Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. If you are planning to start a family, you may have thought about some of the things to expect once your baby arrives. You may be wondering how much you’ll be spending to bring your little bundle of joy into the world. Let’s break it down.
If you have insurance, there’s a good chance that your pre-natal care will be covered. You can expect to pay copays for office visits, but many diagnostic tests – such as ultrasounds – will probably be considered preventive care and will be covered. If you do not have insurance, you can expect to pay about $2,000 out of pocket for pre-natal doctor visits and testing. If you haven’t already done so, check to see what your health insurance covers. While the Affordable Care Act requires that insurance plans cover maternity expenses, some older plans are grandfathered in. Typical prenatal care includes 10-12 doctor visits, and tests such as urinalysis and ultrasounds.
Your will also need to take pre-natal vitamins. If you are trying to get pregnant, you can buy an over-the-counter multivitamin that includes folic acid. The cost of OTC vitamins is about $10 to $20 per bottle. If you have a prescription for pre-natal vitamins from your doctor, you will be responsible for your prescription co-pay.
You may also want to enroll in a childbirth class. You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on the kind of class you take.
At the Hospital
Hospital costs are the most expensive part of having a baby. If maternity costs are covered by your insurance plan, you will most likely have to pay a copay for each day you are in the hospital and may be responsible for additional costs up to your out-of-pocket maximum. Costs vary widely from hospital to hospital, but on average, hospitals charged insurers $30,000 for an uncomplicated vaginal birth and up to $50,000 or more for complicated births or Caesarian sections. If you are uninsured, it’s a good idea to shop around and understand what hospitals in your area charge. It’s also important to note that hospitals actual costs are significantly lower than the amount they charge insurers, so if you are not insured you may be able to negotiate.
While you don’t want to skimp on quality prenatal care or your delivery, you may be able to save some money when shopping for other things. For example, you may be able to get free maternity clothes and baby clothes from other families. Another great option for clothing is to try thrift stores. Babies don’t tend to wear clothes long before they outgrow them, so you can often find gently worn clothing for a fraction of its original cost. For tips on saving money and thrifty spending, check out this site.
It’s important not to sacrifice safety when it comes to big ticket items like your baby’s crib, car seat, changing table and stroller. Read consumer reports and shop around online before buying. You can probably expect to spend between $400 and $600 on these essentials.
Diapers and wipes are a lot less pricey if you buy them in bulk. Depending on the brand, you can get 250 disposable diapers for about $40. You can save even more by using cloth diapers, although it’s important to take into account the additional laundry you will be doing.
All told, if you are insured you can probably expect to pay several thousand dollars to have your baby, including copays, out of pocket expenses and deductibles, and supplies. If you are uninsured the costs may be significantly higher, but remember that hospital expenses may be negotiable.