It can be quite a daunting prospect, having to finance a new arrival when you consider the high cost of having a baby. However, people of all backgrounds manage it every day. Let’s face it, our little bundles of joy are not always scheduled conveniently when our bank accounts are full.
The biggest initial cost involved is the medical expense. Not everyone has good health insurance, so the costs can be steep–perhaps ten thousand dollars for an uncomplicated hospital delivery! The cost of having a baby will vary hugely depending on how good your coverage is.
If you don’t have good coverage, then it is a good idea to start saving before you get pregnant. There are ways of reducing the cost, such as taking additional insurance, but if you are already pregnant, then you fall under the category of having a “pre-existing condition” and will be ineligible for most coverage.
Another variable is the pregnancy itself, as complications will rapidly increase the costs. A c-section, for example, can add another few thousand dollars to your bill! (And you thought the procedure itself was painful!)
Even if you do have good insurance, you still have to face the co-pays your insurance company decides. With perhaps twelve office visits during the pregnancy, this could be several hundred dollars, and then the hospital stay itself may carry a co-pay. Yikes.
So how can you minimize costs if needed? Seeing a nurse midwife rather than a doctor may reduce the cost of having a baby by half, and avoiding an epidural can also cut out another thousand dollars alone. However, your own safety and that of your little one is far more important than money! You should never compromise on care or cut corners at the expense of a healthy birth.
What about the worst off among us? Doctors have a duty to provide care even if the person cannot afford it, though they will attempt to get you to pay. Installment payment plans may be offered and may help, spreading the cost. But this leaves you paying bills when you should be buying diapers!
Can hospitals ever waive fees? There is the possibility that you may be offered payments on a sliding scale, with you paying only a fraction of the costs, depending on your income. However, they may fully waive the fees in some circumstances.
If your pregnancy is planned, then the time to consider costs is before getting pregnant. Taking out a $200 a month insurance plan may save you $8000 over the course of the pregnancy—or even more if Mom or baby needs special care. The costs of having a baby don’t stop with the birth; you will be supporting this person for at least eighteen years, so don’t get stuck with bills you can’t afford at this early stage!