Welcome back!! This week, we close on our topic from last week-Choosing Your Birth Option. Last week, we looked at the vaginal delivery and answered some questions from clients with regards the financial implications of choosing that birth option. In this week’s article, we will be looking at the C-Section and VBAC options.
CAESAREAN SECTION DELIVERY: This option also known as C-Section or CS involves the use of surgery to bring out the baby from the mother’s womb. Some situations where C-Sections are used include when the baby is in breech position and all efforts to turn the baby to the ‘head-down’ position have proven abortive; when the umbilical cord is around the baby’s neck thus making the child’s descent into the birth canal difficult and life-threatening for the baby; when the baby is too big to be birthed the natural way; personal choice of mother etc.
Some situations where C-Sections are used include when the baby is in breech position and all efforts to turn the baby to the ‘head-down’ position have proven abortive; when the umbilical cord is around the baby’s neck thus making the child’s descent into the birth canal difficult and life-threatening for the baby; when the baby is too big to be birthed the natural way; personal choice of mother etc.
Given these different scenarios which might lead to a C-Section, there are 2 types of C-Sections (with respect to financial planning): Planned and Emergency C-Section. With a planned C-Section, one’s costs are manageable especially if paid before delivery. However with an Emergency C-Section, one will incur additional unplanned bills. More details on this are in the below Q&A section.
Question 1: What are the typical costs involved in a Caesarean Section Birth?
The typical costs one should expect with a C-Section are the Hospital fees, the OBGYN’s professional fees, Anaesthesia and the Paediatrician’s Professional Fees. The Hospital fees are for the use of the Hospital facilities while the OBGYN fees cover pre-natal care and delivering the baby. The cost of anaesthesia is billed and paid separately to the Anaesthesia department because the Anaesthesia department of the Hospital is usually a separate business entity from the hospital. The Paediatrician’s professional fees are for checking the baby upon birth. These costs are also the typical fees one should expect with a normal vaginal delivery; with the exception of anaesthesia. However, if one wants an epidurial to aid in pain management, this is also handled by the anaesthesia department and billed/paid separately.
Question 2: What kind of additional bills will be incurred with an Emergency C-Section delivery?
Firstly, there will be an up-charge in the Hospital and OBGYN fees. This is because hospital and OBGYN fees differ depending on the birth option, with C-Sections being more expensive than vaginal delivery. Secondly, there will be an additional bill from the Anaesthesia department. The size of this bill depends on a number of factors such as
a. Did you initially pre-pay for an Epidural for vaginal delivery?
If yes, you will receive a bill for just the difference between what you paid and the cost of the C-Section anaesthesia.
If no, you will receive a ‘hefty’ bill. I refer to it as ‘hefty’ because the bill will not include any pre-payment discounts but will be based on the number of hours for which the anaesthesia was dispensed. This principle also applies where one decides to finally have an epidurial during actual labour.
b. Can you pay off your bills at discharge or as at when the final bills are ready?
If yes, the hospital and OBGYN may re-apply the ‘prepayment’ discounts secured on your Normal delivery costs to the C-Section bills. Thus, you will only pay the difference between the Discounted Normal delivery costs (i.e. what you paid for initially) and the Discounted C-section Costs. You may also get some level of discounts on the ‘hefty’ anaesthesia bill referred to above.
If no, all discounts will be taken off and you will be required to pay the full bills. Though this is the undesirable, many people actually get here; and the only option left in order not to have unpaid debts in the US which can hinder one’s chances of coming back to the US, is to negotiate a payment plan with the service providers.
Question 3: How do I escape Emergency C-Sections?
Emergency C-Sections cannot be escaped 100% as pregnancies are generally unpredictable. However, the weekly visits to the OBGYN should help tip one off if a baby will need to be delivered via C-Section instead of vaginal delivery as earlier planned. Be sure to always ask your doctor if not sure. In addition and most importantly, once your doctor confirms that you may not be able to have the baby normally, kindly make the necessary additional payments (hospital, OBGYN and anaesthesia) before the planned date of C-Section delivery. That way, you will be paying the best discounted costs.
Question 4: What happens if I plan to have my baby via C-section and things changed so had my baby normally?
Great!!! You get a refund of the difference 🙂.
VAGINAL BIRTH AFTER A C-SECTION (VBAC): One of the major risks in having a vaginal delivery after C-Section is the possible rupture of the C-Section cut during labour. Though this is rare, there are strict guidelines on the administration of VBAC deliveries which are performed in hospitals and very few birthing centers. These select Birthing Centers must have the option of rushing patients to a nearby hospital if things get too complicated.
As such, if one has had a C-Section and is interested in this Birth option, it is important to discuss your birth plans with your OBGYN during the weekly pre-natal visits to avoid any surprises; but also be prepared financially for a C-Section delivery….just in case, the health professionals decide against a VBAC at the last minute due to changes in the pregnancy or your body.
Question 1: What are the typical costs involved in a VBAC delivery?
A VBAC delivery is treated same as a Normal Vaginal delivery in terms of costs. As such, the typical costs to expect are the Hospital fees, OBGYN and Paediatrician’s professional fees. If one also wants an epidurial for pain-management, this should be included.
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Cheers and have a great week ahead!!