How much does a hospital birth cost you? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-14-2008, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm from Canada so we never see a bill, but me and DH were talking and wanted to know how much it really costs to give birth? Is it a flat rate? Do they charge you for every little thing? Are C-sections a different price? How do you pay? When do you have to pay? What if you can't? Do all employers or health insurance cover births? I'm really just curious.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:11 PM
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I was induced (silly me) and had a subsequent c-section (surprise!) in February. We have fabulous insurance for which I am very thankful. The total bill, before insurance, was $27,000. I about died.

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Old 11-14-2008, 01:14 PM
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We had private insurance for DS's hospital birth, and we got an itemized list of every charge. It was absolutely ridiculous.

It included things like:
$8 for each motrin (advil? Or whatever it was they gave me)
$30 for the plastic bag that hung at the bottom of the bed to catch the goo
$3 for a SAMPLE of lansinoh
$500/night for "infant-nursery" - I called to debate this because my son did not go in the nursery for one minute. But apparently they thing the little basinnet in our room warrants this charge.
and so on.... I think I saved it somewhere, but really looking at it just makes me angry.

Our entire birth/hospital stay was around $10,000, and we had to pay over $2,000 out of pocket. That doesn't include my prenatal care. It's sickening!

So glad we're going with a midwife/homebirth this time.

Amanda , mama to my two boys: N (10/06) and : A (7/09)
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:33 PM
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$250 co-pay for my HMO
Prenatals $0 co-pay
I think we saw the hospital bill, but I didn't study it.

Mom of two girls.
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Old 11-14-2008, 01:34 PM
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I had a c/s and 6 night hospital stay and my bill was just over 700 euro. Then I had a supplement of 160 , I think because I had requested a private 1-person room instead of a shared room.

That includes the medication I got, also Lansinoh etc.

(if I'd had a shared room, i wouldn't have had to pay the 160 and also not as much as 700: when you ask for a 1 person room here, all the doctors that treat you are allowed to ask double fee)

My basic health insurance (that everyone over here has) covered the rest, don't know how much - that bill gets sent straight there.
I will get maybe half of the amount i paid back through my dad's extra health insurance that he gets through work (thankfully I've always been lazy enough not to change my address so officially I was still living with my parents until August , otherwise that wouldn't have worked).

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Old 11-14-2008, 01:41 PM
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First baby was a c-section. My insurance paid $27,000 which means that the hospital probably charged about $40,000 (insurances always negotiate a MUCH lower price). I was responsible for $1000 out of pocket which is just hte way my particular insurance worked. Yes, they do charge for every little thing - every IV, doctor, vitamin, pain pill, etc.

For my completely drug free vbac (no pit, epidural, etc), the hospital charged over $8000 but my (different) insurance paid $1800. I didn't pay a dime but my new insurance pays maternity in full.

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Old 11-14-2008, 01:53 PM
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We have insurance: $250 health care credit, $1000 deductible, $2000 per individual out-of-pocket maximum. I know that seems crazy, but if we switched to a lower deductible we'd actually pay more in premiums than deductible.

Our CNM will be in the neighborhood of $3000+, we are paying her $125 a month because they want the majority of our portion to be paid before birth. Our portion will be about $1400, covering all the deductible and health care credit. That includes all prenatals, labor and birth, and the six-week check.

Then we pay the hospital stay, one for me and one for the baby. Somewhere in the neighborhood of...oh I can't remember just now. But it's insane, of course. Especially if you stay the recommended two nights. We plan to only stay one. Same nursery charge thing that pp mentioned, even if you don't use it.

Then you get all the incidental hospital charges--kleenex boxes, etc., plus things like the hearing test, PKU, etc.

Then we pay for whatever pediatrician is on-call to do the newborn exam.

Not to mention that all charges for the baby are separate, so the baby will have his/her own health care credit and $1000 deductible. Our family out-of-pocket maximum is $4000, and I'm guessing we will end up paying around $3000+. The only bonus is that then all the rest of my medical coverage for the year is completely paid for!

Then if you want you can get into how the insurance compaines are what make health care costs so high, because they make deals with the providers and only "allow" them to charge so much. If you don't have insurance, you get hit with the full amount, but the insurance companies pay much less.
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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All I can say is WOW! and Thank God we don't have to pay for all that, this is insane!
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dlm194 View Post
insurances always negotiate a MUCH lower price).
Yes, my bill had the amount the provider charged insurance, then the amount the insurance paid - & it was always like 30% less or more.

Yes, they do charge for every little thing - every IV, doctor, vitamin, pain pill, etc.
Yup! Same here. I saw an itemized listing for my 2 stitches. I didn't accept even a pain pill (really wasn't in pain!), didn't have any other sort of drugs & nor did DS, so there wasn't many items listed on the bill, but it was itemized.

Luckily, our insurance is decent, so I didn't have to pay a dime. But I don't recally what the total was.

It was a smaller hospital. I'm curious how the massive, & world-class Johns Hopkins would have charged. I was going there, but switched b/c they're not at all mother friendly. It seems (surprise!) that the best place to be when you're sick is NOT necessarily the best place to give birth!
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Old 11-14-2008, 04:08 PM
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We had Kaiser insurance when I had my kids. After each of the births I was handed a bill for $3 (three dollars) when we left the hospital. That was to cover the phone bill. That was it.
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:00 PM
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First time it was $1000 out of pocket: $500 for me and $500 for my baby. That included all prenatal care, including u/s and bloodwork, etc. We got the bill after she was born.

But my husband worked for the hospital network so we got a discount by using the birth center that's associated with that hospital.

This time my husband has a new job (at an insurance company -- how ironic) and it will cost us $1500 out of pocket total, which includes all prenatal care, including all my testing and such as am high risk.

The $1500 is if I don't have a c-section, which would only happen if a life-threatening situation arose. I don't know how much it would be if I had to have a c-section.

I also see a midwife, but she's in a practice with OBs. That may or may not have an impact. I kind of doubt it, since I also saw some of the OBs for the high risk stuff early on.

I have no idea how much the total is before insurance pays. Ridiculously high, I'm sure.

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:13 PM
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Just depends on your health insurance. We have $1,000 deductible, 20% coinsurance, so for us it costs $2-3k to have a vaginal birth if we arrive ready to push and don't use any drugs or equipment, $2k for midwife assisted at home (CNM), and some astronomically huge amount of money for a c/s. I don't even want to think about what that would cost.

ETA: And my monthly insurance premium is almost $600 (that's for me alone, not counting dh or kids).
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Old 11-14-2008, 05:25 PM
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Depends on insurance, and where you live. My first was a c-section, prenatal everything was free with insurance, and my hospital was $700. My insurance was bill over $20,000.

My fear induced transfer for my second cost us $334 for me, and $186 for my son to be discharged.

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Old 11-14-2008, 05:25 PM
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I had a hospital birth. I was in the hospital from Tuesday night (briefly discharged on Wednesday morning after failed induction and then back 5 hours later) and I left Saturday morning. DD was born just after midnight Thursday morning. I had an epidural for 2 hours. I had an ob attend my birth. No complications. Our total bill was over $7500. At teh time I had insurance from my employer as well as Medicaid (state insurance) so I didn't pay a penny.

In response to your other questions, yes you pay for many little things seperately. Meds are a seperate charge, the pads they give you are charged to your insurance so you might as well use them anyway. C-sections do cost more. You are charged by the day for your hospital stay. If I hadn't had state insurance as well I would have had to pay for 20% of my total bill plus they only would have paid for a 48 hours hospital stay after birth. I would also have had a $20 copay for all prenatal visits, plus a certain percentage of other tests.

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Old 11-14-2008, 05:27 PM
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I just found my bill from about 8 years ago. I paid a some co-pays, around $100 worth. The total bill came to a little over $19,000.I was a C-section.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:10 PM
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I know when I was looking around for "in case of transfer" one hospital here had a prepayment plan for those paying out of pocket. If you paid by 36 weeks it was $3500. It jumped to almost $5000 if you waited till after delivery. That was for a vaginal delivery with epidural. I don't know what the c/s was.

I don't know what my hospital birth 9 years ago was. I paid $100 co pay but I have no idea what they charged insurance, something ridiculous I am sure.

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Old 11-14-2008, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I am so shocked! especially with how much is paid towards insurance every month. Here my DH brings home about $2000 a month after he pays about $500 off his checks for taxes, which include income tax and public health care, and the government never asks for more money come income tax time. When we go into the hospital we pay for a ambulance only if we call it ourselves, if a neighbor or stranger calls it's free. We pay extra for a private room, and pay for our tv and phone. But because of the poor hospital service when I went in I got that all free. The drugs while you are in the hospital are completely free, you only pay for scripts you fill after you leave if they don't send free stuff home for you. They also send you home with hospital panties, and pads. Breast pumps are free to use in the hospital and you can arrange to loan one free from the hospital if it is truely needed. Oh and midwives are free here too. they even send nurses to you home after for check ups, and you can even become part of free programs where a public health nurse comes buy once a week and teaches you how to play and interact with your baby as he hits milestones, and they show you tons of neat things to do. I think you all need to move to Canada. Or you can accidently have your kids here so they can get dual citizenship and just bring them up here for all the free healthcare they need. Not to mention all your specialists, and operations and proceedures are covered too. If I am worried about anything from a fever to vaginal bleeding I can walk into my emergency room any time for reassurance and walk right out after and never get charged. I'm so sorry but it seems like you are all getting screwed on your healthcare.
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Old 11-14-2008, 06:51 PM
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$10 for me for all 3. I have an hmo and I did get the billing summery for all.

birth #1's, I believe was in the $10K range. That was for a mw atteneded hospital birth with arom, demoral, iv and 2 night stay in 1998

birth #2 was just under $10K; birthcenter birth with hospital transfer for pp hemmorage, 2 night hospital stay. Drugs for the hemmorage but nothing in the birthcenter. That was 2005

birth #3 that was $35K, c-section for twins 5 day hospital stay. That does not include their nicu stay or any services for either baby beyond the birth. Their stay was all seperate because we were "double billing" and didn;t get covered until the twins were over 6mths old. Two babies=two bills who would have thought :

mum to Christopher (6/98) Elizabeth (2/05) twins Aaron and Dominic (7/10/06) and new baby Eden (4-18-09)
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:07 PM
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Ds' birth was about $10k and I was billed separately for the anesthesiologist (epidural) which was $750. Out of the $10k we payed about $2,000. What particularly sucked was it was a hospital transfer so we had also paid a midwife over $1000 for or homebirth. So all together it was about $4,000 out of our pockets.

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:11 PM
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Philadelphia, PA

$34K c-section delivery, 2001 (a friend)
$24K vaginal delivery 2003. Plus the doc billed an additional $3K for attending

Fortunately, we had good insurance!
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Old 11-14-2008, 07:20 PM
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DS cost us $3000 - his total bill was over $125,000 and $3000 was our out of pocket limit for insurance, which we hit. I don't know what my portion was, I never really looked, I just knew DS sent us over the limit.

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Old 11-14-2008, 08:50 PM
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I paid-

$20.00 co-pay to midwife for all prenatal care

$20.00 copay for a 1.5 minute visit with the back-up Dr. in case I had a c-section

$250.00 co-pay for hospital

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Old 11-14-2008, 09:08 PM
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My hospital charged for every little thing, which I didn't even realize until after we were sent the bill & insurance statement on what they paid.

For my induction (still bitter about that one), I was admitted on a Thursday morning, had DS on Friday morning, stayed until Sunday afternoon. So I was billed for 4 day stay in hospital. They billed insurance for close to $6,000, insurance applied their discounts (the amounts the hospital has to settle for, varies among companies) & got the bill down to just over $2,000. We owed $300 for our cut after insurance paid. Doctor was paid 100% of his delivery fee of around $2500. This was all vaginal birth. If I'd had a c-section, like the doctor was getting ready to set up, I would have been charged for a vaginal delivery & c-section delivery by the hospital. According to them, even if I didn't have a vaginal delivery, they would of course charge for setting up for one.

They also billed nursery charges for DS that came to close to $2,000, insurance once again applied their discounts & got the bill to $500, then we paid like $50 of it. Also paid seperate for the ped to come & give the baby a look over when I delivered & again when we left. That was around another $50 total.

I also had an epidural, they billed $4,000 for, insurance got it down to $1,000, I paid $100 of it.

But, like I said, we were charged for everything. When I inquired what "hospital extras" were, I was told that was anything in the room, including the TV & chairs.

Insurance paid 100% of my prental visits, 80% of ultrasounds & labs.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:21 PM
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The total bill submitted to out insurance was a bit over $10k. After insurance we ended up paying about $400 for me and everything for the baby was completely covered.

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Old 11-14-2008, 10:22 PM
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I have no clue what the actual hospital bills were but my last birth was the only one I had to pay anything for and that was $12 for my first prenatal visit. DH was in the military for the other 3 and it was completly free last one was with the military retiree insurance.
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:04 AM
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$20 for the whole shebang.
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:10 AM
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I recently had a completely intervention-free hospital VBAC. Total bill was something around $10,000. This included 2 nights in the hospital (one of those was in L&D - my baby was born at 3:26 AM and I left 36 hours later), monitoring for me during labor (because of the VBAC, plus they had some legit concerns about my baby at the time), one night in the hospital for the baby (who roomed in with me, but they charge for the baby supplies like diapers, blankets and laundry, etc I'm assuming). I was floored that it could be so expensive, since I had no epidural, no IV, nothing like that. Fortunately, my insurance paid for all but $92 of it.

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Old 11-15-2008, 03:28 AM
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WOW!!! Coming from Canada we were pretty concerned at what it would cost us down here but it really was pretty reasonable at looking at some of these costs!!! I paid about $50 per appointment. The actual birth & hospital stay (vaginal birth, no drugs) was just under $1000 - it would have been close to free if we used a public hospital but as we have additional coverage we chose the nicer, closer, private hospital.

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Old 11-15-2008, 06:00 AM
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Well with my first two I paid $1100 out of pocket for prenatal care and birth(both provider and hospital). But the actual bill was $4000 for prenatal care and birth from the provider plus about $6000 from the hospital...but I stay only as long as I have to which is about 24 hours and I had a drug free birth.
I'm going with a homebirth this time and the total charge for everything would be around $4000, but my insurance should cover 80% of that.

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Old 11-15-2008, 07:09 AM
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I didn't have insurance when I was pregnant and we made too much to qualify for any type of assistance. So I went to the hospital I intended to deliver at and signed up for an OB contract which covered all prenatal care, tests, ultrasounds, hospital stay, 6 week appt. etc... for $2400.
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