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Cost of a homebirth?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Would anyone mind sharing how much their homebirth cost them, in terms of midwife's fees, and if that included pre-natal care? I have an HMO which of course won't cover midwife costs, but I was thinking that I could use my insurance to cover some of the pre-natal costs. Can you see an MD for the expensive pre-natal stuff, and still use a midwife? We live in So. CAl, so I'm sure the fees here are high- but I'm just trying to get a rough idea.
Thanks so much!!!
post #2 of 31
I live in a community of about 150,000 in Iowa. Our midwife charges $2400, but for those who pay cash before the birth, the price is $1700. Our HMO will not cover one cent, but I figure that $1700 for prenatal care, personal phone calls, the birth and post natal care is extremely reasonable. Actually... when you figure in deductibles for me and the baby, plus our co-pay, I think it would be the same as a hospital birth.

Good luck in planning your homebirth. When are you due?

post #3 of 31
Oh, I forgot to mention that my insurance has payed for lab work. WE are chosing not to use u/s, but if the need arises, we will be covered for that too. I haven't seen an ob, but if we do, that will be covered too. Wierd...for a business that is interested in making money, insurance companies would save a lot if they would consider homebirth over hospital.
post #4 of 31
mine have ranged from 1800 - 3000 depending on the midwife. I have always used my midwife's back-up doc for anything she didn't cover, luckily ins. usually does cover that!
post #5 of 31
Mine (in Oregon) were $1500, including prenatal but not labwork.
post #6 of 31
I', in Kansas City, Missouri. Wow, our midwife is a wopping 4,000.00. $3000.00 if you pay before the baby is born. We switched to a PPO insurance before I was pregnant and they cover $1500.00. So, we are paying $1500 out of pocket. The cost includes prenatal vitamins, other supplements, etc, but no labs or testing. They work cooperatively with a lab and ultrasound place that will bill our insurance. Luckily our deductible was met and all of the labs and we did have an ultrasound were covered at 100% by the insurance. I don't think the HMO would have covered a thing, but I've heard of folks bargaining with HMO's and winning. Good luck. Jennifer
post #7 of 31
I think our homebirth cost us $3,500 or thereabouts with all prenatal care. My health insurance wouldn't cover anything but a hospital birth. I decided to have my prenatal care with the midwives rather than through my health plan- and boy was it worth it. They took such good care of us, allowed us to decline a sonogram and a load of other tests, and spent up to an hour with us at every visit. When I went to my back up emergency ob/gyn he spent 10minutes with us, while we waited nearly an hour to see him.

By the way, this was in the D.C. area, we had to severely limit our budget to save up for it, and I wouldn't change a thing.
post #8 of 31
I also think that CNMs will usually charge more then lay midwives in the same area
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

Thanks, everyone!

Thanks for the input! I'm not even pregnant yet, but plan to be within the year. I'm just toying w/the homebirth idea right now. My dh is really hesitant because when our son was born, he had aspirated meconium and wasn't breathing well for a while.
For me, the more I look back on my hospital birth, the more I realize how unpleasant it was for me and my son. I just assumed it "had" to be that way.
post #10 of 31

Oh Canada!

Once again, I'm so grateful to be living in Canada right now. Midwifery care is covered by BC medical! We had a homebirth and all my prenatal *and* postnatal visits, and the delivery were paid for.
post #11 of 31
I have a friend who paid about $1500 including the birth kit.
post #12 of 31
usu. it's 2500 around here, but towards Boston it's up to 4000.

It's amazing how much is covered by certain insurances. My HMO has covered hb, but the pricey PPO I had covered $500

Keep submitting. If you call your ins. co. to ask, they will usu say hb is not covered. This is only said because there is no policy concerning hb.

Read over your policy, look for loopholes, and talk to a hbmidwife. They can tell you the companies w/ which they have had success.
post #13 of 31
I've also looked into it as I'm ttc, and it appears that my PPO will cover 70% (at the out of network rate). Here in Los Angeles the CNM's seem to charge in the $4,000 - $4,500 range - which means I'd be paying for $1,350 out of pocket. That includes pre-natal visits, the birth, and several visits after the baby is born.

I've also read somewhere (wish I could remember where) a statement that claimed it was possible to convince an insurance company to cover homebirth with a CNM by argueing this: if the company covers the servics of a CNM, they must cover the services regardless of where she practices. If they decide where and when the CNM can practice, they are practicing medicine themselves and *they are not medically trained*.

But, that's just what I've heard. Makes sense to me!!!
post #14 of 31
my CNM in NJ was about $4500. worth every penny. Insurance covered most of it, but i would have paid cash. Lay midwives are cheaper - the ones I've talked with charge around $1500-2000, and one uses a sliding scale.

my dh was very hesitant the first time around, until he met the midwife. she allayed all his fears. babies that have a hard time breathing are actually quite easy to get breathing if you have a skilled attendant. ours brought oxygen in her birth bag and kept a neonatal transport unit in her car.
post #15 of 31
I sure got a good deal after reading the other responses. I live in a very rural area of Idaho so that must be the reason, but mine was $700 for the first and $900 for the second. That included pre-natal care, but not labwork, which my insurance covered, although I only had labwork done for the first.

My sister is a midwife in Boise and charges around $2000, including prenatal. I think it depends on where you live which seems to fit these responses.

post #16 of 31
dayton ohio $800-$900
post #17 of 31
Greenville, SC, $2100. Licensed mw. I have to buy my own birth kit. Haven't determined if ins will contribute anything or not. Doubtful
post #18 of 31
When I gave birth at home in Virginia 17 months ago it was $1600, prepaid. we managed to get a little over $1000 reimbursed by Tricare, which shocked the hell out of us! Did not include labs, so I did most of those at the Navy medical clinic.
post #19 of 31
we're in so cal too but had dd in 1998. This was in san diego. I think now it is around 4000. Cost was a 3000 which included prenatal, homeopathic remedies, and birth. We bought on the side, birth tub, birth kit (around 30$). Insurance (medical at the time) covered lab work/ultrasounds/backup dr. visits.
if we woulda chose a CNM, medical would've covered 1500 of it but we had lay midwives and so we paid it all out of pocket. NOw my friend here in Orange county said medical paid for all of her CNM so do your research.

BTW, dd (in above mentioned homebirth) also aspirated meconium as you said your son did, and had trouble breathing too. This was a homebirth and dd was totally fine, we just observed her. This is very handle-able (is this a word?? ) and I would not hesitate to do it again. My opinion was that if I had been allowed to birth in the position I chose, this wouldn't have been such a problem. (Midwives had me on my side due to high bp) she came out slowly and it was hard to push....so I would recommend making sure you can chose your own position. DS was born in May and since we did a freebirth, he came out while I was on my knees in 5 pushes. just an aside. good luck!!
post #20 of 31
In Boston I'm working with a fairly well-known CPM who charges $2,600 for the homebirth itself. Add to that: $95/prenatal visit to her home (once a month up until the 7th month where I started to go 3x/month, then 2x/month, and then 1x/week in the last month). She does one home visit before the birth at $150. After the birth I'm scheduled for three home visits ($150/piece) and two visits at her office ($95) as follow-up. $250 for the initial newborn exam, plus about $50 for the first bloodwork as required by the state. I also paid around $400 for an 8-week childbirthing class with her.

My insurance hasn't paid anything but so far it's worth every penny (I'm due on Tuesday!). I have been able to set up a Flexible Spending Account with my company, so I'm paying for the midwife on a before-tax schedule.
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