LifeGoal Investments Blog
How Much Does it Cost To Have a Baby?
How Much Does it Cost To Have a Baby?
Having a baby is an emotional experience, and the last thing you’ll want to worry about is a potential financial burden once the baby arrives. Crossing the minds of millions of soon-to-be parents is the question of how much it costs to have a baby, and it is often overlooked.
Why? You may agree that it is much more exciting to design a nursery, build a colorful wardrobe, get the car seats ready, and more rather than to think about the costs associated with the medical field.
Join us as we break down the costs of welcoming a newborn into the world and touch on tips to plan for your family’s future growth.
What Is the Average Cost for Having a Baby?
Ready for this? Having a baby is expensive. But, you probably already knew that. Labor and delivery are among the costs included in the high price tag.
On average, the cost for having a baby without insurance through a smooth, natural birth ranges from $30,000 - $50,000. Add in complications and other risk factors, the price only increases. With an insurance policy, expectant families average around $4,500.
Generally speaking, childbirth (and future childcare) expenses depend on where you live, your family’s income, and whether or not you have insurance.
Let’s start off by taking a look at the different factors that affect the costs of having a baby to help you best prepare and plan ahead.
Where Do You Live?
The United States is the most expensive place in the world for expectant parents. No individual state has the same fee structure either. Expenses vary by state and are determined by the state’s cost of living. Of course, the type of delivery chosen and health insurance, if applicable, also play a role.
Curious on the most expensive states to give birth? The top three include Alaska, Wisconsin, and New Jersey.
According to the Fair Health data, in Alaska, a vaginal delivery with insurance costs $10,413. Without insurance, it costs $19.775 on the other end of the sphere, the top three least expensive states to have a baby without having insurance goes to Alabama, Nebraska, and Arkansas.
Alabama prices range as low as $5,017, per the data provided by Fair Health. That’s a huge swing if you ask us.
Type of Birth
There are two types of birth: vaginal and cesarean. Having a vaginal birth versus a cesarean can significantly impact the overall cost of childbirth. Vaginal births range from $5,000 - $11,000 whereas a cesarean requires additional resources ranging from $7,500 - $15,000.
Some women opt into the cesarean birth, others may be told their doctor requires it. When there is a risk of bleeding, fetal distress, hypertensive disease, or a newborn in an abnormal position, doctors may require a C-section, or caesarean birth. According to the World Health Organization, the recommended rate is 10%.
Since cesarean birth is considered a major operation it means it’s a bigger chunk of change from your pocket. Anesthesia and longer hospital stays are just two examples of what comes with the cesarean territory. It is also associated with a future risk of obesity and diabetes.
Complications and Medical Conditions
We don’t think about planning for complications that can occur, but it is in your best interest to buffer scenarios into the cost of having a baby. Both mom and baby’s health are important. The more problems that occur, the greater the expense.
There are common and not-so-common complications that can take place during childbirth. A few examples include the premature rupture of the amniotic sac, difficulty breathing, umbilical cord being positioned in a life threatening way, irregular blood pressure, anemia, jaundice, premature birth, and more.
Where Will Your Baby Be Delivered?
Most expectant parents immediately draw their attention to hospitals as the only place to give birth to their baby, but there are other places to select from such as at home or at a birth center, that may reduce your costs.
Common hospital costs that you should become familiar with include:
? Hospital stay - this cost varies as your stay can range from 24 hours to 3 or 4 days depending on the type of birth and if there are any medical complications.
? Prenatal Care
? Pediatrician, or primary care physician
? Anesthesiologist (especially if you opt into having an epidural, or require a C-Section)
? Blood Test
Does Health Insurance Help Mitigate the Costs?
Insurance does help with the out-of-pocket costs for pregnancy and maternity care. However, there are a few exceptions you should be aware of.
1. Is the health care plan your own, or does a parent’s plan cover you? It’s okay if you are covered on a parent’s plan. In fact, you are able to up through the age of 26. These plans will cover pregnancy and maternity care but do not pay for delivery and newborn care costs.
2. Did your insurance coverage begin on or before March 23, 2010, or was it grandfathered? If so, check the fine print. These plans may not guarantee coverage for pregnancy or maternity care.
3. Are you at risk or over the age of 35? If so, you may have additional doctor visits and tests required during pregnancy that your insurance policy will not cover 100%.
Insurance policies are not cookie cutter. Each policy is structured with different coverage options.
Become familiar with what your health insurance provider covers for all aspects of your pregnancy journey, including coverage for your new baby. For example, you may have the following in addition to the premium you agree to pay:
? Deductible - the total amount you are responsible to pay before your health plan kicks in.
? Copay, or coinsurance - an upfront, set fee paid for in-network medical visits ranging from $25 - $50. You may need to meet your deductible on high deductible plans first before copays apply.
? Out-of-pocket max - a determined amount you are responsible to pay. Once the amount is reached, your health plan provider picks up afterwards, except for copay or coinsurance.
? In-network or out-of-network provider requirements
If you don’t have insurance, you may qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is available to qualifying low-income families and those with disabilities. It is administered by the state and funded by the state and federal government. With Medicaid, there are little to no out of pocket cost for having a baby.
What Should Your Savings Plan Look Like?
Now that you are more familiar with the costs correlated with having a baby, let’s build your savings plan and provide you with tips so you can prepare your pocket for what is coming next.
? Shop around - If you are choosing to give birth in a hospital and there are more than one within your area, you can price shop with the ultimate goal to reduce medical costs. Speak to their financial services department and ask questions such as whether or not they accept your insurance policy, and if they can provide you with more information on what they charge for the hospital stay, etc.
? Use a budget - Do you have a budget? If not, take the time to sit down and create one. Budgets are an impactful tool, allowing you to hone in on your income and expenses. Budget calculators are available at your disposal too. Detailed budgets can even help you identify unnecessary spend. For example, do you really need to reserve $20 a week towards coffee? Or can you sacrifice it temporarily towards the childbirth medical expenses to be incurred? Focus on the must-haves and push the nice-to-haves to the side to stay on track and save.
? Open a savings account - There are savings accounts for many things such as holiday funds and vacation funds, so why not open a separate savings account for childbirth? Consider a high yield savings account. They are available at financial institutions both online and in-person and earn a higher interest rate than traditional savings accounts. As an option, set-up automatic transfers from your paycheck each pay cycle and start building that account.
The Bottom Line
Having a baby doesn’t have to feel expensive to your wallet. The secret to financial success is planning ahead and building that cushion. Whether you have an insurance policy or not, go out into the field and determine how much anticipated childbirth expenses will be for your family.
Then, put one foot in front of the other and create that savings plan. Don’t create added financial stress to a magical moment you should relax and enjoy.
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