How much does it cost to have a baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 05-21-2008, 11:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Curious question from a Canadian - how much does it cost to have a baby in the US? I'm guessing it depends on insurance plans - do good plans cover the whole cost? Is OB vs Midwife more expensive? Are doulas covered by insurance?

I'm just curious - doctor attended births in my province are no cost, but midwives are still not covered by our 'universal' healthcare. Doulas, of course, are at an extra charge as well. It is far more expensive to take a more 'natural' approach ( midwives, doulas, homebirths) vs just going into a hospital with a GP or OB.
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#2 of 22 Old 05-21-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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we don't have the universal healthcare that you guys do. If you qualify by income, which is pretty low you can get a no-cost hospital birth from state insurance but they won't cover midwifes or doulas.

So after that it really depends on insurance. We had insurance coverage with one of our HB's and we only had to pay the deductible which would have been the same for a hospital birth also. We did have to pay out of pocket and then get reimbursed though as most MW's bill this way.

Our last HB was $3300 and the tub rental was $250. We are using the same MW with this birth but her rate went up to $3800. She is only charging us the $3300 though since we are returning. She is a LM, CPM.
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#3 of 22 Old 05-21-2008, 11:58 PM
 
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We don't have maternity insurrance, but both the ob and the hospital have self-pay programs. With both the ob and hospital it would be about 5,000. But that doens't cover any extras that the hospital can get away with charging you, plus any ultrasounds are extra.

We are going with a homebirth midwife and it is a 2,500 flat fee if paid before 36wks, after 36wks it goes to 2,900.

Thea, wife to Daniel Homeschooling Momma to 4 beautiful, engergetic children.
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#4 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 12:04 AM
 
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They sent us a bill from the hospital when DD1 was born. I had an epidural, but no other interventions, etc. and I satyed in the hosiptal 24 hrs that bill was about 9,000. We are military so our insurance covered everything, this was at a civilian hospital.
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#5 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 01:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So does that mean each intervention is and additional cost? If someone had a full 'menu' of interventions (pitocin, epidural, others drugs) would their bill be higher? What if you hemorrhage after birth and require blood - does that cost something? I'm sorry to sound so ignorant, this is just a bit of a foreign concept...
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#6 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 01:52 AM
 
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So does that mean each intervention is and additional cost? If someone had a full 'menu' of interventions (pitocin, epidural, others drugs) would their bill be higher? What if you hemorrhage after birth and require blood - does that cost something? I'm sorry to sound so ignorant, this is just a bit of a foreign concept...
As far as I know, yes. I'm not a mama yet, but when I had my back surgery they charged for everything right down to the equipment and sent me an itemized list with prices. Also, my insurance would only cover $2k, so the other $5.5K that I couldn't pay went on my credit. : I also know that with the dental surgery I am supposed to get to remove my wisdom teeth, it would cost more to knock me out completely. Good thing I don't mind just getting a local and some laughing gas, as insurance won't pay for all of that either.

Nearly crunchy mama to one DS born at home 12/09 and married to my best friend one week later signcirc1.gif

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#7 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 02:47 AM
 
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So does that mean each intervention is and additional cost? If someone had a full 'menu' of interventions (pitocin, epidural, others drugs) would their bill be higher? What if you hemorrhage after birth and require blood - does that cost something? I'm sorry to sound so ignorant, this is just a bit of a foreign concept...
Yes. My first hospital birth was about $5000. It was an unmedicated vaginal birth. No complications. I had better insurance then and it only cost me $15 copay.

My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 13 weeks. I hemorrhaged and had to have a d&c and transfusion. It cost $9400. I had to pay my $3000 deductable. and after that the insurance would only cover 80%.

My 3rd pregnancy I had a hb with midwives. My insurance would pay 60% after the deductable. We met the annual deductable before the birth because my husband had some health problems. My midwives total bill was $2900. We paid the whole bill out of pocket, our midwives billed our insurance and reimbursed us for what the ins. co. paid them. Once we got reimbursed our out-of pocket for the midwives was around $300. We paid for the birth supplies ourselves. Around $80.

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#8 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 03:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mountain_Mama View Post

I'm just curious - doctor attended births in my province are no cost, but midwives are still not covered by our 'universal' healthcare. Doulas, of course, are at an extra charge as well. It is far more expensive to take a more 'natural' approach ( midwives, doulas, homebirths) vs just going into a hospital with a GP or OB.
Mountain_Mama: I live in Canada and have a midwife that is covered by Medical.
We do not pay her. Does this vary from province? I'm dual citizen with a country in Europe and everything is covered there too--we were hoping going there for birth but can't afford to leave our work for many months, sigh.

PS: To Americans, if you do not have insurance, how do you have a baby? I mean, can you be refused health care? if you don't have the money? How does it work?
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#9 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 04:01 AM
 
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I live in Canada and have a midwife that is covered by Medical.
We do not pay her. Does this vary from province?
Yes, it definitely varies. I'm in BC and midwives are covered here.
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#10 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 04:28 AM
 
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I am approaching this a little differently. I am a Canadian living overseas. I am in a country with a medical system like Canada's but I am not eligible for it so I am relying on my DH's American insurance. I am pregnant and do not have a dr yet. I am in the process of trying to find out what is covered by his insurance and have it sent to me in writing so they can't refuse afterwards. I am frustrated since we have to pay for everything up front and they reimburse and I am used to just going to the dr and getting whatever tests I need. Under the plan I can only have 3 u/s covered and if I need a fourth the dr has to write a letter to the company explaining why I need it. I don't want that many u/s but if I need them I don't want to have to beg an insurance company to pay for it. This is one of the reasons that I will be returning to Canada to have the baby. Also the insurance company takes forever to reimburse the money to us like we have thousands of dollars that we can do this with.

Mama to two loqacious and bouncy boys.
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#11 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 04:34 AM
 
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PS: To Americans, if you do not have insurance, how do you have a baby? I mean, can you be refused health care? if you don't have the money? How does it work?
To answer if you can be refused health care. Yes and no. You can be refused pre-natal care if you can't pay. But If you show up in a hosptial in labor they can't turn you away. You just end up with a big bill that can affect you credit rating if you can't pay it. Depending on the state there are some medicaid programs that can help you out. In my case, because I had insurance (though it was crappy and didn't pay much) I didn't qualify for any of those programs. So I ended up with a big bill.

Heather Mike Married 8/1/99 Mom to Charlotte Aug 04, Nov 06, and Katherine Oct 07
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#12 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 10:37 AM
 
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Yes. My first hospital birth was about $5000. It was an unmedicated vaginal birth. No complications. I had better insurance then and it only cost me $15 copay.

My second pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 13 weeks. I hemorrhaged and had to have a d&c and transfusion. It cost $9400. I had to pay my $3000 deductable. and after that the insurance would only cover 80%.

My 3rd pregnancy I had a hb with midwives. My insurance would pay 60% after the deductable. We met the annual deductable before the birth because my husband had some health problems. My midwives total bill was $2900. We paid the whole bill out of pocket, our midwives billed our insurance and reimbursed us for what the ins. co. paid them. Once we got reimbursed our out-of pocket for the midwives was around $300. We paid for the birth supplies ourselves. Around $80.

Wow. You know I always knew that Americans has to pay out of pocket, but somehow it never really clicked that for any miscarriage related expenses, you're being billed too- and sometimes obviously at high amounts. That seems like a cruel cruel joke to play on someone who has just lost their baby. I can't imagine going through something like that and then getting home to find a bill for it.

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#13 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 10:42 AM
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Mountain_Mama: I live in Canada and have a midwife that is covered by Medical.
We do not pay her. Does this vary from province? I'm dual citizen with a country in Europe and everything is covered there too--we were hoping going there for birth but can't afford to leave our work for many months, sigh.
I'm in Ontario and my midwife is also covered. I'm sure it varies from province to province. My Doula, however, is not covered (I don't think they are in any province)
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#14 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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I have good insurance coverage. My prenatal visits cost $25 total. I'm seeing a midwife but it would be the same if I saw an OB. It doesn't really matter as long as the provider accepts the type of insurance. I've never had trouble finding a provider who takes my insurance. I'll also have to pay a $100 copay when I'm admitted to the hospital, regardless of interventions. If I have an intervention-free birth, it's still $100. If I have a c-section and all the works, still $100.

The costs really vary according to the insurance policy. If I were on my husband's policy, we would pay $3,000 out of pocket and after that all costs would be covered.

Of course, there are other costs that I'm footing myself. The doula is $500, the childbirth class $200, etc.

Baby Boy 9/08 & Baby Girl 3/11

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#15 of 22 Old 05-22-2008, 10:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Mountain_Mama: I live in Canada and have a midwife that is covered by Medical.
We do not pay her. Does this vary from province?
Yes, Alberta is one of (if not the only) province that does not subsidize midwife care. They are working on it though
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#16 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 12:53 AM
 
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I am learning just how unequal health care is in this country. And I've had health ins both times. I can't imagine what happens to people without health ins! Ooooph - don't get me started on health care.

With DD, we had excellent healthcare up in New England and we didn't pay a single cent (aside from our regular dues to health insurance) from the moment of the positive pg test thru all the post partum care. I started with an OB but switched, late pg to a midwife practice, so the cost (or lack of cost) was the same.

This time we live in an unenlightened area of the southeast and while our healthcare SHOULD be good, based on the employer we get it thru, it is terrible. We pay huge amounts of money for everything. And we keep getting unexpected bills for things. I just got a bill from the hospital we plan to deliver at for a $500 deposit to register to deliver there. WHAT? Also, every minor test, procedure, whatever, we get all kinds of letters from the health ins company saying it wasn't necessary etc. Ergh!
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#17 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 05:06 AM
 
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My dh and I have good ins. thank goodness. I was on my ins. for the start of this pregnancy and I paid a $500 deductable. but other then that I have not had to pay anything and if I was on my dh ins. for the whole pregnancy it would have cost us about $20 total. The birth is covered and so is any hospital stay i might need. It is included in the prenatal co-pay.
However if we did not have ins. we would be in big trouble because a typical hospital birth up here including prenatal care without ultrasounds is something like $9,000. It is insane and I ended up going to high risk people for consults and extra ultrasounds because of my Diabetes.
Oh and we live in Maine by the way, just to get a geographical Idea.
Shawna
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#18 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 07:12 AM
 
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My first birth was a hospital with no "Add-ons" (It's like buying a car, the way they add on to bills, geez.) That was about $9k out of pocket, I had no insurance, and not eligible for medicaid.

The 2nd was a mw at home, which was also out of pocket, and that was? $1800? I think? I know her rate was low, and that she was raising it significantly soon after. Again, no insurance that would cover any of it.

This time, we had insurance, but just for the deductible which had to be paid out to the mw by month 8, it was $3300. We couldn't pay that! Then, I was going to an ob for a while cause insurance covered WAY more of that. The co-pays were only $20, and that was just the once, actually. The other times they told me I didn't need to pay that (Never did figure out why). I'm not sure how much the birth would have been, and decided to UC before I looked into it a whole lot.

UC should be just about free, so I'm pretty happy with that aspect of it, too
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#19 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 10:29 AM
 
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My first birth was hospital with pitocin, fluid IVs, and epidural. 48 hour stay for me and DS. They gave me a baggie with Tylenol, Motrin, stool softeners, and dermoplast (?) spray stuff and charged for that too. It was $11,000 or so. We were on Medicaid and didn't have to pay anything.

This time around I asked at my old dr's office, and with my insurance it would have cost $20 per appointment, $3500 delivery fee, and then I'd have to pay my $1000 deductible as far as ultrasounds were concerned before any more would be covered. The birth would be covered 80% if I'd met my deductible (as in, the hospital stuff... not the delivery fee).

Homebirth midwife $1200 for everything.

And yes, they will deny prenatal care here too, you have to go to the heath department and apply for medicaid, and if you don't qualify, you don't get prenatal care (unless you can pay cash up front... one office I called before I qualified for medicaid with DS1 wanted $1000 per visit with ultrasound, and that's 4 ultrasounds they do, and $500 for those w/o u/s). They DO have to take a woman in labor though.

UC is free though, and that's what we're doing You know, minus the $75 or so I'm about to spend on birth supplies

Sunny coolshine.gif: gun toting, retired breastfeeding, car seat loving, guitar playing, home birthing and schooling mama to Jakob (10.06), Mikah (07.08) and Korah (07.11). uc.jpg 

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#20 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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Mountain_Mama: I live in Canada and have a midwife that is covered by Medical. We do not pay her. Does this vary from province?
BC, Manitoba and Ontario cover costs (I think Quebec might also), whilst other provinces are looking into it Some don't even have regulations for midwives.

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#21 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 04:17 PM
 
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To answer if you can be refused health care. Yes and no. You can be refused pre-natal care if you can't pay. But If you show up in a hosptial in labor they can't turn you away. You just end up with a big bill that can affect you credit rating if you can't pay it. Depending on the state there are some medicaid programs that can help you out. In my case, because I had insurance (though it was crappy and didn't pay much) I didn't qualify for any of those programs. So I ended up with a big bill.
Also regular insurance doensn't cover, you have to have Maternity coverage added to it. Many plans do this already, but if you are self-employed or need to buy your own insurance you have to pay extra for Maternity, and in many cases have Maternity coverage for 12mo before becoming pregnant.
Many hospitals and drs offices have a self pay program for those without maternity coverage, but then again after the baby is born you get hit with lots of extra fees.

Thea, wife to Daniel Homeschooling Momma to 4 beautiful, engergetic children.
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#22 of 22 Old 05-23-2008, 05:29 PM
 
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So does that mean each intervention is and additional cost? If someone had a full 'menu' of interventions (pitocin, epidural, others drugs) would their bill be higher? What if you hemorrhage after birth and require blood - does that cost something? I'm sorry to sound so ignorant, this is just a bit of a foreign concept...
Yes, more interventions, the higher the cost. You have to think about the cost of everything. Most common meds aren't that expensive but some meds are crazy expensive. We had a patient that comes in twice a month for a an IV infusion (I work ICCU) the nurse held the bag of meds in her hand and said "I'm holding $6,600 worth of meds right here.."

Procedures are based on cost also and it really depends on your insurance and deductible on what the patient pays out of pocket. My sister had no insurance with both her boys, they both came really early and had to stay in the NICU for a while. She has huge medical bills and always jokes that she'll still be paying the bills when the boys are in college.

I have awesome insurance. I work for a hospital and any test (blood, x-ray,ect) done at the hospital is free. My co-pay including MD visits, labor, delivery and recovery is $20 as long as it's done at the hospital. I live five minutes away so this is no problem. This insurance is avaliable to all staff from the housekeeper, to the RN's to the CEO.
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