Even With Insurance, Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Childbirth Are Climbing

By Consumers For Quality Care, on January 17, 2020

Even With Insurance, Out-Of-Pocket Costs For Childbirth Are Climbing

Out-of-pocket costs for childbirth and maternal care increased 49% from 2008 to 2015 for women with employer-provided health insurance according to a new study in the journal Health Affairs.

USA Today reported on the study’s findings, which show dramatic increases in out-of-pocket costs for childbirth despite having insurance.

“The magnitude of those costs were really striking,” said Michelle Moniz, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan.

“It comes at a time when families are facing considerable challenges and readjustment, so a large medical bill can be a huge stressor on top of that,” said Carol Sakala, the director of Childbirth Connection Programs at the National Partnership for Women & Families, a Washington-based nonprofit group that works on public policies, education and outreach focused on women and families.

For vaginal delivery, the average out-of-pocket cost climbed from $2,910 in 2008 to $4,314 just seven years later. Out-of-pocket costs for C-section delivery jumped $1,797 on average over that same period.

“Most of my patients don’t have that kind of disposable income,” Moniz said.