One of the most important decisions a woman will ever make is whether or not she’s ready to have a child. A lot of factors need to be considered before bringing life into this world, and unfortunately, the majority of them are financial in nature.
Everybody knows it costs a lot of money to raise a child, with some estimating that parents will spend $250,000 on any one before that child’s 18th birthday. But according to new data from Castlight Health, actually giving birth isn’t cheap either. Pregnant women who plan on going the traditional vaginal delivery route can expect to pay an average cost of $8775 in the U.S., which can of course be subsidized, depending on the nature of your health insurance.
According to the study, the cost of giving birth differs from city to city and can either drop or rise depending on what method you choose. Vaginal deliveries can cost up to $17,646 in New York City and $27,326 in Los Angeles. On the flip side, they can cost as low as $4022 and $4223 in those cities, respectively. The most expensive city for vaginal births is Sacramento, California, while Kansas City, Missouri, ranks as the cheapest.
Women looking for alternatives to vaginal delivery can expect to pay over $27,000 for a C-section in some cities and less than $7000 in others, a price gap that Kristin Torres Mowat, senior vice president of plan development and data operations at Castlight Health, finds problematic. “The price variances seen in both routine and Cesarean deliveries reflect the larger systemic problems in our nation’s healthcare system,” she says.
To avoid a whopping medical bill after giving birth, some experts suggest being proactive by calling your insurance company and asking exactly what it does and doesn’t cover. “Ask questions of your provider and insurer about bills that you don’t understand,” Mowat adds. “Healthcare bills are very confusing and it’s hard to understand what things are. It may take a lot of phone calls, but don’t just hand over your money.”
Have a blissful pregnancy with the help of The Mindful Mom-to-Be by Lori Bregman, and let us know if you think giving birth is too expensive.