The average cost for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery ranges from $6,000 to $8,000, according to the Dr. Spock website. A cesarean birth may cost between $10,000 and $12,000. These figures are on top of the prenatal care costs paid to your obstetrician or midwife. The high price tag of having a baby causes uninsured mothers a great deal of stress. Consider the ways to reduce the costs to alleviate the financial blow of having a baby without insurance.
Don't Delay Prenatal Care
Prenatal care should start as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Certainly take prenatal vitamins and avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco use. Your baby has three times the chance of a low birth weight and is five times more likely to die than a baby whose mother did get prenatal care, according to WomensHealth.gov. Seeing an obstetrician or midwife on a regular basis during your pregnancy ensures your baby is growing properly. It also allows potential problems to be identified early when your health care provider may be able to resolve the issue.
All states offer assistance to help with the cost of pregnancy. Check with your local health department for information.
Check Eligibility for Medicaid & WIC
The federal government funds state Medicaid programs that help those with low incomes afford medical care. Pregnancy is a qualifying medical event as long as you meet the income guidelines for Medicaid. The requirements vary because the states set the eligibility standards. Some states also offer other programs to assist low-income pregnant women, according to the American Pregnancy Association.
Another federal program to help low-income women is Women, Infants and Children, or WIC. The program provides healthy food, healthy diet information and health care referrals.
Consider Discount Programs
Most regular insurance policies, outside of employer group plans, exclude maternity coverage as a preexisting condition. There are discount programs that will cover preexisting conditions such as pregnancy. The details vary from one plan to the next, but they typically offer a set discount on medical services. You pay a monthly fee in exchange for the discount.
Patients paying in cash sometimes successfully negotiate lower fees for medical costs. Talk with your prenatal care provider's billing department to ask for a discount on their fees. Contact the hospital where you plan to deliver to ask for a discount on the labor and delivery costs. Some hospitals offer a sliding scale, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Health care providers will generally allow you to set up a payment plan for repaying your costs, which can help break up the payments into more manageable chunks.