It Costs Nearly $20,000 To Have A Baby In The US, Study Finds - Upsmag - Magazine News

It Costs Nearly $20,000 To Have A Baby In The US, Study Finds

Topline

Having a baby in the US costs around $20,000, according to research published Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, an expense that leaves many families struggling and disproportionately burdens poorer women and communities of color most affected by the repeal of Roe v. Wade and inability to access to safe and legal abortion.

Key Facts

Health care costs associated with pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care average around $19,000 over three years for women enrolled in large employer plans, according to KFF’s analysis of health claims for more than 2 million women from 2018 through 2020.

Of this, almost $3,000 of these costs were paid out-of-pocket, Kaiser found, with just over $16,000 covered by insurance.

Costs varied significantly by the type of delivery, Kaiser noted, both due to higher costs associated with cesarean delivery compared to vaginal deliveries and the increased likelihood of higher costs associated with complications, recovery from surgery and underlying health conditions that can lead to cesarean section.

The average cesarean section pregnancy cost more than $26,000, 77% more than the average pregnancy resulting in vaginal delivery, costing under $15,000.

But the difference in out-of-pocket costs between the two was smaller: There was a 22% jump in out-of-pocket costs between pregnancies ending in cesarean ($3,214) and vaginal ($2,655) deliveries, which Kaiser said was likely due to patients hitting their plans’ deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

Key Background

The Kaiser study takes a three-year look at the health expenses associated with pregnancy, a broader look than many studies focusing solely on delivery. Costs and financial support for pregnancy and children will vary by state and insurance provider and uninsured women risk missing out on essential resort. The burdens of these costs and the risk to pregnant people and their children are disproportionately shouldered by society’s poorest and communities of color, who already face disproportionate rates of disease and death, especially during pregnancy and childbirth. These disparities are expected to worsen in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which experts warn will disproportionately affect people of color and poorer communities.

What We Don’t Know

The true cost of having a baby in the US The US is the most expensive country in the world for childbirth. Kaiser notes that its research only covers care provided through a health plan, which means anything covered fully out-of-pocket is missed in its calculations. This could miss many vitamins or over-the-counter drugs many women take during and after pregnancy, is likely to entirely miss any fertility treatments and most out-of-network expenses as well. Kaiser previously estimated 10% of in-network admissions for maternity care included an out-of-network charge, though such charges should be a thing of the past with the introduction of the No Surprises Act. The study also does not account for possible loss of earnings during parental leave or costs of care for the child after birth.

Surprising Fact

The actual cost of inpatient and outpatient care for pregnant women is around $20,000 for pregnancy related inpatient and outpatient care compared to women of the same age who don’t give birth, Kaiser found. Lower spending on prescription drugs brings this down to around $19,000. On average, prescription drug spending was $1,040 less for pregnant women, $70 of this out of pocket. Birth control pills—one of the most used medications among women of reproductive age—and other prescription drugs that are not safe to use during pregnancy are most likely responsible for this drop, Kaiser said. It’s possible much of this is spent on prenatal vitamins and over-the-counter drugs used during pregnancy, Kaiser noted, though these would not be captured by the insurance records analyzed.

Big Number

$286,000. That’s how much it will cost to raise a child in a family of two middle-income adults with two children, according to to USDA data from 2015 adjusted for inflation by CNBC. This figure is likely higher, as many costs associated with children like childcare have outpaced inflation.

Further Reading

The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas (ProPublica)

Overturning Roe V. Wade: Here’s How It Could Impact Fertility Treatments And IVF (Forbes)

Most Americans Support Companies Funding Out-Of-State Abortion Access, Poll Finds (Forbes)

Overturning Roe V. Wade: Here’s How It’ll Impact Reproductive Healthcare — Beyond Abortion (Forbes)

Topline

Having a baby in the US costs around $20,000, according to research published Wednesday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, an expense that leaves many families struggling and disproportionately burdens poorer women and communities of color most affected by the repeal of Roe v. Wade and inability to access to safe and legal abortion.

Key Facts

Health care costs associated with pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum care average around $19,000 over three years for women enrolled in large employer plans, according to KFF’s analysis of health claims for more than 2 million women from 2018 through 2020.

Of this, almost $3,000 of these costs were paid out-of-pocket, Kaiser found, with just over $16,000 covered by insurance.

Costs varied significantly by the type of delivery, Kaiser noted, both due to higher costs associated with cesarean delivery compared to vaginal deliveries and the increased likelihood of higher costs associated with complications, recovery from surgery and underlying health conditions that can lead to cesarean section.

The average cesarean section pregnancy cost more than $26,000, 77% more than the average pregnancy resulting in vaginal delivery, costing under $15,000.

But the difference in out-of-pocket costs between the two was smaller: There was a 22% jump in out-of-pocket costs between pregnancies ending in cesarean ($3,214) and vaginal ($2,655) deliveries, which Kaiser said was likely due to patients hitting their plans’ deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

Key Background

The Kaiser study takes a three-year look at the health expenses associated with pregnancy, a broader look than many studies focusing solely on delivery. Costs and financial support for pregnancy and children will vary by state and insurance provider and uninsured women risk missing out on essential resort. The burdens of these costs and the risk to pregnant people and their children are disproportionately shouldered by society’s poorest and communities of color, who already face disproportionate rates of disease and death, especially during pregnancy and childbirth. These disparities are expected to worsen in the aftermath of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, which experts warn will disproportionately affect people of color and poorer communities.

What We Don’t Know

The true cost of having a baby in the US The US is the most expensive country in the world for childbirth. Kaiser notes that its research only covers care provided through a health plan, which means anything covered fully out-of-pocket is missed in its calculations. This could miss many vitamins or over-the-counter drugs many women take during and after pregnancy, is likely to entirely miss any fertility treatments and most out-of-network expenses as well. Kaiser previously estimated 10% of in-network admissions for maternity care included an out-of-network charge, though such charges should be a thing of the past with the introduction of the No Surprises Act. The study also does not account for possible loss of earnings during parental leave or costs of care for the child after birth.

Surprising Fact

The actual cost of inpatient and outpatient care for pregnant women is around $20,000 for pregnancy related inpatient and outpatient care compared to women of the same age who don’t give birth, Kaiser found. Lower spending on prescription drugs brings this down to around $19,000. On average, prescription drug spending was $1,040 less for pregnant women, $70 of this out of pocket. Birth control pills—one of the most used medications among women of reproductive age—and other prescription drugs that are not safe to use during pregnancy are most likely responsible for this drop, Kaiser said. It’s possible much of this is spent on prenatal vitamins and over-the-counter drugs used during pregnancy, Kaiser noted, though these would not be captured by the insurance records analyzed.

Big Number

$286,000. That’s how much it will cost to raise a child in a family of two middle-income adults with two children, according to to USDA data from 2015 adjusted for inflation by CNBC. This figure is likely higher, as many costs associated with children like childcare have outpaced inflation.

Further Reading

The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas (ProPublica)

Overturning Roe V. Wade: Here’s How It Could Impact Fertility Treatments And IVF (Forbes)

Most Americans Support Companies Funding Out-Of-State Abortion Access, Poll Finds (Forbes)

Overturning Roe V. Wade: Here’s How It’ll Impact Reproductive Healthcare — Beyond Abortion (Forbes)

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