Giving Birth Could Cost You a Fortune

OMG 24

baby feetHave you thoroughly looked over your health insurance policy as far as how much of your labor & delivery and hospital stay will be covered? If you haven't, you'll definitely want to study the fine print after hearing about what happened to an Australian couple.

Rachel Evans and her husband were on a trip to British Columbia when she went into labor prematurely and wound up delivering their daughter at only 26 weeks, which ultimately led to her having to stay in the neonatal intensive care unit for 90 days. And during those few months, the couple racked up a hospital bill of around $1 million! Geez! I thought million-dollar babies were something that only existed in movies!

Had Rachel gone into labor in her home country of Australia, all of the medical costs would've been covered by her insurance plan. But she and her husband purchased travel insurance before their vacation -- and they didn't realize that Rachel's pregnancy was not covered past her 27th week. And in order to pay off part of their whopper of a medical bill, the couple paid $10,000 up front, and will be sending in $300 a month for the rest of their lives. That's a lotta cash.

Even though this situation was a bit different because it involved travel insurance, not regular health insurance, it still serves as an important reminder to read your policy very carefully -- and to go over it well before you give birth so that you have an idea of what your costs might be.

I must be the most aloof person on the planet, because I was shocked when I received a hospital bill for around $1,800 a few months after my son's birth. I had always just assumed that our insurance would cover every last cent of my labor and delivery. We were fortunate enough to be able to pay the bill at that point, but it still would've been nice to have known that it was coming so we could have planned for it.

Having a newborn is life changing enough without throwing any added financial stress into the mix. Do your homework now so you can focus on your beautiful new baby instead of worrying about bills that are piling up in your mailbox.

Have you looked over your health insurance policy in detail yet?


Image via Tammra McCauley/Flickr

birth stories, delivery


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ashjo85 ashjo85

Our insurance sucks. They cover 80%, but with just a 3 day NICU stay and no special intervening medical care required beyond an IV, our out of pocket costs were close to $7,000. After the deductible. My insurance now covers 80% of the birth. So even with an uncomplicated delivery and no NICU stay with this one, we're going to be paying out the nose. And you know why? Because my cousin, who is perpetually on Medicaid and has no private insurance, had her boy prematurely at 32 weeks in that same hospital. He stayed in the hospital for 3 months with intensive care, the hospital bill was well over $100,000, and she paid NOTHING. Hospitals pass the the costs that aren't covered by pro bono/ government insurance patients on to private insurance holders. That's why a Tylenol costs $80 on your itemized bill.

lilba... lilbabyboo2012

No offense...but you have to be seriously naive to not know that you're going to be getting a bill after your baby is born...

ebmmy... ebmmy2004

Yah I've already talked with a co-worker about her delivery bill and figured out it will cost me about 3000.00 after delivery if everything goes smoothly and there are no complications. 

nonmember avatar Alix

Wow. I'm so glad I live in Australia (moved here 5 yrs ago from NY). I was induced (my bubba was 2 weeks over due) and had severe preclampsia. I was in the hospital for 5 days. Then when I got out, I had a mid wife from the hospital come visit me at home twice in the first week and then again the following week. This was a public hospital so the public health care system took care of costs. I didn't pay a dime. I had the best of care and a private room. Here in Australia

you can have private health insurance and the pregnancy, birth and hospital stay would probably cost you $3000 out of pocket, but if you have any complications they'll bring you to a public hospital because that's where the best doctors and facilities are.

zandh... zandhmom2

I didn't pay a dime for either of my childrens birth.  Daughter was in NICU for one day and still didn't have to pay anything.  I had Kaiser Permenate (sp) insurance at the time.  They are wonderful.  My insurance now only covers 80%.  I had to have surgery on a broken elbow over the summer and my out of pocket was over 1600.00 for one overnight stay in the hospital. Luckily, the hospital is letting us make payments.

suziejax suziejax

its so costly now a days

coast... coastalmom84

I live in BC, and there's posters up at all the desks of how much it will cost you for many medical treatments (including birth/ncu/post-partum/c-sec costs)... or at least there is in my local hospital, and it's not that big.  Since I live here, everything is covered by medical, but I have looked at those posters before and thanked God that I never have to think twice about if I can afford to take my kids to the doctor, whether I can get the tests done on my back that I need, or worry about how much it would cost to bring my kid into the world...

I agree, reading the fine print on any sort of documents may be boring and time-consuming, but had this couple done just that, maybe they would have decided on a different policy!

japan... japanmommy

So happy to be having my kids while DH is in the military, it's all covered. 

squish squish

My husband works for our city, and pregnancy, birth, postpartum visits, and well-child appointments through age 2 are covered 100%. Despite that, we chose to pay $3500 for a home birth. We could not have been more pleased with the care we recieved.


Boobo... Boobookittt74

Damn I really had no idea it could cost that much I fortunately have good insurance because I work for the city and all my baby related visits are covered and only recently had to pay 100. For however long the hospital stay was. BUT a few years ago I was on leave when I had my first daughter and lost my medical for like 6months and of course she got sick it was a horrible stress cuz ie always had medical. I didn't even know where to go I u don't have it. I stay on top of my insurance now because I have 3 kid to take care of now

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