How much does it cost to HAVE the baby? - Mothering Forums
November 2009 > How much does it cost to HAVE the baby?
vegasgrl's Avatar vegasgrl 10:13 PM 04-22-2009
When I enrolled in my health insurance plan, I sure didn't expect to have a baby on the way. I picked the PPO plan for healthy people, wherein it's super cheap every month but if I have to have a hospital stay I pay 20%. Of everything.

I can change to the POS plan in September; it will become effective Ocotber 1st. It's a bit more expensive every month, but I only have to pay like $500 for the whole hospital birth experience. That is, if baby cooperates and doesn't come, oh, September 30th.

I'm super duper upset about all of this right now; I need some information to help me make an informed decision about what to do here.

1) On average (or range, or your experience), how much does a "typical" hospital vaginal birth cost?

2) What about if I have to have a c/s?

3) On average (or range, or your experience), how much would a HB cost, with a midwife/midwives? What if I wanted to add a doula? (Or do they come with the package deal? I am soooooooooooooo clueless about HB...)

I suppose I could've googled this but you guys have such better stories. I'm sure I'll have some follow-ups after I have some hard numbers. Like, if it would only be $500 after October 1st, with a HB being $x and a PPO birth being $y, should I wait it out and hope baby cooperates so it's $500, or just go for the HB and pay $z?

Thanks in advance.

notjustmamie's Avatar notjustmamie 10:19 PM 04-22-2009
Well, obviously, it all varies by region. For the Chicago area (where I last birthed) homebirth runs about $2500-$3,000 and a vaginal hospital birth is about $8,000-$10,000. I never had a c/s, so I'm not sure how much that would run.

For this birth, homebirth will only cost us about $1800. Vaginal hospital births in this area run about three times ($5,000-$6,000) that. Again, no idea on the c/s.
jess5377's Avatar jess5377 10:51 PM 04-22-2009
I'm in the Pacific Northwest and my homebirth will cost $1800 (or $2700 for the whole package - pre and post natal appointments).

"Spontaneous vaginal delivery" or whatever they call it at a hospital near me costs about $10,000 to $14,000 not including any add-ons like epidurals, scans, pitocin, etc, etc.

We're on a similar 20% plan as you and planning a home birth. I'm just crossing my fingers that I don't end up needing a cesarean (mostly because I don't want one, but also because I don't want to pay 20% of the cost of one).
Juliacat's Avatar Juliacat 11:59 PM 04-22-2009
I'm paying $2200 out of pocket for a midwife-assisted homebirth. My pregnant friend is paying $3000 out of pocket for an OB-assisted hospital birth even though she HAS health insurance. I need to call around to find out how much it would cost out of pocket just in case I need a transfer or something. It's pretty damn scary, isn't it?
Juliacat's Avatar Juliacat 12:01 AM 04-23-2009
Oh--and vegasgrl--if you interview midwives, ask them what their payment options are. They may be willing to work with you and let you pay as you go depending on when the baby ends up being born and how your health insurance works out.
rrs's Avatar rrs 12:08 AM 04-23-2009
I have a PPO without maternity coverage; we pay for everything out of pocket. We had the same insurance with Carter.

It is $2650 for my OB to do my prenatal care, including all of the visits, a 1st trimester ultrasound, a 20 week ultrasound, and GBS culture and attend a vaginal birth.

I then pay for any labs. The prenatal blood work panel, if I were to have HIV testing or sickle testing, the Pap (which I declined until June, when my insurance will pay for my annual), gestational diabetes and the 28 week H&H are all out of pocket. I honestly do not remember what this cost last time, and I have yet to be billed for my prenatal profile this time, as that is the only thing I have done.

In the hospital, it was just over $5000 for Carter and myself. I had no pain medicine, but I did have an antiemetic while in labor. An epidural would have been $1600. I did have a UA in the hospital and blood work. Our pediatrician does not have privileges at the hospital that I deliver at, so Carter saw the on-staff pediatrician, his fees are included in that $5000. I stayed just about 24 hours.

Thus, it was a little over $7000 for Carter's vaginal birth. This does not include the six times I was in the hospital with pre-term labor.

I've never had a c-section, so I'm not sure what the cost is. However, my OB's office's fees are $2850 for prenatal care and to attend a c-section.

The one homebirth midwife I interviewed charges $4500. This includes all labs, but not ultrasounds. She contracts with a local ultrasound place for $150 an ultrasound.
CarrieCo's Avatar CarrieCo 12:13 AM 04-23-2009
My doula cost $500 in central Illinois. She's the most expensive around, but I think she's worth it!
november's Avatar november 05:15 AM 04-23-2009
I live in rural SW Kansas and the quotes I have from a 25 bed hospital are that a vaginal delivery with a one day stay will cost $5000. Cesearan is about $6500. And that doesn't include any doctor's fees (which are another $3,000). Since dh and I are uninsured, we are looking at a $10,000 debt , best case scenario. *sigh*
billikengirl's Avatar billikengirl 01:46 PM 04-23-2009
For us it depends on how long I work (I'm planning to SAH after the baby's born) because my insurance will cover home birth (Cigna) but DH's won't (boo, hiss, Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN)

The home birth midwife costs about $3k and we have set aside most of that in our FSA acount. If I worked until delivery, my insurance might pay about half of that (deductible + out of network rate). I don't anticipate that I will want or be able to do that, but hopefully we can get some of the prenatal visits covered.

For a hospital birth, DH's insurance would cover 85% after a $2500 deductible. I don't know exactly how the midwife bills, but it might be worth submitting the prenatal exam bills for reimbursement. Can't hurt!
Beppie's Avatar Beppie 01:51 PM 04-23-2009
My homebirth midwife (we're in Minnesota) costs about $1,800-2,000. My first birth was in the hospital, with no meds. That cost (in 2005) about $5,000. I think I remember hearing that a c/s cost around $10,000, although maybe I'm wrong on that one.
vegasgrl's Avatar vegasgrl 04:28 PM 04-23-2009
Thank you so much for all the replies, just to give me an idea of what I'm looking at (I seriously had like $50K in my head ). I'm much more chilled out today. The chances are very good that I will at least make it to October 1st - I needed to step back and realize that first and foremost. Somewhat sadly, it still seems like 20% of a hospital birth would be cheaper than a HB. I'm still totally weighing that option (I guess I have plenty of time?) but I'm super strapped financially so I think I'm going to have to go for the cheapest route. We shall see!
Juliacat's Avatar Juliacat 09:07 PM 04-23-2009
Originally Posted by vegasgrl View Post
I'm still totally weighing that option (I guess I have plenty of time?) but I'm super strapped financially so I think I'm going to have to go for the cheapest route.
I'm planning a homebirth only because it's cheaper (than paying 100% out of pocket for a hospital birth so I totally get going for the cheapest route. I hope it's comforting to know you're not the only one! Anyway, either option can work and be a good experience. I hope that's comforting, too.
Sara268's Avatar Sara268 09:39 PM 04-23-2009
I have paid close to $4,000 for my 2 hospital births. A birth center birth or homebirth will be cheaper for me (around $3500). Insurance is expected to pay for most if not all of the homebirth or birth center birth so it works out WAYYY cheaper for me.
ShwarmaQueen's Avatar ShwarmaQueen 11:32 AM 04-24-2009
I paid ~$3K for DD's OB prenatal care and c/s delivery (that was with a 10% copay on my behalf). :

This time around, with a HB MW, I believe I'll pay about $1500.
vegasgrl's Avatar vegasgrl 04:03 PM 04-24-2009
Man, I'm really feeling for you mamas who have to pay so much. : The first thing I did was calculate the co-pay for an epidural, and then picture myself screaming in pain thinking I can't get the epidural because it would be $380.

REALLY leaning toward a HB, FYI. I can't believe ya'll have gotten me from "OMG I'm pg how on earth can I keep it?" to "Yeah, gonna have the baby in a tub in my living room" in like 5 weeks flat.
impromptukiss's Avatar impromptukiss 06:12 PM 04-24-2009
our first two homebirths were $2500, and this one is $3500. i have no idea how much a hospital birth costs, though. our only hospital birth was 100% free (thanks, navy!). lol. well, except dh's food on the last day, lol!
crunchy_mama's Avatar crunchy_mama 06:29 PM 04-24-2009
Hospital birth first time was about 10k and that was for a vaginal- no drugs, no ivs-24 hr stay- baby w/ us the whole time- no shots birth(thankffully I only paid like $100_

Home birth #2- mw was $1000 and ob backup (considering the status of hb in this area I am not comfortable w/o backup) cost was about $500 I think just for the prenatals

This time I have no idea what I am doing- seriously- no clue. It would be cheaper for the hb no doubt as my individual deductible is $2300 of course the mw would not be included.
marie1080's Avatar marie1080 11:10 PM 04-24-2009
The going rate for homebirth in my area is $2200 including the birth and all prenatal care.

I'm having a homebirth, but have a print out from my family practice office of their charges- doesn't include hospital charges, medication, epidural, ultrasound, lab work, etc. Just the prenatal care and doctors charges.

Prenatal in office care- $1058
Vaginal delivery - $1379
C-section- $1592
VBAC delivery- $1880
Postpartum care in office- $233
Newborn resucitation- $295
Circumcision- $395

Some of it is pretty shocking to me: Like VBAC being more than c-section