By Consumers for Quality Care, on June 1, 2022
Giving birth can cost more than $30,000 for consumers without health insurance, and even with insurance, consumers can still expect to pay thousands of dollars, according to Katie Couric Media.
The U.S. is one of the most expensive countries in the world for childbirth. In 2020, CBS News broke down the cost of giving birth in each state. Without insurance, childbirth in states like New Jersey and California costs over $25,000. For many families, the cost of giving birth could send them into medical debt.
Consumers with health insurance could still find themselves incurring large bills after childbirth. In 2021, a University of Michigan study found that one in six families spent over $5,000 in hospital costs related to childbirth. Women who found themselves in a neonatal intensive care unit saw bills reach $10,000 or more. The study also found that the average out-of-pocket cost for childbirth was just over $3,000 for insured consumers.
Many women don’t have enough savings to pay for the cost of childbirth. “A lot of pregnancies are unplanned,” said Alina Salganicoff, a senior vice president and director of Women’s Health Policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation. “It’s hard to save up this money, and three in 10 women who have private insurance are low-income. That is incomes below 200% of the poverty level. Saving up $1,000, $2,000, $3,000, $4,000…it’s not a possibility for these families.”
Future parents have enough to worry about before the arrival of a child – the high costs of giving birth should not be one of them. CQC urges lawmakers, insurance companies, and providers to work together to find solutions to make childbirth more affordable so new parents can avoid going into medical debt.