How much would an uninsured person pay for a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy in the US?

Assume a normal, uncomplicated pregnancy, 9 pre-natal visits, delivery in a hospital by a family physician trained in delivery, an overnight stay, and follow up visit from a public health nurse as well as a lactation consultant?

I suppose if it depends where you are in the US, maybe list where your info is accurate.


You might also check the costs with an alternative, a birthing centre with nurses, midwives and doula’s. Or even assistance with a home birth. Home births are standard with uncomplicated pregnancies in the Netherlands.

When I got my current insurance, I had a choice of paying a bit more and having it cover a pregnancy, or getting a lower monthly premium and having pregnancies not be covered. At that time (4-5 years ago) my research came up with a normal pregnancy costing about $4-$5K.

Given that I was not planning on becoming pregnant, and they wanted about $200 more per month for it, I opted to not have pregnancy coverage. Note that any abnormalities would be covered; just a basic pregnancy was not.

A normal standard pregnancy with standard routine visits, regular ultrasounds, delivery in a hospital, including anaesthetist for epidural, would be around $14 - $15 thousand.

I base that on what it costs for our daughter a few years ago. That’s before write-off’s required by our insurance carrier (based upon agreements between providers and the carrier). Costs of my family coverage for insurance premiums per year around $13 - $14 thousand.

Holy Crap!

But maybe I’m misunderstanding… you have insurance and so your insurance paid that amount?

I was under the impression that Drs. in the US had sort of a sliding scale and they would charge people paying out of pocket less than they would charge an insurance company.

Is this not accurate? Or sort of accurate?

It’s actually the opposite. Insurance companies can get away with paying less because they’re negotiating for large groups.

The Dutch model only works well in a place where there is a high importance placed on ideological consensus, a high value is placed on family privacy, personal comfort and well being are considered to be very important health issues, there is a high tolerance for error and personal dicomfort in a medical context, and a high value is placed on continual professional development and testing of midwives and other trained and licensed practitioners.

In other words, it only works well in Holland. And by one more generation, I think it won’t work here either. The numbers are dropping already, it’s down to a third nationwide. Now, I think there will always be holdouts, and where I live is likely to be one.

Somebody once mentioned (on this board?) that their doctor had an agreement with the insurance companies that he would bill them 15% less than anyone else. He said he would be violating his agreement and get his ass sued off if he gave a discount below his list price to an uninsured patient.

I recall a news story about an Polish woman who ended up giving birth in Canada while on an extended visit here several years ago. They mentioned medical bills of about $20,000.

In 2007, the last date for which I found any numbers, the average cost was about $2000 for prenatal care with an untrasound and about $6000 for the delivery. Then you add a couple hundred for the room. The public health nurse and lactation consultant will be another couple hundred. So somewhere around $9,000.

Not always true - I get discounts from mine and my kids GP, my optometrist and my dentist for paying cash from my HSA.

Here are some links that address the OP’s question, all of which seem to have very different answers. I suspect it’s because they aren’t all including the same list of items.

The prenatal visits will cost around $125 a piece our of pocket. One ultrasound is the norm unless there’s reason to have more, and there would be labwork done at various points. Figure around $2000 for mom’s care before going to the hospital, assuming absolutely no complications.

A night in the hopsital will run $2000 to $4000 – and a two-night stay is more likely. The delivery itself, depending on a whole range of factors within the range of “uncomplicated” could run between $2000 and $5000. So the time in the hospital is gonna be $6000 to $12,000.

A newborn typically needs at least 6 trips to the pediatrician in the first year (one to two weeks, one month, two months, four months, six months, nine months, and one year), and I have no idea what all of the out of pocket costs for immunizations are. There would also likely be sick visits. Mom will need some followup visits as well. Figure another $2000 here.

A related question might be what an average person with average health insurance would pay to have a baby in the US.

We had pretty good health insurance, but with deductibles, co-pays (for both mom and newborn remember) our health costs for our first baby approached $3,000 for the first year. This doesn’t include, of course, the money coming out of our paycheck each month for having the health coverage.

I remember seeing the hospital bills with their expenses listed (before our insurance paid their share) - it is amazing how they rack up costs. $50 for changing wipes on a 36 hour stay, $75 for a cotton wrap. Ludicrous charges showed up on there.

That goes all the way through the hospital supply chain; my father’s last job was as Procurement Manager in a brand-new hospital, the previous one had been in an electronics factory (they mostly made TVs, boom boxes and VCRs). Since the hospital was new, one of the first things he had to buy were all the TVs, both for the rooms and to be used as monitors for equipment. The officially-approved supplier wanted to charge 2x retail price for the TVs in the rooms, 3x for the monitors; they tried to convince him that the monitors were some sort of special design. And on the other hand, there were companies which charged the hospital below-cost prices, in order to ensure that people would think “oh, the hospital uses XYZ diapers even though they’re the most expensive in the market, I can’t let my child have less than the best!”

Long out-of-date figures (the child in question is now 18) but my sister did not have insurance when her oldest daughter was born. She actually paid for the delivery so it was not some theoretical figure that might have been inflated for insurance purposes. It was a routine delivery with no complications and she paid $3000.

These figures are astonishing. My son was born in Switzerland in 1967. The entire bill for prenatal care, delivery, and seven nights in the hospital was SF350, about US$80 at the time. Even accounting for inflation, that would be around $500 in today’s money.

That’s about five times the sum we paid for delivery etc for all our three kids put together, here in Sweden. All these things are virtually free of charge. But then again, the taxes are high, so here’s a political discussion for you.

Is that the real cost, or the deductible/copay, amount that you paid over and above what the government subsidized?

I am a home birth midwife. I charge about $3500 for prenatal, birth, and postpartum care, including 4 post partum visits, which would include breastfeeding help if needed.
In addition, I recommend bloodwork (about $300-$400), and offer ultrasounds (about $200-500 each, one is “standard”). There are discounts to be had for pre-pay, but that’s the basic rate. About $4500 total. I do accept insurances, so a lot of women’s out of pocket cost is $100-1000 for the whole caboodle, same as it would be for a hospital birth.

Hospital charges in my area vary quite wildly. But standard is about $8000 for an uncomplicated delivery, paid cash.

You guys just made my biological clock alarm shut up for a while. Thanks.

And realize that what they’re quoting is just the entry fees. Running the whole race is gonna cost TONS more…