cost of giving birth in us without insurance
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Every year, over 3.9 million women in the United States give birth – and making new babies isn’t cheap. Even for those who are fortunate enough to have successful pregnancies, significant costs for prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care might (and frequently do) arise. Moreover, 12% of women of childbearing age do not have insurance to cushion the blow of these costs. How much do you expect to pay then, if you do not have insurance? Here’s all you need to know about the cost of giving birth in the US without insurance.

How Health Insurance Affects The Cost Of Giving Birth In The US

All qualified employer-sponsored and private health insurance plans must cover maternity care and childbirth under the Affordable Care Act. Since the specifics of what is covered and how much you pay out of pocket vary by plan, health insurance considerably reduces the cost of pregnancy.

Birth parents are expected to pay the whole cost of doctor appointments, drugs, and labor without financial support, which can easily add up to tens of thousands of dollars. According to FAIR Health statistics provided to Investopedia, physicians consistently bill far more for childbirth than insurance and insured consumers pay. In the United States, the median allowable cost of a C-section is around $15,900, yet the median amount charged by providers is more than $35,500.

Medicaid covers pregnancy for low-income persons in every state for those who do not have private or employer-sponsored insurance, while eligibility conditions vary greatly. Several states also cover pregnancy through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which serves a larger population and has a higher income eligibility limit than Medicaid.

What Is The Cost Of Giving Birth In The US Without Insurance?

Without health insurance, you can expect to pay around $18,865 for childbirth, according to Peterson-KFF data. However, the exact cost of giving birth varies depending on the type of birth (among other factors).

If you do not have health insurance, the cost of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care will be substantially greater. You are responsible for all medical expenses during pregnancy and after birth if you do not have insurance.

What Is The Cost Of Giving Birth In The US With Insurance?

The average out-of-pocket cost for childbirth with health insurance is $2,854, but vaginal births are less expensive than cesarean deliveries. The average out-of-pocket cost for a vaginal delivery is $2,655, while cesarean deliveries cost $3,214.

Out-of-pocket costs for labor and delivery may include a health insurance deductible, copayments, and coinsurance, depending on the specifics of your plan. If you’ve already met your annual deductible, your out-of-pocket expenses will be lower.

You can also reduce your out-of-pocket expenses by giving delivery at an in-network hospital or facility. Receiving care outside of your health plan’s provider network may result in you paying extra for care or paying the whole cost of out-of-network care.

What If You Can’t Pay Your Medical Costs After Giving Birth?

If you have a baby and are unable to pay the medical fees, you have a few options.

#1. Make a payment plan

Inquire with the hospital about establishing a payment plan. The cost of the lump sum payment can be reduced by breaking it up. If you know you’ll need help, contact the hospital as soon as possible.

#2. Request a reduced rate

If your hospital or doctor is prepared to work with you and you are uninsured or meet certain income standards, you may also be eligible for a discount on your medical fees. It will not totally remove the debt, but it will alleviate the financial load.

#3. Government-provided health insurance

You may be eligible for Medicaid or your state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program depending on your income (CHIP). If you fulfill your state’s Medicaid or CHIP standards, your insurance will cover healthcare expenses for three months prior to the application date, but you must have been eligible for Medicaid during that time.

State-specific grants or financial aid programs may also exist. If you require financial assistance after childbirth, a representative from your hospital’s billing department can most likely provide some possibilities.

Calculating the Expenses

What you wind up paying for childbirth without insurance is mostly determined by the state you live in, the cost of living in that state, and the kind of delivery – vaginal or C-section. Without difficulties, the typical cost of having a baby ranges from almost $5,000 to $11,000 for vaginal delivery. If you include pre- and post-pregnancy care, such as checks and testing, the total cost might exceed $30,000.

Women are becoming more likely to have a C-section, which is more expensive. Pregnant women are having C-sections 500 times more commonly than they did in the 1970s, and C-section births cost between $7,500 and $14,500 — over 150% more than vaginal deliveries on average. Checkups, testing, and complications will only increase these numbers.

Despite the exact sums varying by location, the cost of not having health insurance can nearly double the out-of-pocket costs of giving birth. Hospitals generally charge uninsured patients far more than those covered by private or public policies. Women in Alabama have the lowest costs, with a vaginal delivery costing around $4,884 with insurance and $9,013 without. Women in Alaska, on the other hand, pay approximately $10,681 with insurance and $19,775 without.

Expected Costs

Expectant mothers get an average of seven to twelve prenatal appointments after their initial OB-GYN checkup. These consultations and tests could include the following:

  • Doctor’s appointments: $90 to $500 every appointment.
  • $39 for an hCG test
  • Ultrasound costs between $280 and $600.
  • $2,500 for amniocentesis
  • Each blood test costs between $39 and $63.
  • CVS (Chorionic Villus Sampling): $1,300 – $4,800
  • Amniocentesis costs between $1,000 and $7,200.

Postpartum care will almost certainly cost more after delivery. Following childbirth, new mothers may suffer from a variety of dangerous illnesses, including infection, cardiovascular disease, and postpartum depression. Within a year of giving birth, insured women pay an average of $3,100; uninsured mothers should expect to spend significantly more.

Insurance can be too expensive.

Almost three out of every four persons without health insurance reported being uninsured because they could not afford the expense of coverage. Many people do not have access to coverage through their work and cannot afford to pay their share of the premiums. In 2019, 72.5% of uninsured workers reported that their company did not provide health insurance.

Workers who are offered coverage at work are frequently unable to take advantage of the chance due to expense. Employees’ portion of family coverage premiums has climbed by 40%, substantially faster than pay growth.

In the Coverage Gap

Millions of women and their families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to qualify for Marketplace premium tax credits. A coverage gap, as it is termed, affects 12% of uninsured women. This issue is particularly acute in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

A Catch-22 Situation for Immigrants

Legal immigrants earning less than 400% of the poverty line may be eligible for Marketplace tax credits. They must, however, have completed the specified period after attaining qualifying immigrant status. Undocumented immigrants, on the other hand, are not eligible for Medicaid or Marketplace coverage.

Childbirth Financial Aid Options

Despite the fact that patients are expected to pay for childbirth, there are more ways to reduce healthcare costs than most people realize.

Every hospital should have financial aid programs in place, and healthcare expenses can be negotiated. Furthermore, numerous jurisdictions have passed legislation requiring hospitals to give free or subsidized services to patients earning less than a specified income level. See the National Consumer Law Center’s state-by-state guide to medical debtor protection laws for further information on this and other laws.

Aside from financial aid provided through the hospital or mandated by law, various federal and state-level programs can help with pregnancy-related medical expenses.

Women, Infants, and Children’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC)

WIC is a nutrition assistance program that helps pregnant, breastfeeding, and postpartum women in addition to children under the age of five.

Program for Children’s Health Insurance (CHIP)

CHIP provides low-cost health insurance to children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. CHIP eligibility varies by state, but pregnant women are covered in roughly half of all states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can help you identify financial assistance programs through your local health department.

How Much Should I Save Before Having a Child?

Several experts recommend having at least $20,000 in your emergency fund to guarantee you have enough financial cushion. Even if you have insurance, you will need enough money to cover your deductible as well as any co-pays your insurance mandates. Examine your out-of-pocket maximum carefully. This is the most you will be required to pay in a single year. Once you reach that threshold, your insurance will cover the remainder, but only while you are in the hospital. You’ll need money for diapers, formula, and other baby supplies and furniture once you return home.

How Much Does Raising a Child Cost?

According to a Brookings Institution examination of USDA statistics, from the day you give birth to the day your child turns 18, you can expect to spend around $310,605 — or about $17,000 a year.

Can A Foreigner Give Birth In The US?

As a foreigner, you can give birth in the United States as long as delivery was not the reason you sought for your visa.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Baby in the US?

  • Citizenship in the United States and a Social Security number
  • Visa-free entrance into 169 countries.
  • Grants when enrolled in major American universities.
  • Access to a variety of credit resources after age 21.

Can I Travel To The US While Pregnant?

In many cases, US immigration law treats pregnancy similarly to any other medical condition. A B-2 visa allows you to enter the United States for medical treatment, but you must be able to pay for it yourself or through private health insurance.

What Is the Monthly Child Benefit in the United States?

The maximum credit amount has been raised to $3,000 for qualifying children aged 6 to 17 and $3,600 for qualifying children under the age of 6. If you qualify, you could get a portion of the credit in 2021 in the form of advance payments of up to $250 per month for each qualifying kid aged 6 to 17 at the end of 2021.

In Conclusion,

Childbirth in the United States is an expensive endeavor, especially when compared to other wealthy countries. C-sections are typically more expensive than vaginal births, and giving birth in a hospital is typically more expensive than giving birth at home. Insurance can help significantly reduce the costs of childbirth. Yet, expectant parents should meet with their insurance and healthcare providers well before their due date to develop a budget that provides for prescriptions, facilities, healthcare professionals, and the unexpected.

Uninsured parents may be eligible for Medicaid or CHIP, which will cover delivery expenses. Several states have also passed legislation requiring hospitals to provide financial aid to patients whose income falls below specific levels. Anyone who is suffering overwhelming bills can seek assistance from their state or community’s health department in navigating the various financial aid programs available to them.

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