How much does it cost to have a baby

Prenatal care, childbirth, newborn medical care all contribute to cost

Welcoming a bundle of joy into the world is not a cheap.

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In the United States, without complications and a luxury en suite or deluxe room, the average cost is $10,808, according to the International Federation of Health Plans.

Complicated births that require a c-section have a higher cost that could add thousands of dollars, and the number of American mothers who have had this costlier procedure has increased by 500 percent during the last 50 years, according to a recent report from the U.S. News & World Report.

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Considering that there are around 3 million births in the United States every year, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that’s a serious amount of cash shelled out for newborns and post-natal care.

Ultimately, the cost of having a baby is different state-by-state and whether a mother has insurance to support her delivery.

The independent national nonprofit FAIR Health analyzed the cost of birth across the 50 states. In its analysis, FAIR Health accounted for statewide medians for a standard vaginal birth with and without insurance along with statewide medians for a complicated c-section with and without insurance.

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FAIR Health notes that the costs with insurance reflect the full hospital bill. However, actual out-of-pocket expenses could be higher or lower than the statewide median depending on the mother’s included coinsurance or copay. For the uninsured, the statewide medians are based on the full amount a hospital could charge without special arrangements.

How much is the cost of birth in the 10 most populous states?

The state of New York has the highest median cost of childbirth across the board out of the 10 most populous states, according to FAIR Health’s findings. A standard birth is $8,462.84 with insurance while a standard birth without insurance is nearly double to $16,057.74. C-sections are exponentially higher with the cost of an insured c-section birth being $12,114.11 while an uninsured c-section being $22,059.22.

Ohio, on the other hand, has some of the lowest median costs for childbirth out of the 10 most populous states. The Buckeye State has 7,764,461 fewer people than New York, according to a 2019 population estimate from the U.S. Census, and the cost of a standard birth is $6,138.46 with insurance and $10,629.46 without insurance. C-sections are also more affordable than the Empire State with a cost of $9,100.74 for an insured c-section and $14,212.56 for an uninsured c-section.

The other states that have rather low childbirth costs out the list of the 10 most populated are Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania.

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How much is the cost of birth in the 10 least populous states?

Alaska has the highest median cost of childbirth out of the 10 least populous states, according to FAIR Health’s findings. A standard birth is $11,609.65 with insurance while a standard birth without insurance jumps to $20,243.38. When it comes down to c-sections, the cost of a c-section birth is $16,707.29 with insurance while a c-section without insurance skyrockets to a whopping $28,617.34.

Generally, Alaska’s distance from the contiguous 48 states and low population drives up the cost of services in The Last Frontier State because goods need to be flown in. Doctors also tend to have higher salaries in Alaska to retain talent and stay competitive with the 49 other states. This is apparent in the average base salary of an Alaskan physician, which is around $268,965, which is 34 percent higher than the national average, according to Indeed.

In Rhode Island, which has an estimated population that is higher than Alaska by 327,816, physicians are making a bit less with an average base salary that is around $231,323, according to Indeed. However, a tradeoff that expectant mothers can look forward to is that Rhode Island has some of the lowest median costs for childbirth out of the 10 least populous states. A vaginal birth is $5,472.47 with insurance and $10,385.63 without insurance. C-section costs are also relatively low with an insured c-section being $8,183.02 and an uninsured c-section being $14,088.87.

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Outside of having to pay for the actual act of giving birth, mothers in the United States generally get prenatal care. According to personal finance resource ValuePenguin by LendingTree, women typically have seven to 12 prenatal visits that range between $90 and $500 or more throughout the course of a normal pregnancy depending on an obstetrician’s rate.

Additional services such as ultrasounds and lab tests are usually billed separately, according to ValuePenguin, and they can cost more than $100 for each service. Procedures that are more involved and screen for developmental abnormalities, like an amniocentesis test, can cost an estimated $2,500.

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That tally when factored in with the cost of childbirth and three months of newborn medical care can easily climb up to $30,000 for an uninsured standard birth or $50,000 for an uninsured c-section, according to a Truven Health Analytics Marketscan Study, which ValuePenguin cited in its cost estimate.

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Additionally, the publication noted that infants born from mothers who did not receive prenatal care are five times more likely to die compared to infants born to mothers who did receive care. Mothers who do not receive prenatal are said to be three to four times more likely to die if they go without medical attention.