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CostHelper > Babies & Children  > Baby Delivery

Baby Delivery Cost


How Much Does Baby Delivery Cost?

 
low costWith Insurance: From Under $500 to $3,000 or moreaverage costVaginal Without Insurance: $9,000-$17,000high costC-Section Without Insurance: $14,000-$25,000
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The total cost of baby delivery typically consists of: the services of the obstetrician/gynecologist and pediatrician; services of the anesthesiologist and epidural, if used; the cost of your stay in the hospital room and board; a nursery fee; laboratory fees; and any medications or medical supplies. If you are insured, your insurance provider probably will receive the itemized bill, but you might receive separate non-itemized statements from the hospital and the different doctors.

Typical costs:

  • The biggest factors affecting the cost of a birth are: whether it is vaginal or Cesarean; whether there are complications; and the length of the hospital stay. Geographical location also plays a part; baby delivery is most expensive in the Northeast and on the West coast and least expensive in the south. For patients not covered by health insurance, the typical cost of a vaginal delivery without complications ranges from about $9,000 to $17,000 or more, depending on geographic location and whether there is a discount for uninsured patients. The typical cost for a C-section without complications or a vaginal delivery with complications ranges from about $14,000 to $25,000 or more.
  • For patients with insurance, out-of-pocket costs usually range from under $500 to $3,000 or more, depending on the plan. Out-of-pocket expenses typically include copays -- usually $15 to $30 for a doctor visit and about $200 to $500 for inpatient services for delivery. Some insurance plans only cover a percentage -- usually about 80 to 90 percent after a deductible is met, so you can easily end up reaching your yearly out-of-pocket maximum. In most plans, that ranges from about $1,500 to $3,000. According to a study by the March of Dimes Foundation[1] , the average out-of-pocket cost for a vaginal delivery for privately insured patients was $463 and for a C-section, $523.
  • Usually, the baby receives a separate bill, which typically ranges from $1,500 to $4,000 for a healthy baby delivered at term. For a premature baby with complications who has to spend weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit, this bill can reach tens of thousands of dollars.
  • Baby delivery usually is covered by health insurance. Even if you join a group health insurance plan after you already are pregnant, delivery still will be covered; according to the U.S. Department of Labor[2] , the federal government prohibits group health insurance plans from treating pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, or, if they offer maternity coverage, from refusing to cover prenatal care or childbirth. However, individual health insurance plans can legally treat pregnancy as a pre-existing condition, so baby delivery probably will not be covered if you join one while pregnant. If you are insured, it is very important to check with the insurance company about their requirements; some companies require you to "pre-authorize" coverage for your baby, and some require that you call them when you arrive at the hospital to deliver -- if you forget, they might refuse to cover the delivery or your newborn's care.
Related articles: Prenatal Care, Cord Blood Banking, Lamaze Classes, Doula, Postpartum Maternity Checkup, Well Baby Doctor Visit

What should be included:
  • After delivery, the baby will be examined by your doctor or a pediatrician. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services[3] gives an overview of the immediate medical attention a baby needs right after birth.
  • You probably will stay in the hospital one to two days, if you delivered vaginally, or three to four days, if you had a Cesarean delivery.
Additional costs:
  • Induction of labor, usually with drugs, costs extra. FamilyDoctor.org[4] offers an overview of labor induction.
  • A private room can cost several hundred dollars extra per day out-of-pocket.
Discounts:
  • Usually, the services of a midwife are about one-third less expensive than those of an obstetrician/gynecologist.
  • Some doctors or midwives will negotiate a discounted package rate for prenatal care, or prenatal care combined with delivery, for a patient paying out-of-pocket. And some hospitals will give you a discount on their part of the fee -- as much as 25 percent -- if you pay your bill at one time rather than in payments.
  • The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services[5] offers information on free and reduced cost prenatal and delivery services for women who qualify.
Shopping for baby delivery:
  • The doctor you choose be board-certified by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists[6] . Or, if you wish to use a midwife, the American College of Nurse-Midwives[7] offers a certified midwife locator.
  • If you have chosen a doctor or midwife, you usually will deliver at the hospital where they have admitting privileges; so, check out the hospital well in advance of the birth. BabyCenter.com[8] offers a guide to choosing a hospital.
  • As an alternative to hospitals, some patients choose a birth center; these usually have a more home-like environment than a hospital, allow multiple visitors, offer amenities such as Jacuzzis and offer transfer to a nearby hospital in case of complications. BabyCenter.com[9] has information on birth centers. And the American Association of Birth Centers[10] has a locator by state.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. For medical decisions, always consult your physician for the right course for your infant or child.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Regular Vaginal Delivery
Amount: $2,500.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: mom of many in Nashville, TN.Posted: December 17th, 2014 06:12PM
Type of Plan: BC/BS PPO 80/20
I have a 1000 dollar deductible, which went towards all the prenatal stuff. My part of the OB charge was 500, which was reasonable. The hospital portion was 1200, but I paid in full, getting a discount, making that amount 1000. I think I paid a couple hundred on the baby. I don't get epidurals as I don't want to pay for them. Yes, I'm hard core frugal.
The list price at this hospital was 13k, double what it was with my last born in Knoxville where the list price was 5600. Its rather ridiculous.
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C-Section, Epidural and Hospital bill
Amount: $12,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Thinkhome in Canton, OH.Posted: October 16th, 2014 05:10AM
Hospital: Mercy Medical CenterYour Insurer:
Type of Plan: Self pay
My wife was in labor for about 12hours,thereafter C-Section was carried out with epidural and the following day they were discharged (total nights spent was one).
The charges from the Anesthetics were unimagineably high ($7396.07)and there was no discount.Is this not outrageous?
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Vaginal Birth at Home
Amount: $1,100.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: CVT in Napa, CA.Posted: April 22nd, 2014 08:04AM
Hospital: NoneYour Insurer: Anthem Blue Cross through AIM
Type of Plan: EPO
I had a normal delivery at home with a midwife. Not included were a birthing pool rental for $125 (so worth it!) and the birthing kit for $80 (included all the supplies for postnatal care of mom and baby). Started contractions on Tuesday afternoon but he was my first so my midwife just came to check on me and then said to call when I was really uncomfortable. She came back the next morning and stayed with me the whole time till I gave birth at 8pm(how many doctors would have done that?)and did all the postpartum care. Then she came back a couple of times over the next few days to check on me and help with bonding and breastfeeding. Do you think hospital staff and doctors could have shown so much patience for my body to prepare for birth or hands-on care before, during, and after my long labor? Not only was the cost manageable, but the care received so surpassed what is the norm in a hospital that I feel I got more than my money's worth!
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Fully insured but still paid TONS
Amount: $9,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: So over it in Houston, TX.Posted: March 28th, 2014 09:03PM
Hospital: Methodist WillobrookYour Insurer: Humana
Type of Plan: POS
We prepaid OB/hospital (in-network) $5,000 before 26 weeks (monthly payments) per their policy. That was supposed to be "it" for the whole pregnancy care and delivery AND newborn bills since I was fully insured through employer - $600 monthly premiums, of which I paid $300/month. Ended up paying about $4,000 extra on top of the $5,000 I already pre-paid. Bills just kept coming in. Turned out half the nurses were "out of network" and the insurance company's response to my requests was "you should have made sure they are in-network before allowing treatment". Really? The last thing on your mind when you're trying to push the baby out or try to rest after delivery is to ask the nurses who come into your room and change with every shift whether or not they are in your network. I wrongly assumed that since the hospital was "in-network", all the workers in the hospital will also be "in-network". A pediatrician who was on-call the night my son was born was also not in-network (thus, $1,400 bill for spending 4 seconds in the room - "Looking good! Get some rest. <door closes>"). Live and learn, I guess.
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disgusted
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: taydot12345 in houston, TX.Posted: December 20th, 2013 12:12AM
Type of Plan: none
I'm disgusted when I read about the US citizens who say they had to pay nothing out of pocket because they receive welfare. Thanks for having kids when you can't afford them and passing the buck on to us hard working Americans. There was plenty of out of pocket expenses for your delivery; you just didn't have to pay any of them. If you can't afford to pay to have a baby then keep your pants zipped up!!
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Cesarean with Epidural
Amount: $9,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: seattle mama in seattle, WA.Posted: March 29th, 2013 10:03PM
Hospital: Group Health CentralYour Insurer: Group Health Co-Op
Type of Plan: Welcome 1000
I have double bills because I attempted an out of hospital birth with midwives and baby didnt progress after 30 hours so ended up having a cesarean birth.
We were surprised to find out after the delivery that the baby would have his own deductible and $500/per day hospital co pay. And I thought I studied and planned and asked all the right questions!
Add to the fact baby was born right after the first of the year and I had to start over on my deductible!
The bills showed charges for facilities, professional fees, meds, tests, labs, doctors visits and amount of tiolet paper used(joking).

I think it's really shady that no one can ever tell you how much these things will cost before you make the charges. It's like the medical billing and coding are intentionally convoluted. AArrgghh
Luckily they agreed to take $340/mo with no interest charged.
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Gave birth in November 2012
Amount: $1,800.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Solindya in Memphis, TN.Posted: March 24th, 2013 07:03PM
Type of Plan: United Healthcare
I ended up paying $1800 total:

$950 Hospital cost
$650 anesthesia
$200 pediatrician

I had an ER c-section after my son flatlined during the try to give a vaginal birth. 4 days hospital stay and $1800 less in the pocket (I still pay this off). But I don't care. My son is healthy and alive. Nothing else really matters.
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30.00 Co-pay, 30% of Hospital bill w/ $3000.00 max
Amount: $3,150.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Lorena C in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: January 7th, 2013 02:01PM
Hospital: 2,700.00Your Insurer: Health Net
Type of Plan: HMO
My job did not take anything out of checks for insurance coverage, but I had a steep co-pay(paid $450.00 total) and had to pay 30% of my hospital which totaled $2700.00
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Self payment
Amount: $9,194.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: demo in Bloomington, MN.Posted: October 15th, 2012 10:10PM
Hospital: Fairview SouthdaleYour Insurer: BCBS
Type of Plan: 20/80 group
Room and medical at hospital - 4312
Anesthesiologist - 882.90
OBG West - 4000
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I was lucky-
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: a user in Beckley, WV.Posted: September 6th, 2012 10:09AM
Hospital: Raleigh GeneralYour Insurer: Federal
Type of Plan: Group
From were In was a minor, whatever the insurance didnt pay, the hospital dropped ot, so I didnt have to pay anything
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self pay with baby #2
Amount: $5,830.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: sunbeam in Tampa, FL.Posted: August 20th, 2012 06:08PM
Hospital: TGHYour Insurer: united w/o maternity rider
We got pregnant before we could add on a maternity rider and had to self pay. Prenatal visits w/ my midwife was discounted to $2750, about $375/per prenatal visit with a $500 down payment. $80 for 20wk ultrasound, and $3000 for hospital costs. We plan on paying cash again, as my l&d have been uncomplicated vaginal deliveries w/o epidural. And we live in NC now... was curious about their costs.
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Does everyone have to pay this much!!!???
Amount: $5,200.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Mom of 4 in Ohio in Concord, OH.Posted: July 31st, 2012 05:07AM
Hospital: TriPoint Medical CenterYour Insurer: Medical Mutual
Type of Plan: PPO
I can't believe how much labor & delivery costs have increased for us over the years. Baby #1 (born 2002) cost less than $2K, baby #2 (2005) cost $2.5K and baby #3 (2008) cost $3k. Now baby #4 has been born (2012) & our insurance claims are saying we owe $5200 so far & they haven't even processed my OB's claim yet.

- $1800 hospital bill for baby
- $250 pediatrician bill
- $700 anesthesiologist bill
- $2500 hospital bill for me
- $? OB bill

All my past deliveries were natural, but baby #4 was a c-section. However, I don't remember receiving such high bills for just the baby before. His bills alone were $2K this time & he was perfectly healthy.

Our plan has a $2500 per person/$4500 per family deductible & $2500/$4500 co-insurance (80/20?) amount that has to be paid by us after the deductible has been met, as well. We're already paying over $200 a month towards our insurance premium, too.
Great benefits, right? And, my husband works for a union. I don't know how we're going to pay these medical bills. Hubby took a huge pay cut at work recently & we're already having trouble paying our other bills.
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$0 cooverage by my policy
Amount: $5,700.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: GFR in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: July 17th, 2012 08:07PM
Hospital: $3500Your Insurer: $0
Type of Plan: HSA
My insurance did not cover the pregnancy. So we contacted best OBGYN and told we are self pay. He offered 9 month routine check plus delivery plus 6 month post partum visit for $2200 (to be paid in 6 installments) ($300 more for C section). I spoke with hospital where he was practicing and they offered me a self pay plan for $3500 (normal vaginal delivery, 1 night stay with $700 for additional night), $1000 extra for every additional child, $700 for epidural, if C section, hospital charges will be $6800. Terms were so clearly spelt, that I did not had to go through insurance hastles and coverage denial/ copay/ co-insurance/ out of pocket/ other nonsense I had to face for my first delivery.
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Induced labour, vacuum delivery with episiotomy
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Eibhlinn in limerick, Other.Posted: July 1st, 2012 05:07AM
Hospital: Public hospitalYour Insurer: Irish HSE
Type of Plan: Free universal health care in Ireland
I have no insurance but pay taxes. The state of Ieland in return provides free health care to all. Some fees apply unless you are a medical card holder. However pregnancy is exempted from all fees.

The care I've received:

GP visits: all free - about 15 throughout the pregnancy
Midwife appointments: 6, all free.
scans: 3 - all free.
Glucose Tolerance Test: 1 - free
antenatal classes: 5 - free
breastfeeding class : 1 - free
inducement: free
vacuum delivery, with episiotomy: free pain relief: pethidine injection and entonox: free Hospital stay: three nights - free. Regular visits from midwives, doctors and lactation consultants as often as I called for them. Visit from the public health nurse to check on baby's progress: 2 so far - free. I also have her phone number and address of drop in centre to see her with any question or worry I might have. Other services available to me for free: physiotherapy classes, follow up visits at the hospital, GP visits for baby'svaccines.
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Emergency C-section; 2 weeks in ICU
Amount: $0.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Canuckistan in Toronto, NY.Posted: March 24th, 2012 06:03AM
Hospital: Your Insurer: Ontario
Not a cent; go Canada!
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Way too much
Amount: $5,662.77 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Timothy Thomas in Syracuse, NY.Posted: March 22nd, 2012 06:03AM
Hospital: Crouse Hospital - Syracuse NYYour Insurer: Excellus BCBS
We were shocked at both HOW MUCH we had to pay out of pocket after insurance, and by HOW MANY people send you a separate bill. all these are after insurance:
Obstetrician - $1428.70
Prenatal Vitamins - $360
Hospital bill for Mother - $1,067.50
Anesthesia bill (separate from hospital bill, charged by both though, ughhh) - $429
Hospital bill for baby - $1,833.57
Pediatrician for checking and discharging baby - $394
Separate bill from Hearing testing company - $150


after looking at that list of people who stick their grubby hands in your wallet, you'd think our baby had complications or required special care. Couldnt be further from the truth. We had an excellent labor. Baby was going on 9 days past due date, so we went in for a scheduled delivery/induction. OB broke bag of waters, labor progressed naturally from there. 12 hour labor w/ Stadol, then an epidural. Baby was completely healthy, required zero additional care. We stayed for only two nights too.
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$150
Amount: $150.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: AC in Reno in Reno, NV.Posted: January 10th, 2012 02:01PM
Hospital: RenownYour Insurer: Hometown Health
Type of Plan: Open Choice HMO
Flat fee is $150, regardless of complications or type of delivery. Insurance covers everything at 100% with no deductible or co-insurance. Costs me $65/paycheck (every other week). Totally worth it!
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emergency caesarean + 2 nights NICU
Amount: $6,000.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Daddy in Portland, OR.Posted: December 21st, 2011 01:12PM
Hospital: Providence St. VincentYour Insurer: United
Type of Plan: 1000 deduct 80/20%
We are still getting bills after 8 weeks but it is already > 40k. We had to meet the out of pocket maximum of 3k for mom, and then again for baby. The only nice thing was we didnt have to reach the deductible first for the baby, but we easily would have with his bill over 17k. This is absolutely outrageous for a fully insured family. Thankfully we have a healthy baby but wtf is up with the expense?
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Birthing Center
Amount: $1,462.00 not covered by insurance
Posted by: Water baby momma in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: November 23rd, 2011 09:11AM
Hospital: Blossom Birth and Wellness CenterYour Insurer: BCBS
Type of Plan: PPO
Total amount was 3,400 but my deductible reimbursement and flex spending account worked wonders. =) Had a natural water birth. no complications.
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Save your money
Amount: $2.95 not covered by insurance
Posted by: dad the deliverer in Duffield, VA.Posted: September 27th, 2011 09:09AM
Hospital: NoneYour Insurer: My checking account
Type of Plan: uninsured
We recently had our 6th home birth. I (daddy) delivered just like the last three. We had great midwives for the first three and they were great about educating us and we felt confident that birth was not a medical emergency that required hospitals, inconvenienced doctors, or ridiculous bills. So yes, for about $3 (cost of an umbilical clamp) our birth experiences are quite affordable. Other misc. expenses-blood pressure cuff, doppler, (to monitor fetal heartbeat) urinalysis strips, iron test kits, circumcision, and immunizations.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.marchofdimes.com/downloads/The_Healthcare_Costs_of_Having_a_Baby.pdf
  2.  www.dol.gov/ebsa/publications/newborns.html
  3.  womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/childbirth-beyond/baby-first-hours.cfm
  4.  familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/pregnancy-newborns/labor-childbirth/labor-induction.html
  5.  www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/prenatal-care.html#i
  6.  www.acog.org/About_ACOG/Find_an_Ob-Gyn
  7.  www.midwife.org/rp/find.cfm
  8.  www.babycenter.com/0_choosing-a-hospital_1148.bc
  9.  www.babycenter.com/0_birth-centers-alternatives-to-hospitals_2007.bc
  10.  www.birthcenters.org/birth-center-locator
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