Medical bills are hard to explain as insurance coverage differs by thousands of dollars and so does price depending on the hospital you choose to go to. It can be alarmingly expensive to have a baby but knowing what to expect will prepare you for the costs that are about to come your way.
Difference in coverage and cost
Prices differ from hospital to hospital. Cesarean sections range in price from $8,312 to $71,000 while a normal delivery can cost anywhere from $3,296 to $37,227.
Insurance coverage varies just as widely. The best way to know for certain is to ask. Ask the hospitals what it costs to have a baby and ask your insurance provider how much coverage they provide. The difference between these two number is your out of pocket cost. Doing this will make it less likely to receive a surprise bill you don’t have the money to pay for.
When talking to your insurance company write down who you talked to and the date. Ask question such as;
- Is labor, delivery and prenatal care covered benefits?
- Do i need a referral form from my Obgyn?
- Do i need pre-authorized care?
- What common needs are not covered?
- Which hospitals in my area are in my insurance network?
- Is my newborn covered from birth? if not how do i ensure they are?
- Does my insurance cover the cost of a private room or do i have to share?
- If i would like a mid-wife or home birth, what kind of coverage can i expect?
What if I’m uninsured?
You will require several thousands of dollars over the next nine months, If you have no other alternatives but cash;
- Price shop for tests, prenatal visits and delivery
- Explain that you do not have insurance and intend to pay cash to your medical providers
- Negotiate lower payment plans on your bills
- Ask for available charity care programs
- Consider a maternity package which covers all expected expenses in one package.
Expected expenses during pregnancy
Typically, a pregnancy will have two ultrasounds. these may cost anything from $157 to $7,566. Let your insurance provider know when you schedule one and find out if they’ll pay for it.
- Prenatal visits
At the very least, you should have 14 visits over the 9 month period.
- Prenatal vitamins
- Birthing classes
- labor and delivery
- DNA testing is done after 10 weeks of pregnancy to check for genetic defects.
- Chorionic villus sampling; this is usually covered by insurance companies especially during high risk pregnancies
- Glucose screening
- Maternal blood screening
The more you know about your insurance plan and what bills to expect while pregnant, the better prepared you will be when they start coming in. Ask questions and address your financial concerns early.
Have any tips for first time mothers on how to cut costs? Please share in comments section below
First published at Nerdwallet.com