The average cost of pregnancy with insurance is more than $4,500 for labor and delivery. A study done by the University of Michigan looked at 657,061 women between 2008 and 2015. All costs were adjusted for inflation.) This study included all of the insurance claims filed the year prior to the delivery, during the delivery itself, and for three months after. This accounts for any health services that might have affected their pregnancy outcomes.
The Cost of Pregnancy
Vaginal deliveries found to cost women an average of $4,314 out of pocket in 2015, which was up $2,910 from 2008. The out-of-pocket cost for a cesarean birth, was at $5,161 which was up from $3,364 in 2008. The average birth for all deliveries in 2015 was around $4,500.
Why Is It Getting More Expensive?
It isn’t the cost of treatments that went up over the years, it is the deductibles. The lump sums that insurance requires customers to pay before the company will kick in any money. Indeed, more Americans have found that they are on plans with higher deductibles in recent years as employers have sought to start making employees pay for a higher percentage of their healthcare costs. In a new study, the percentage of women with deductibles rose from about 69 percent to about 87 percent in a seven-year time period. That made women paid about seven percent more for their childbirth expenses as a result.
Who Does This Effect?
The cost of having a baby can be especially expensive for about 45 perfect of women who weren’t trying for a baby. Because they might not have been expecting the baby when they signed up for their health insurance, they might not have chosen a plan that takes care of more delivery costs. Childbirth is the number one reason for hospitalization among women. The cost of delivery is just the first in a series of major child-bearing expenses to come. Not long after the hospital bills are paid for, now it is time to pay for daycare, baby sitters, clothes, food, and school fees.
Even though the ACA brought some order to health insurance, customers still get stuck with some very large hospital bills. The high cost of bearing children, is part of the reason we see so many women skip out on some of their prenatal or postpartum care. It helps explain why Americans having babies is at an all-time low right now. Though this baby bust has many potential and understandable explanations, including the decline and delays in marriage, it most definitely does not help that having a baby costs more than the average woman makes a month.
What If I Don’t Have Insurance?
While maternity expenses for insured moms might seem high, the numbers are far higher if you have no insurance at all. An uninsured woman could end up paying anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for delivery. And those prices continue to rise every year. Maternity costs can even vary from state to state by 50 percent and even more within some states. A 2014 study by the University of California San Francisco found that hospital charges for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery ranged from $3,296 to $37,227, depending on the hospital. For a C-section the costs widely ranged from $8,312 to nearly $71,000.
If you’re concerned you won’t have enough money saved up to handle the cost of pregnancy by the time you deliver, your hospital may offer an interest free payment plan option, so contacting the billing department is always useful.