Having a baby is one of the most momentous experiences of your life, but it can also be one of the most expensive. spending money on essentials like baby furniture, a stroller, and diapers can add up faster than you expect. You’ll also be surprised to see the hospital bill after delivery.
average cost of childbirth in the united states
Giving birth costs $18,865 on average, including pregnancy, delivery and postpartum care, according to the peterson-kaiser family foundation (kff) health system tracker. health insurance may cover most of that cost. But what if you don’t have health insurance? you can expect a hefty hospital bill.
The actual cost of giving birth depends on many factors, including the type of delivery you have and your location.
You can save thousands of dollars on childbirth if you have health insurance. this is the average delivery cost and how much health insurance members pay in out-of-pocket costs.
average calving costs
what factors influence the cost of giving birth?
The cost of having a baby can be unpredictable and you probably won’t know the final amount until your baby is at least a few months old and you’ve received all your bills. here’s a look at the many variables that contribute to price.
The cost of giving birth varies depending on where you live. that difference occurs even if you have health insurance.
For women with health insurance, the Health Care Cost Institute estimates that average out-of-pocket costs per delivery are highest in Nebraska and lowest in Michigan. Here’s a look at the average delivery costs by state.
average out-of-pocket costs per delivery by state
You can expect to visit your obstetrician’s office 10-15 times for a normal pregnancy without complications. You will need several tests, including routine blood tests, a glucose test, genetic tests, ultrasounds, and other screening tests, which affect the cost of having a baby.
One of the most important factors affecting the cost of giving birth is the type of delivery. vaginal deliveries generally cost less than cesarean deliveries, with and without insurance.
mother’s hospital charges
If you deliver your baby in the hospital, the cost of the hospital stay can vary significantly. for a vaginal delivery, the average hospital stay is 48 hours. for a cesarean delivery, the average length of stay is 96 hours.
Your hospital charges could be much higher if there are complications during delivery or if you need specialized care or monitoring after delivery.
a medicated delivery with an epidural will increase the cost of delivery. the cost of having a baby is also slightly higher if it is induced rather than having a spontaneous labor.
baby’s hospital charges
All babies need basic medical care after delivery. Doctors will monitor your baby’s breathing and heart rate, administer his or her first shots, and take a blood sample before you and the baby can be discharged home. for babies with difficult deliveries or babies born with certain conditions, there may be additional checkups and tests that will add to the total hospital charge.
After your baby is born, you’ll need to see a pediatrician for newborn care. Your baby will receive a complete physical exam and additional immunizations as part of the exam. You may also need to meet with a lactation consultant within the first few weeks after delivery, which is usually covered by insurance.
how much should you expect to pay if you have insurance?
The average out-of-pocket cost per delivery with health insurance is $2,854, but costs for vaginal deliveries are lower than for cesarean deliveries. The average out-of-pocket cost for a vaginal delivery is $2,655, compared to $3,214 for cesarean deliveries.
For labor and delivery, your out-of-pocket costs may include a health insurance deductible, copays, and coinsurance, depending on the specifications of your plan. Your out-of-pocket costs will be lower if you’ve already met your annual deductible.
You can also keep your out-of-pocket costs as low as possible if you give birth at a network hospital or facility. getting care outside of your health plan’s provider network may result in you paying more for care or all of the costs for out-of-network care.
how much should you expect to pay if you don’t have insurance?
Without health insurance, you can expect to pay about $18,865 for childbirth, according to the national average from peterson-kff data. but the exact cost of giving birth varies depending on the type of delivery (among other factors).
If you don’t have health insurance, you can expect to pay a much higher cost for pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care. Without insurance, you are responsible for all of your medical expenses during pregnancy and after delivery.
what if you can’t pay your medical bills after giving birth?
You have a few options if you give birth and can’t pay the medical bills.
Set up a payment plan: Ask the hospital if you can set up a payment plan. splitting the lump sum payment can make the cost more manageable. if you know you are going to need help, talk to the hospital as soon as possible.
request discounted rate: You may also qualify for a discounted rate on your medical bills if your hospital or doctor is willing to work with you and you are uninsured or meet certain income requirements. It won’t completely erase the money you owe, but it can lessen your financial burden.
Government Health Insurance: Depending on your income, you may qualify for Medicaid or your state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you qualify for Medicaid or CHIP in your state, your policy will cover health care expenses retroactively for three months prior to the date you apply, but you must have been eligible for Medicaid during that period.
There may also be state-specific grants or financial assistance programs. A representative from your hospital’s billing department may be able to provide you with some options if you need financial help after delivery.
Is it possible to obtain insurance during pregnancy?
Being pregnant does not prevent you from getting health insurance if you qualify.
You can get health insurance while you’re pregnant through the Health Insurance Marketplace, no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. You can also get Medicaid during pregnancy if you meet the income requirements.
Health insurance plans purchased through the Marketplace, as well as Medicaid plans, provide coverage during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. You can also check out Chip, which offers low-cost health insurance for children from low-income families. chip also covers pregnant women in some states.
Health insurance is available during pregnancy, but you can only join a plan during certain periods. To get a standard plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace, you must enroll during open enrollment, which begins November 1. 1. If you qualify for Medicaid or Chip, you can sign up at any time during the year.
You can, however, purchase health insurance outside of open enrollment if you qualify for a special enrollment period (September). Pregnancy is not usually a qualifying event for a special enrollment period in most states, but giving birth can start a special enrollment period. if you recently gave birth, you are eligible for a separation within 60 days of the birth of your baby. Other examples of seps include:
- Move to a new state
- marry or divorce
- losing health insurance through an employer
other delivery costs to expect
Giving birth in a hospital is often the highest cost associated with childbirth. you will also have to spend money on other things. here is a list of additional delivery costs.
costs generally covered by health insurance
How do you get insurance to cover the costs of childbirth?
Health insurance automatically covers pregnancy and childbirth care. the amount of coverage depends on your health plan and your out-of-pocket costs.
After each appointment and after delivery, the hospital will coordinate with your insurance company to file claims. the insurance company will determine how much of the cost it will cover and you will be billed for the rest. If you receive care from an in-network provider, you may not participate in the claims process. but if you go to an out-of-network hospital, you may be responsible for filing claims yourself.
You may need to contact your insurance company in some cases. for example, to get a free breast pump through your insurance company, you must coordinate with them directly and provide a prescription from your doctor if necessary.