The cost of prenatal care can creep up on expecting parents. A common concern is how prenatal care will be paid for. Hearing the words “That’ll be…” followed by a dollar amount isn’t exactly what anyone wants to deal with in the waiting room.
Between the extra tests and labs required in prenatal care and the costs insurance may or may not cover, the total cost of prenatal care can be more than expected. This presents itself as a bit surprising for those who are unaware of the price of each visit. If you’re worried about the cost of prenatal care, keep reading to find out how you can prepare!
The Price of Each Visit
A common pregnancy requires around 10-16 prenatal visits. This number can fluctuate depending on when the mother becomes aware of her pregnancy. Pre-existing conditions could also merit more visits throughout pregnancy for extra preventative care.
The first visit usually consists of initial screenings and tests. These can be in the form of urine testing, blood work, Pap smears, and physical exams. After this, an expectant mother can get ready for more ultrasounds and gestational tests.
The cost of prenatal care varies from visit to visit. The bills will include costs based on the type of care received. For example, a typical blood test will cost about $268, and the average ultrasound can cost as much as $1,000. These two are considered routine “preventative” care by insurance companies.
Diagnostic care can start to get a little pricey, especially for those without insurance. Genetic testing performed through amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling can be more costly, costing around $3,000 to $4,000 each.
How Insurance Helps
Routine prenatal care procedures are typically covered by a health insurance plan. All Health Insurance Marketplace and Medicaid plans cover pregnancy and childbirth expenses. Even if someone is previously insured, she could be eligible for enrollment in pregnancy-related Medicaid.
In cases where appointments go from being routine to diagnostic, some private insurance companies aren’t required to help with all the costs. This could mean that the parents have to pay a portion of the total cost of certain procedures through co-pays. Even if the services aren’t entirely free with insurance, co-pays bring the out-of-pocket costs down significantly. Either way, it’s helpful to go over insurance policies and coverage costs with your insurance provider.
How Prenatal Care Helps Mothers Save on Birth Costs
Prenatal care can be directly associated with the costs accumulated during and after birth. This means prenatal care is actually cost-effective. As a practice, prenatal care is supposed to help mothers and babies with their journey through pregnancy. This means plenty of tests are performed to find potential risks involving the fetus. Early detection of any possible issues helps doctors prepare for birth in a way that saves lives.
If you act quickly during prenatal care, you can keep newborns from needing a lot of care and follow-up procedures. This means that instead of paying for extra hospital visits, thanks to prenatal care, parents have the best chance to go home and spend time taking care of their newborns.
Preparing for Birth Costs
While it’s important to plan for prenatal costs, soon the baby will arrive, and it’s important to know what the birth will cost. As you can imagine, giving birth can be expensive, depending on one’s circumstances. Pregnancies that require a cesarean birth are especially associated with higher birth costs.
The average total cost of childbirth can be around $13,000 for vaginal deliveries and around $23,000 for C-section deliveries. All of these costs come from lab tests, vaccines, stays in the hospital, and regular care for the mother and baby.
How your health insurance plan handles cost-sharing is a big factor in how much you will have to pay. This could significantly reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.
Preparing for Prenatal, Birth & Postnatal Care
Preparing for prenatal, birth, and postnatal care costs will help you plan for your health and the health of your baby. Having a payment strategy in place for medical expenses can help you eliminate stress and concentrate on the happiness your baby has brought into your life.
There are lots of options and programs available if you’re not insured. Ask your doctor or clinic for help working out prenatal care payment plans so you can look forward to a healthy pregnancy and birth. Stay positive and enjoy your pregnancy!