For many couples, the thoughts of baby planning don’t start with health insurance — but they should.
Prenatal care typically costs at least $2,000 out-of-pocket without insurance. The birth itself can range from $9,000 to $17,000 for a vaginal delivery without complications or $14,000 to $25,000 for a C-section without health insurance.
With health insurance coverage, a couple can expect to pay around $500 to $3,000 for the birth which is much more affordable for a family. And, prenatal care is covered to a certain amount.
To help consumers with baby brains, consider preparing yourself with these tips:
1. Have health insurance BEFORE getting pregnant. This is the most important thing to remember if you want health insurance to provide coverage for the pregnancy. If you are pregnant before you have health insurance, the coverage will not cover most pregnancy or prenatal related expenses and will only cover pregnancy-related complications.
2. Pick a hospital that you feel comfortable with. Many hospitals are now offering rooms that feel more like hotels to provide a better experience for the family.
3. Shop for the best hospital rates. Hospital rates for births and delivery rooms vary greatly and can depend on a number of factors. Also, ask about the average cost of care for a premature baby or for neonatal care.
4. Prepare for doctor visits. Find out how many doctor visits you are eligible for and how much those visits cost.
5. Be aware of new preventive care benefits due to health care reform. Reform requires health insurance plans to provide certain levels of preventive care without any cost-sharing to the patient. Some of these benefits include:
- Folic acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
- Breastfeeding support, supplies and counseling
- Anemia screening for pregnant women
- Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant
- Rh Incompatibility screening
- Smoking cessation for pregnant tobacco users
- Syphilis screening
- Urinary tract or other infection screenings
6. See if the health insurer offers planning help or information on labor and delivery decisions. Some health insurance companies provide planning and support to help with the prenatal and delivery process.