births in that hospital. If a hospital has a 25% c-section risk rate, then 25 out of every 100 births are c-sections.
What does the Insurance cover?
Giving birth in the US is not a child’s play. You can only do this if you’ll be ready to bear the huge costs. Maternity expenses in the United States are also higher than in other places in the world. The cost of birthing a child is also high.
Insurance helps make it easier to get through the basics such as; medical check-ups and screening tests to make sure the mother and baby are safe and healthy during pregnancy. It should also (in most cases) cover outpatient services, such as prenatal and postnatal doctor visits, gestational diabetes screenings, lab studies, health screenings, lab work, ultrasounds and birthing classes across all three trimesters, medications, newborn baby care, lactation counseling, and breast pump rental, etcetera.
What does it not cover?
Only a small part of pregnancy-related health-care costs are covered by an insurance company, compared to the ones not covered.
Across the United States, the hospital bill for vaginal delivery costs an average of $30,570, according to estimates from the independent nonprofit organization FAIR Health. Women who undergo a C-section delivery stay in the hospital for at least three days and are typically billed the sum of $47,360. In case you have someone with an insurance plan and you’re using theirs, you will likely pay some portion of the bill by yourself.
Most insurance companies really do not provide maternity insurance if they see that you are already pregnant. This is basically because they see your pregnancy as an already existing condition and is beyond what the insurance policies coverage.
In case you are interested in private obstetric care during your pregnancy, you will need to take out private insurance or upgrade your already existing policy fully before you think of getting pregnant or pay for it yourself.
If you become pregnant with your first child, you may need to speak to your insurance company about having insurance that covers the whole family.
It’s also a very good idea to check with the hospital where you’re applying, your fund, and your doctor before booking with the hospital, just to make sure that you will be covered and as well as discuss any bills you may have to foot.
Some insurance policies don’t cover obstetric care, though. Many of the lower-cost policies don’t cover obstetrics, or pay restricted benefits that will only cover you as a private patient in a public hospital. If you’re planning to get pregnant, just to be sure, make sure you check that your policy covers these areas. Also, ask about their rules covering newborn babies, and inquire whether your child will be automatically covered after the birth or if you need a change in policy (probably opt for a family policy). Most funds require you to upgrade your policy to a family policy 3 months before the baby is born, but some require 12 months’ notice.
It’s very important to make sure that your baby is covered from birth in case there will be any need for immediate hospital care.
Cost for a Doctor
Just in case you’re giving birth in the US without health insurance, have it at the back of your mind that you will need to foot the full bills for all maternity care; so if you are a pregnant woman or a citizen without an insurance plan, you might qualify for Medicaid in some states, and this can help you with the exorbitant hospital bills.
The amount the obstetrician in charge of your child delivery charges for each visit could range from about $90 to more than $500. Additional services such as pregnancy ultrasounds and laboratory tests are billed separately, of course. Each usually cost from $100 upwards. And special tests like amniocentesis can cost more than $2,500.
Cost for an Anesthesiologist
Simple procedures which really (except for complications) do not take a long period of time, such as colonoscopies or upper endoscopies, will typically attract an anesthesia charge of $150 to $300.
The average Anesthesiologist salary in the United States is $393,800 as of December 28, 2020, but the range typically falls between $341,200 and $446,500. To a great degree, salary ranges can differ widely depending on several important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.