How much will your birth cost? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 28 Old 10-06-2004, 04:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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$5000.00 for us!

Of course my insurance plan does not have any mention of homebirth in their explination of benefits. We do have a provision for out of network services in which we are responsible for a $100 deductable as well as the 20% they do NOT cover. And they only cover 80% of their scheduled fees.

Meaning my midwife charges $5000 for a pregnancy, labor and birth, as well as PP visits. My ins co only pays $4875 for MW's services. 80% of that is $3900. A difference of $1100 that will have to come out of our pocket. All because our policy is a "Self Funded" policy and their is no way around the law (here in NY) that states that if an ins co provides maternity coverage they have to cover homebirth at the rate that they cover a hospital or birth center (not that we have any in the tri-state area!!).

I guess I am lucky that they will cover part of the costs but after not shelling out a dime last time (different ins co) $1100 is a big chunk of change to come up with. I am hoping that she will work with me on the cost seeing as though I am a "repeat offender" and she got paid well for 3 weeks of services with Gabriel's birth.

And none of this factors in the travel time (35 min each way), gas, birth supplies that I'll have to buy... Grrrrr. I really should go at this unattended, huh?

So what are you looking at for your birth costs?
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#2 of 28 Old 10-06-2004, 05:45 PM
 
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That's an expensive midwife, Des. We're looking at $1300, I think. Birth tub will be about $250. Gotta start a savings account.

anna kiss partner to jon radical mama to aleks (8/02) and bastian (5/05)
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#3 of 28 Old 10-06-2004, 05:56 PM
 
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i dont even know how much my midwife is. i'm in canada and our health care covers homebirth. my midwife brings most of the supplies, but i will buy a shower curtain to tape to the livingroom floor (saved my carpet last time) and some soaker pads. im going to buy some towels and face cloths for blood and compresses. i supose that is it.

gas is another story. there are closer m/w's but i love mine. she is 2 cities away and it takes me 45min to drive there if there is no rush hour.

so all in all i plan on spending around $50 for the birth.

$1100 is so much money. i dont think i could afford it and all the clothes, cd's i would buy.....SO glad canada covers it
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#4 of 28 Old 10-06-2004, 06:27 PM
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Wow! we are not paying anything here. I am having a hospital birth, because I have to, but am planning on staying home until I have to go in. My doula is free because she needs another birth for her training, or something. I would pay for a midwife, but I don't have that option here
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#5 of 28 Old 10-06-2004, 08:12 PM
 
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As it stands the cost for all my prenatal visits, birth, well baby checks @ 2&6 weeks and post partum 6 week visit is $3000. That does not include blood work if i need it or ultrasound if i need it. We are paying all of it out of pocket. No insurance at all. I also have to go a little over an hour away from my house into a different state since homebirth is pretty much illegal here. I can't have an attendant if i homebirth and i have decided that i am not comfortable with that. so i plan to travel to the nearest birth center. My only choices in Alabama are hospital birth or unassisted homebirth and i would have to lie and say i planned to go to the hospital and just didn't make it.
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#6 of 28 Old 10-07-2004, 12:35 PM
 
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$2,500
we don't have insurance.... so... it all comes from us.... still not sure how we will afford it....

Amanda, wife to Ed mama to Logan, Phoenix, Indigo and snuggle bunny EZRA RAIN has arrived
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#7 of 28 Old 10-07-2004, 01:25 PM
 
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My midwife charges $4000 for her services, which doesn't include any lab work. Our insurance won't cover her and my dh is switching jobs so we'll be uninsured in the beginning (when all that lab work will be done) so we are paying for it all out of pocket.
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#8 of 28 Old 10-07-2004, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Glad to know that I am not the only one footing a BIG bill!

Anna-- I live in Long Island, one of the most EXPENSIVE places in the continental US. Her price is very afforable when you look at the cost of living here. FWIW, my c/sect in 1998 cost my ins co over $35,000. And there was no extra costs surrounding it. Just a "normal" c/sect...

Jenn -- I wish I could say $50 is all I'll be spending. Although that's probably what I'll be spending on my birth kit.

Leigh -- Sorry to hear that you live in such a MW unfriendly state. But remember it's not homebirth that is illegal it is attending the homebirth that the MW runs the risk. You should get the definition of attending a birth. I remember when I lived in NC (another VERY unfriendly MW state) that it was defined by the person cutting the umbilical cord. The MW, reputably, got around that by not cutting any cords. :LOL Are you planning on birthing in your home or traveling for the birth as well?

Amanda -- You'll afford it the same way we are going to... $10 a week if we have to.

I know that any money we put out for this, our 2nd homebirth, is money WELL spent.
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#9 of 28 Old 10-07-2004, 03:08 PM
 
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I'll probably be spending around $500.00 for doula services, actually, it may be more because I will need a post partum doula this time around. I'm lucky enough to live in BC so my mw care is covered.

Incidently, for you Americans, a good friend of mine lives in CA. She was able to get her whole home birth covered, more than 100% actually, by her insurance. She thought she would have to pay out of pocket but ended up being pleasantly suprised. Please make sure you review all your insurance policies very carefully. In her case some was covered by a travel health insurance policy that was still valid.
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#10 of 28 Old 10-07-2004, 03:32 PM
 
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2500 bucks is our midwife's fee-that hopefully our insurance will cover after our 500 dollar deductible.
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#11 of 28 Old 10-07-2004, 03:37 PM
 
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I paid $2800 for my first midwife in Texas and then ended up at the hospital after the birth for vaginal repair and paid $800 of that bill.

I paid $300 to that same midwife for prenatal visits in my 2nd pregnancy but then moved to Hawaii and got a newer, much better midwife whose fee was $1200 (incl. the remaining prenatal visits).

I have only listed out of pocket expenses.

Since I've moved, I'm trying to apply for the subsidized health care this state has but they won't consider my application since I'm not actually married to my partner. So they have referred me to medicaid. Hrmm. Hopefully my "husband" gets another job that provides health care for us soon. He's in the process of looking right now. Medicaid will cover the homebirth midwife I am seeing. Her fee is $2400. I am having issues with the application though.
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#12 of 28 Old 10-10-2004, 08:37 PM
 
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We are lucky enough that our very awesome birthing center takes Medicaid, so we are completely covered. Last time the insurance I had even covered a lot of it, because its cheaper than a hospital birth. If your insurance doesn't cover a birthing center, midwife or home birth, have the provider write them a letter telling them how much cheaper it is than a regular hospital birth, and perhaps they will comply. That is what happened last time, and Medicaid was backup to pay the rest. This time, reg. insurance is non-existant, but thankfully Medicaid is an option.
Our biggest expense will be gas as well! , because we are driving 50 miles or so to get there!
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#13 of 28 Old 10-11-2004, 10:52 PM
 
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I may be paying the most here. I estimate $5,000 between the birth center cost and all the lab work and everything. All out of out pocket b/c we don't have insurance. How depressing.
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#14 of 28 Old 10-13-2004, 08:36 PM
 
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Many thousands of dollars from the ins. co and $350 out of pocket for my OB and hospital for me and the baby. I'm so grateful for our insurance- when I had to go to the perinatologists with my girls, each office visit was between $700-$1500. They don't take people with no insurance I don't think- I can't imagine the stress of that Hopefully this one will be run of the mill normal, though, and we'll just have the regular stuff

Half-marathon running Mommy to 3 spunky girls and 1 sweet boy. Spending my days and nights where my kids need me most- at home with them!!

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#15 of 28 Old 10-17-2004, 06:05 PM
 
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Our midwife is $2900, including everything except lab tests and ultrasound if we decide to get one. Our insurance will cover it as an out of network provider. So we pay our $250 deductible and then 20% of all remaining costs. We are going to have her bundle all the lab work etc into the final bill so we should only pay 20% of that as well, so somewhere around $700. We are saving it pre-tax with some medical savings plan through dh's work. This of course doesn't include the birth kit etc.

If we birthed in the hospital with an OB, we would pay $20!!!!! ONE co-pay. i really don't understand why insurance isn't promoting homebirth, if I were to birth in the hospital it would cost them much more than $3000!! One thing that also bothers me is that if I need a transport, my ins. won't cover any of the homebirth, just the hospital.. Its actually where the 'birth occurs' thats covered. I'm not anticipating transport, but if its necessary, it will be an expensive birth!
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#16 of 28 Old 10-18-2004, 02:33 PM
 
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$0. The big benefit to the military... free birthing I'll be having the baby at the base hospital, and I'm ok with that for the most part. I had Grace at a good hospital last year and was thankful I had her there because she had passed her meconium before she was born, and had to be checked by the NICU doctors.
Grace's birth didn't cost us anything, either, because I was on medicaid because of our income at the time.
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#17 of 28 Old 10-18-2004, 02:35 PM
 
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My hb midwife charges $1500. I don't anticipate any insurance reimbursement (Although it would pay 100% of a hospital birth : ). My midwife will bill insurance just in case they forget their own rules.
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#18 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 07:09 PM
 
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We'll have our 3rd in a hospital w/ midwife. Our second at that hospital w/ midwives. OUr first was with an OB but cost $5 for prenatal, birth and postnatal, couldn't afford to choose midwives. We decided to keep with the hospital this time because we have very short labors (4 hours start to finish) and can't bear to pay $5500-6000 (mid-wifes in San Francisco, yeow!) for two hours with a midwife! Otherwise my hosp. will cost us about $2000 in all with our portion. The last birth, with no IV, so meds, no tears, laboring for 2 hours, cost the ins co. $10,000!

I'm a huge supporter of home birth and it is odd that I'll never have one. BUt we have had beautiful birth experiences so I guess that is what matters!
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#19 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnnice
My hb midwife charges $1500. I don't anticipate any insurance reimbursement (Although it would pay 100% of a hospital birth : ). My midwife will bill insurance just in case they forget their own rules.
Why wouldn't your ins co pay for homebirth? What state are you in?I thought that my forst HB wouldn't be covered (even though they paid over $35,000 for my c/sect with ds #2) but I was pleasantly suprised to find out that they covered everything in full because of a NY state law mandating that if an ins co covered maternity services they had to re-imburse liscensed MW at the same rate as they would a contracted provider.

http://gentlebirth.org/archives/money.html#Insurance has a lot of info about getting an ins co pay. I hope your ins co DOES forget about it's rules when it comes time to pay out.
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#20 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2simonp
so we decided to do prenatals with a midwife and only call her if we want. She said that if we wanted she would just come clean up and check on us. We havent done more than talk to her on the phone but we are meeting with her saturday. We are excited to see waht she is like.
How did the meeting go, Michelle? Hope you found someone you click with.
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#21 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 07:29 PM
 
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WOW- I saw this thread and had to jump over from the march DDC- My Gowd!!! I guess living in different areas makes a huge gap in the cost! My HB/MW in WA would have been covered 100% except the birth kit $50 becasue medicaid pays for homebirths there!!! But we moved back to northern Michigan and my HBMW here is $650- for everything- I guess when looking at $5000+ I am getting a deal!

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks
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#22 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I could consider $650 vs $5k a deal!! But it's all relevant to the cost of living. What's your average starter home go for? I'm guessing since my mom used to live in Oceana Co in Michigan that it's about $35k-$50k. Here that would be someone's (SMALL) down payment. We are looking to get into our own house before peanut is born and are looking at houses that are :::GULP::: $250-$280K. I think we will be finding another rental in reality!

We could move to FL, make $20K less a year but the cost of living would be that much less as well. Here though we have the security of a union, pension, health, dental, life insurance... Things that are hard to some by (in my dh's line of work) other places.
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#23 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 08:44 PM
 
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Everyone's stories are really interesting. Also, it really shows how awful the U.S. medical system can be.
Well... with DD, completely by luck, we found out my anmiotic fluid started to disappear at 33 weeks. I was admitted to the high risk ward at the hospital where they tried to hydrate me and gave me steroids to mature DD's lungs. Hydrating didn't work, so I had a c-section at 34 weeks. DD was in the NICU for two weeks.
The bills totaled about $200,000. Thank goodness we had insurance. We had planned to pay our $4500 deductible so that was okay. After the deductible we had to pay 20% up to our out-of-pocket maximum which was $5500. So we only had to come up with another $1000.
This time we have a $2500 deductible, but then it's 20% until, I think $14000. We're trying to switch to a plan with a lower out-of-pocket max but I don't know if either of our companies offer one.
Our "plan" is for this one not to come early.
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#24 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 11:00 PM
 
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we have a private personal plan for our insurance. my husband runs a business and in utah pregnancy is not considered a preexisting condition. apparently too many people were getting insurance in the last month and then billing it all. the result? maternity insurance is *not* available for normal births. we have a 5000 deductible and then it is covered 100%. i thought this was so outlandish, but it doesnt sound too bad after reading what everyone is paying.

linda
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#25 of 28 Old 10-25-2004, 11:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desdamona
Yeah, I could consider $650 vs $5k a deal!! But it's all relevant to the cost of living. What's your average starter home go for? I'm guessing since my mom used to live in Oceana Co in Michigan that it's about $35k-$50k. Here that would be someone's (SMALL) down payment. We are looking to get into our own house before peanut is born and are looking at houses that are :::GULP::: $250-$280K. I think we will be finding another rental in reality!

We could move to FL, make $20K less a year but the cost of living would be that much less as well. Here though we have the security of a union, pension, health, dental, life insurance... Things that are hard to some by (in my dh's line of work) other places.
You hit it right on the nose- the cost of living is must lower, yep 35-50k for a home- and that is a good home! lol.... But if you think about it money wise my MW v's your MW- and house prices so different, I think my MW is still more ahead. It is amazing how much things cost in different areas. I live in Houghton Co. Way up!!!! But so worth it!

[B][I]~Ang~ Mom to 2 sport-head crazy girls: Rainey and Breeze  and my little lost love- @18 weeks with gestational age of 7 weeks
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#26 of 28 Old 11-10-2004, 09:46 AM
 
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Up until yesterday I thought I would have to come up with U$2000 out of pocket because my insurance was telling us the midwives and birth center were out of network - they even sent me the first bill already.

After MANY MANY phone calls, the midwife's office discoreved there had been a mistake, and all I owed for WHOLE THING (prenatal visits + lab + US + professional fees + facility fee) is U$5.00!!!!!!!!

I am sooooo happy! We were about to begin finding a regular Obgyn and hospital because we thought that it was all our plan covered. Thanks goodness it was not necessary.
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#27 of 28 Old 11-11-2004, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polihaupt
After MANY MANY phone calls, the midwife's office discoreved there had been a mistake, and all I owed for WHOLE THING (prenatal visits + lab + US + professional fees + facility fee) is U$5.00!!!!!!!!
How AWESOME is that??! I'm glad to hear your ins co is covering everything! I am still waiting for my ins co to even acknowledge my request in writing. They can tell me anything now and refuse to pay or offer a ridiculously low amount after the birth so I want something in WRITTING!!... Speaking of which it's time to call the supervisor again... For the 8th day in a row and leave the same message on her voice mail.
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#28 of 28 Old 11-11-2004, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mama2simonp
The meeting went very well. She is so earthy and a very good fit for us. Very confident in the body's ability to birth. She doesnt do vaginal exams. Very hands off. We will start prenatals with her soon. She wants me to call after we get past 12 weeks. Which will be sunday. So we are very excited about getting to know her better and have her come to our birth. Thanks for asking.
That sounds awesome. I'm glad you found someone that you feel so comfortable with.
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