This Is How Much It Costs to Give Birth in the US — It’s Not What You Think

This Is How Much It Costs to Give Birth in the US -- It's Not What You Think

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Baby? — The Answer Will Surprise You

( – In June, the Supreme Court reversed federal protection for abortion rights with its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision. Pro-life activists celebrated the ruling which will undoubtedly curb the number of abortions in the United States, especially in the South, and babies will be born who might have otherwise been killed in the womb. For those who are against the procedure, the ruling was the biggest judicial win in nearly 50 years.

On the flip side, pro-choice activists have pointed out there will now be women who are forced to carry babies they cannot afford. Not just because children are expensive but so is medical care. A new study indicates just how much women pay to carry a baby to term and it might not be what one thinks.

Cost of Childbirth

On Wednesday, July 13, the Kaiser Family Foundation studied data from the IBM MarketScan Encounter Database for people enrolled in private healthcare plans from 2018 through 2020. Researchers specifically looked at the costs for women who have had babies.

According to their findings, the average cost of pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum care was $18,865, including $2,854 out-of-pocket. The cost of care varies wildly depending on the type of delivery. For example, patients who can’t deliver the baby naturally and have to undergo a cesarean section, pay an average of $26,280, including $3,214 in out-of-pocket costs. Meanwhile, someone who has a normal vaginal delivery pays an average of $14,768, with $2,655 of it being paid by the woman.

The study did not take into account how much women pay when they experience a high-risk pregnancy. In that case, they are expected to go to more prenatal appointments, and many are hospitalized for weeks leading up to the birth of their child. Then there is the cost of NICU care for infants who are born early. In some cases, these medical care costs soar into the millions depending on the severity of the issues.

Helping Mothers and Babies

There is help for women who are pregnant. Generally, states provide Medicare coverage for a woman carrying her baby and the newborn child. For people who do not qualify based on income requirements, for instance, if they make too much money, but are uninsured, hospitals often offer programs for those moms that allow them to pay discounted rates.

Women should check with the financial departments at the hospitals where they plan to deliver. If a pregnancy is high-risk and the baby needs to stay in the NICU, a social worker provided by the medical center will help parents enroll in programs to help pay for the costs.

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