The Average Cost of a Birth at a Hospital

Hospital deliveries cost thousands of dollars.

While pregnant you need to select the right doctor and hospital for the type of delivery you prefer. You also need to be aware of the costs so that you are prepared. Deliveries have many fees. You will pay for the obstetrician/gynecologist visits and you will also need a pediatrician. The hospital room for yourself and the nursery for the baby have separate fees. Many other items can increase the total bill such as laboratory services, anesthesiologists, medication and supplies.

Birth Types

The total cost for a birth depends on any complications you or the baby may have. A regular birth, called a vaginal birth, can cost between $9,000 to $17,000, depending on the particular hospital. A Cesarean birth (C-section) without any other complications ranges from $14,000 to $25,000. The cost is without any additional problems with the mother or the baby. The amount is for people without insurance.

Insurance

A person that has insurance saves significantly on out-of-pocket costs for a delivery. The range for a no-complications delivery is $500 to $3,000 or higher. Specific amounts depend on the particular insurance plan. For example, your plan may only pay a percentage of costs or your plan can have a deductible that must be met before payment.

Billing

Expect to receive several separate bills for a delivery. The baby will likely have a separate invoice than the mother. Doctors typically have a separate invoice than the hospital and even the anesthesiologist may send a separate bill than the hospital.

Considerations

If you don't have insurance when you become pregnant, you are eligible for coverage under a group health plan such as an employer plan. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the pregnancy cannot be listed as a pre-existing condition. For individual health plans, the insurance company can deny payment if you join the plan after becoming pregnant. Verify coverage with your insurance company as soon as you know you are pregnant. Also, verify any other insurance requirements such as pre-authorization, which basically means that you coordinate the hospital and insurance prior to delivery.

Alternative Birth Considerations

Some families decide to use the services of a midwife to deliver the baby in the hospital. Many decisions are necessary to determine if a midwife or even a home birth is right for a particular pregnancy. However, for people making this choice, costs can be substantially lower. According to CostHelper.com, a birth with a midwife can be one-third less than one with an obstetrician/gynecologist. To use a midwife under an insurance policy, you should check with your health care provider to verify coverage and costs.

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