In order to effectively manage your total cost to give birth in USA, you need to know what kind of costs you will incur and when; as childbirth in the USA entails making separate payments to multiple vendors – hospital, doctor etc. Thus making your plans based on just the hospital charge will leave you surprised and possibly cash strapped!!
Today’s article enumerates the different costs you will possibly incur and what to consider in a quest to make your bills as affordable as possible.
The costs to plan towards include the Hospital costs, the OBGYN’s (your doctor) fees, Medical tests, Paediatrician fees, Anesthesia where applicable etc. For more details on these costs, read our past article – Costs to Plan Towards When Planning a US birth.
Key things to consider in a bid to keep your costs as low as possible are:
1. Where you will stay: In estimating your total cost, first thing you need to know is where you will be staying – name of city and exact zip code. For perspective, where you stay has a HUGE impact on how much you will spend.
Delivery costs are significantly cheaper in the big cities vs. the smaller cities and towns. This is because; there are more deliveries in the larger cities so the hospital’s fixed costs are more spread; thereby enabling the hospital charge lower costs. However, this needs to be balanced with the need to stay where you are comfortable and some of your basic needs will be taken care of. Click here to know the most affordable cities to give birth in the US.
If you have someone you can stay with while in the USA, this would significantly help your total costs; as renting an accommodation for a period of 10 t 12 weeks starts from about $3000. If you stayed with a friend or relative and put aside just $250 per month to help out with the bills or groceries in the home assuming your host refuses to take any money from you, you’d feel better with yourself as you are contributing, your host would appreciate it and you’d have spent less than $1000 by the end of your stay.
If you don’t have someone to stay with while in the US, don’t panic! With our All-Inclusive Birth Packages, we can link you to the most affordable costs of giving birth in the USA such that when you include accommodation costs, you’d still be spending a lot less than most people who give birth in USA.
2. Where you will have the baby – Hospital or Birthing Center? The major difference between a hospital and a birthing center is size, management and cost of care. While most hospitals are large with several departments, a birthing center is much smaller. Birthing centers are managed by CNMs (Certified Nurse-Midwife) and they usually cost less than the traditional hospital approach; depending on the state.
In some states especially states where the cost of childbirth are on the high side, Birthing Centers can cost up to 40% less than the traditional hospital approach. This is because in a hospital you make payments to the doctor and hospital; while in the birthing center, you make one payment to the center that covers your entire care before and after delivery as well as delivery.
If you are open to a vaginal delivery, you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy and you are not a first time mom; you may want to consider a birthing center. Personally, I think all first time moms should use a hospital as they have no childbirth history. However, if you are expecting twins, you have had a previous cesarean section or a history of being breech at term or diabetes which is not controlled with diet or chronic high blood pressure/other serious medical problems; you will not be eligible for delivery at a Birthing Center.
To be continued in next week’s article.