can I find out what a hospital birth will cost beforehand? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-16-2008, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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I guess kind of like 'shopping' in a way. I'm trying to figure out what a hospital birth will cost as opposed to homebirth with midwife and doula. With our insurance, they would cover 90% of all services, plus we would have a $200 copay for the hospital birth and $25 copay for 1st visit only.

With a midwife they would likely cover 60% of services because she will likely be out of network, and a $300 deductible.

So I'm trying to figure out that the whole cost of both ways will be. I know a hospital birth is kind of hard to figure out beforehand because you never know what you'll get. But it has to be more then what I would pay for a midwife even if I have to pay 40% right?
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#2 of 12 Old 01-16-2008, 09:57 PM
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I'm sure you can find out. Some people don't have insurance and have to pay out of pocket. Now if you are price comparing OB and hospital against a hb mw, then you'll need to know the OBs fees in addition to the hospital fees.

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#3 of 12 Old 01-16-2008, 10:53 PM
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The average vaginal hospital birth is $7800. That is the hospital ALONE, not including doctors fees. Homebirths usually cost around $3-4k.

I think that a homebirth is going to be cheaper for you, just because the risk of having a cesarean or other serious problem goes up with a hospital. Consider a 30% cesarean rate, versus a 5% cesarean rate. And cesareans cost about $15000.

Also, the $7800 is an average across the country. If you're in CA or another 'expensive' area, a normal vaginal birth can cost nearly $20k.

Hope that helps.

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#4 of 12 Old 01-16-2008, 11:26 PM
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When I was pregnant my old insurance coverage did not cover maternity or L&D. The hospital my OB delivers at had a "cash price" of $1200 for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and $1600 for an uncomplicated cs. This included a 2 night stay and care for you and the baby. This did not include the cost of anesthesia or epidural. Out of curiosity I asked my anesthesia friend one day what their cash price was for an epidural and he said $400. This $1200/1600 did not include the fees for the OB. I don't know how much that would have been as my OB was not charging me. (I live in a city of about 1.2 million people by the way)

Thankfully, my new insurance has L&D coverage so if I happen to get pregnant again...

I'm sure you can contact local hospitals for a cost estimate. The biggest factor will be your insurance. What your deductible and copays are, etc. If you don't have insurance make sure you ask for their cash price. I know the rule with my hospital was you had to have it paid in full before you left the hospital to be given the cash price. (most people pay it prior to delivery)

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#5 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 01:07 AM
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I think it varies pretty widely depending on the hospital/location. Try calling the hospital or better yet, talk to another mother who has given birth there recently. Even with insurance, she should have received a statement with the total costs. Around here they get their money regardless of what the birth was like. My sister and I (when she still lived by me) gave birth 8 days apart and we had totally different births. Hers had a lot of intervention. They wanted to induce her because of her GD, she had epidural, catheter, internal monitoring and a bunch of other stuff that required extra staff and supplies. My birth was med free and I didn't even have a heplock and they pretty much left me alone with my doula the whole time. Cost for supplies, staff, and meds should have been way lower for me but we got charged the same amount. I had an extra thing on my bill that just said "other services" which totaled all the other things that she got charged for like epidural and other meds. So...around here there really isn't any way to get a cheaper vaginal birth.
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#6 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 02:11 AM
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I believe that if you have a hospital birth, you also will have to pay a separate deductible for the baby...maybe not but it might be worth checking. I had a $500 deductible each for both me and DS plus the insurance would only cover 90%. They wouldn't pay for my HB midwife but I figured I'd end up paying $1800 (bare minimum) for a hospital birth and $2000 for a home birth (this was the price in Utah where I was living when I became pregnant, Oregon midwives are a bit higher). So as far as I was concerned, it was totally worth it to give birth at home (would have done it anyway but it's nice to know it didn't cost us more).

I also agree with the PP's...with the much higher c-section and intervention risk, a price difference starts to pale in comparison.

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#7 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 11:05 AM
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As almost all obstetrics services are now contracted with managed care companies on a case rate, I would write a letter to your insurance company requesting the following (they have all of this data but you may have to push a little (ha ha) to get it)

For the specific hospital, based on you insurance plan ask for:

Average member out of pocket cost for vaginal delivery (hospital, lab and provider)
Average member out of pocket cost for c-section (hospital, lab and provider)
Deductible for member
Deductible for new baby
Average out of pocket hospital and provider costs for new baby

Good luck with everything!
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#8 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by dogmom327 View Post
I believe that if you have a hospital birth, you also will have to pay a separate deductible for the baby...maybe not but it might be worth checking.
For both of DD's births they were included as a part of my deductible and we did not have to meet a separate one for their hospital expenses. Their own deductible did not begin until after they had left the hospital.
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#9 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 02:46 PM
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It sounds like the OP has insurance.

Depending on whether you choose in-network or out of network facilities (assuming you have a PPO), you need to look at the out of pocket maximums for 2 people (one for you and one for baby). This is the most expensive it would be, assuming NICU for baby and c/s for you. HMOs usually have a prenegotiated price and that would be your expense.

For HB, fees can range from 1,000-4,000 depending on where you live and are typically a flat fee. It depends on your insurance plan as to how much of this they will cover. If midwifes are legal and licensed in your state, the insurance company will probably pay something.

In the case of transfer, you may have to pay both but there will be a maximum out of pocket amount per person (baby counts as a second person).

Since I wouldn't hospital birth without a doula, I add the doula costs onto the hospital costs. With my insurance (that covers both HB and hospital birth) it is cheaper for me to have a HB with out of network MWs (none are in-network) than to pay the in-network hospital maximums for me and the baby by about $350.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 06:00 PM
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My midiwfe gave me approximate numbers for each hospital I was considering, and for homebirth.

FWIW, she said roughly $8,000 for straightforward birth in the hospital.
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#11 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 06:25 PM
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my vaginal birth with an epidural in 2002 cost around 10,000 outside of Philly. That's the dr, hospital, anesthesiologist, everything. My homebirth this time is around 3900. I pay that out of pocket b/c my homebirth in 2006 was SO MUCH better than my hospital birth.

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#12 of 12 Old 01-17-2008, 06:49 PM
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contact the hospital you would be going to what the average cost is-
also prenatal care would be a separate charge-
ped ...
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