Hey there, friends! We’re going to change the articles a little from now on. Instead of offering raw data about some items and their costs, from now on, we’ll try to empathize with the average Joe, to find out if a normal working man or woman could afford the desired items.
You might not know this, but the average salary in the US is around $6,206. The minimum wage in the US is $600. These are the two prices we’ll workaround. So let’s see if having a baby is too much or not for the average working family.
In the wake of landmark health care reform attempts, if you are planning to have a baby or you are already pregnant, it can be very tricky to figure out how much does it cost to have a baby. In the U.S. a family is facing the highest birthing costs in the first world, so the fact that maternity and newborn care are required to be covered by Obamacare insurance can only be good news. Obamacare or not, you can still receive the best care for you and your infant and keep the costs at a minimum if you follow some simple steps.
But how much does it really cost to have a baby?
To your surprise, you should know that the price can vary a lot. In California for example, a normal, natural birth can vary between $3,296 and $37,227 for on-site hospital costs, with a difference between the high and low prices of over $34,000, showed a recent University of California, San Francisco study.
Another study, a larger one to be exact, by Truven Health Analytics, gathered information from 5 different states, showing that the average cost for women to give birth without health insurance will be about $30,000 for normal births and up to $50,000 for cesarean births. The cost of giving birth while insured is way lower, at about $2,200 for births and $2,700 for cesareans, shows the same study.
Why does it cost so much to have a baby?
The very high cost of a pregnancy is due to multiple factors. A concerning aspect is that before Obamacare was launched, many plans provided inadequate care or no care at all for maternity, says Childbirth Connection, the organization that aids women make informed decisions regarding health care. As we move forward in time, more out-of-pocket costs will decrease as more newborn and maternity care will be covered by insurance, as required by law.
A report by Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2011 showed that each hospital gets to set its own prices as health care is billed per service in the U.S. A lot of small charges will add very quickly for childbirth, which is a complicated admission as seen by the medical staff. Another aspect that increases the overall costs is the fact that nonprofit entities are converting into for-profit hospitals that will charge more for all of their services.
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What can I do to lower the cost of having my baby ahead of time?
The first thing you need to look for is a high-value pregnancy provider. Then research to find out if you’re covered by insurance. You can have multiple maternity benefits if your plan is compliant with the Obamacare requirements. For all of the other plans, like a grandfathered plan, find out exactly what will be covered by your insurance: You could be out of luck and find out that your insurance won’t cover the pregnancy costs.
The next step is to check all of your delivery options. When you have the option to pick one of the multiple hospitals, check each one’s costs and if any of them are non-profit entities. It may be your job to investigate because most hospitals are not required and will not publish their fees unless mandated by your state or county. At the end of the day, you might spend even less than the fees offered by the hospitals, because most of them will have contracted rates set up with insurance companies. For the uninsured, do try to negotiate the rates as you could decrease your bill a lot this way.
How will all of these influence the average Joe or Jane?
Will all of the costs worth it in the end?
Of course, they will. Having a baby is one of the most rewarding experiences someone will live in their life. These costs will only be paid once and then you will have the family you always wanted.
What do these costs mean for an average working Joe or Jane?
If your insurance will cover it and you have a salary of around $6,206 you will only need under a month’s earnings to get the $2,200 natural birth or the $2,700 cesarean one. It’s something you could afford to pay in a month or gather in smaller chunks in two to three months.
If you are not insured, you should start saving for the event, but if you start to save money in time, you will have enough for the procedure. Don’t get services that are too cheap. Your health and your newborn’s well-being are all that matter in the end.