Saturday, November 28, 2015
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Baby Cost


The Real Cost of Having a Baby
Without Maternity Insurance

As you may have read on our About Jane and Tarzan page, we’re self-employed and do not have Maternity Insurance.  We’re not going to get into how messed up the U.S. healthcare system is here, or how hard-working people like us suffer, especially in this costs-of-having-a-baby-todayeconomy.  Basically, if you’re self-employed, you didn’t get maternity insurance before getting pregnant, then you are required to pay all bills out of pocket related to your pregnancy.  Oh the joys.

If you want to read about Tarzan’s thoughts and more about our situation, see this blog post and read the comments.  Just a warning,he’s not a happy camper about the way the system works at all!

WARNING: The cost to have a baby without maternity insurance is expensive and shocking! In an effort to help other soon-to-be parents who find themselves in our situation (it doesn’t take much, just a few jello shots and a passionate night does the trick, believe us), we’ve decided to document how much we’re spending, and where it’s going so there are no surprises for you - like there have been for us.

Here are the real costs of having a baby… and YES, we have had to pay ALL of this out of our own pockets!  (And yes, the below are the lowest discounted prices we were able to receive.)

1. 1st Doctor Appointment (Dec, 08): $528.00

2. Pregnancy Blood Tests (Dec, 08): $320.50

3. 2nd Doctor Appointment (Jan, 09): $528.00

4. 3rd Doctor Appointment (Feb, 09): $528.00

5. A surprise bill from Quest Diag. (Feb, 09): A mistake? We called, they never called back. Never paid.

6. Ultrasound – It’s A Boy! (Feb, 09): $804.64

7. 4th Doctor Appointment (March, 09): $528.00

8. More blood work (March, 09): $37.00

9. 5th Doctor Appointment (April, 09): $528.00

10. Ultrasound again (April, 09): $763.00

11. 6th Doctor Appointment (end of April, 09): $528.00

12. Bloodwork for Glucose test (April, 09): $48.00

13. Lab for possible UTI (May, 09) : $22.00

14. $%#@! Hospital stay for vaginal delivery (May, 09): $3,300.00

15. Epidural for vaginal delivery (May, 09): $1,200.00

16. Tylenol for Tarzan to deal with the above: $2.25

17. Circumcision paid upfront (May, 09): $250.00

18. Cost for another Dr. to read April Ultrasound (June, 09): $171.50

19. Blood tests (again! July, 09): $59.00

20. Blood tests @ hospital (July, 09): $34.40

21. Doctor bill @ hospital (July, 09): $242.00

22. Blood tests @ hospital (July, 09): $98.80

*** Update August 18th, I BELIEVE this is the final total of
money spent to have a baby without maternity insurance. ***

The Total Cost To Have A Baby Without
Maternity Insurance Is:

cost-of-baby1Note 1:
We live in a city and what we’re spending may be on the higher end compared to a couple who live in a small town or out in the country.  However, at least this will provide you with an idea of what the cost of a baby is now-a-days for a couple with no maternity insurance and no Medicaid coverage.  And speaking of Medicaid…

monthly-baby-costNote 2: We earn more than the $2100 or so cap that’s in place for Medicaid in Texas.  Jane called EVERY place you can think of, talked to tons of people, and there is nothing in place in Texas or the US Government to help small business owners like us – or the millions who may be in our situation as well.

As crazy as this may sound, Tarzan wrote a letter to President Obama and his staff detailing his full plan on how a system could be created that would create a win-win for the Government, small business owners, hospitals, and yes, even the economy.  (see this blog post as mentioned above for details – look down in the comments for an overview of Tarzan’s small business owner bailout plan.)  It seems that the small business owner (who makes up a very large percentage of the economy, tax dollars, etc.) has been forgotten during this down economic climate.  Sucks, you know?

The REAL cost to have a baby for a hard-working, LEGAL US citizens with no maternity insurance is crazy.  There needs to be a plan for people like us who will pay the money back.  A government loan with a small amount of interest would have been nice and create a win-win for everyone.  Less stress on us, more money to spend which would fuel the economy, and a way for the government to make money from the interest so they can get bailed out of their mess.  Sadly, I have a feeling my letter detailing my full idea was never seen.

Oh well.  We’re doing what we can with what we have because we have no other choice.  The bottom line… we’d pay any amount to ensure little Tarzan Jr. enters this world safely and is a healthy bouncing baby boy.

Facebook comments:

{ 189 comments… read them below or add one }

1 katherine

Another thing (I’m really interested in this), is it normal procedure to use a doctor to deliver the baby, over a midwife? We just have midwives here in the UK as standard, unless it gets complicated of course; or one is classed as high risk for some reason. In fact there are many maternity units that are led solely by midwives for very low risk births with no interventions (doctor on standby of course). There is no way I would’ve let a doctor deliver any of mine unless it was necessary for their or my health and safety. For my 1st I had an epidural (not good but that’s just my opinion) for the 2nd and 3rd just gas and air; so no doctors present at all. Actually I had #3 in a birthing pool which was fantastic…very soothing…

2 katherine

Oh my, I CANNOT believe how much it costs to have a baby in the US! Everyone moans about the NHS in the UK but we don’t have to pay a penny (unless one chooses to go private).

3 Imelda

Thanks for the twitter follow fellow Houstonian! I must say I was a bit shocked at the twitter ID and had to visit the blog. Then I was even more shocked that you are doing this.. but after reading a bit and reviewing the advertising here, I think its a great thing you’re doing. I wish you well with your pregnancy and soon to arrive kiddo. I have 2 kids and know you’ll just love being parents!

4 Tabitha Blue

We were in the VERY same situation… well, not in Texas, but still pregnant with NO insurance and didn’t qualify for any medicaid. It’s true what others have said about negotiating BEFORE you get to the hospital. We started calling all the hospitals in our city, there are 3 good ones, and they were all the same way. If we set it up with them as cash patients, they have a basic cost for a normal delivery… it covers prenatal visits as well, and can sometimes cost as low as $3000!!! Check it out. Call all the hospitals around and find out what kind of cash based options they have for prenatal and delivery. Hope it helps!


5 Court

Wow! I read the feedback… I had now idea it has received such bad reviews.

6 Tarzan

Hey Court,

Oh yes, we looked into Maternity Advantage. I’ll never bash any person or company… I’ll let the reviews by thousands of people speak for themselves, as you see for yourself in a minute. Awhile back I did some research on them and did a search on Google for “Maternity Advantage”+”review”. After all, Maternity Advantage sounded like a great deal and I too thought Jane and I would be a good fit. Hmmmm…

The results:

Thanks for thinking of us, but I can say that we will not be doing anything with Maternity Advantage based on all of the reviews I’ve read.

7 Court

Have you guys looked into Maternity Advantage. It’s not an insurance but a company that negotiates the rates for you saving you up to 60% on you pregnancy related bills, visits, L& D , meds,everything. Checkout their website. YOu sound like the perfect candidates.

8 Tarzan

@Australia… A trip to Australia doesn’t sound too bad at all. :)

@Cat… Jane and I do both have health insurance… but we needed to get maternity insurance before Jane got pregnant. Don’t you wish we lived in that ‘perfect world where everything goes as planned’? Drives me crazy. But you know, I’ve never heard about the 50/50 plan before. Not available in TX that I know of anyway – and Jane and I did a ton of research and calling around.

@Jaspenelle… A midwife may be an option for our second child. But I think it has been decided that we won’t be going with a midwife for several reasons. I’ll ask Jane to post a blog post about that soon – as to why we’re not going with a midwife. One of the reasons is that we’ve already paid over $2,000 to her doctor. Switching now is $2K down the drain. Biggest reason, is that Jane is not comfortable with the midwife this time around and wants to have the doctor that she has had for years and years deliver our son. Her doctor is also her mom’s doctor. There’s a lot of comfort there. And I know Jane’s comfort level is VERY important.

I’ll be pulling all the cats and monkeys I have in my bag on Monday or Tuesday when I call the hospital and begin working on getting the price down for the birth of our son. Stay tuned… I’m sure that’ll be an interesting blog post!

9 Jaspenelle Stewart

My total cost for delivering my son in the USA (Washington State) was about $4000. I used a midwife and a birth center. It is not as backward and weird as people think, I am so glad I chose that route for many reasons. I had insurace (so I ended up paying $600 I think?) but my midwife would have worked with me if I didn’t.

10 Cat @ 3 Kids and Us

These costs are insane. I’m sure you have but I’ll suggest it anyways…private HMO insurance? I know each state is different but because I’m self employed I had to purchase my own. The insurance company had two policies, 1) you buy it before you’re pregnant it’s a 90/10 plan. 2) you buy it after you’re pregnant it’s a 50/50 plan.

11 Mara

Wow with some of those costs, you could fly to Australia and back, pay for accommodation, have all your scans/blood tests and all other pregnancy tests and have your baby, with change left over to buy something. Makes me realise how lucky we are. If you’re in the public hospital system, it’s all paid for by the government – there may be just a few out of pocket expenses. We opted for a home birth and that wasn’t “officially” covered by the government per se, it cost us about $3500 to have a home birth which included consultations with our midwife (I did all the testing in the hospital which cost me nothing). But saying that, the government issues “Baby Bonuses” once you’ve had a baby & in 2005 when we had our first, we received $4000 – so in a way the home birth was paid for by the government :-)

12 Tarzan

Crysi… yeah, the hospital took 30% off our bill because we didn’t have insurance. Still paying over $800 STINGS! I did what I could yesterday to get more off. It didn’t work. They were not budging, but the lady was nice and gave me some info that I’ll be blogging about soon.

Cent Saving Mom – oh yes, I’m saving everything and documenting any conversations I’m having and with who. I want to know where every single penny is going and why. Wow – I wish you the best on your situation – sounds like the employer should be the one paying 100% of the bills for their mistake!

13 Crysi

Heh.. I just saw what the perinatologist billed our insurance for our ultrasound last week: $1347?! We’ll be paying at least 15%, if not more and then we do it all again next month. I’ll admit, I’m glad our insurance covers some, but eeks! Not expecting that at all.

14 Eastland

I live in Canada and everything is free! Unless you want a private room or various upgrades, but even then it’s only about $200 a day for that, and most insurance companies will cover it. In Canada most procedures (other than cosmetic ones) are free, and most people have medical and dental insurance on top of that through their jobs or a private insurance company. Come here to have the baby…I bet you’d be covered! Have you thought about a homebirth? That would cut costs quite a bit.

15 Cent Saving Mom

I’ll spare you the details on how much the bill for my twins was/still is (still trying to resolve 1+ year later). My husbands employer failed to add our twinkies to the insurance in the allotted time and now they don’t want to pay their hospital bills. So I’m here to remind you and Jane to get everything in writing during your search and I wish the both of you the best!

16 Jane

Yes, we are getting a discount for being a cash customer. We actually just have to pay monthly, so when we start having to go weekly and bi-weekly, it won’t cost each time. Whew!

17 tjwriter

Is your doctor giving you a discount because you are a cash customer? I’ve read that many doctors will knock some off the bill if you are not using insurance.

Those doctor’s visits will get really expensive when you are going once a week.

18 jessica

Yes, midwives are MUCH cheaper. Check out the awesome documentary Ricki Lake did last year called “The buisness of being born” about how deplorable the birth conditions really are in the us (biggest infant mortality in the WORLD!!!) Really interesting take as Ricki Lake had a hospital birth and a natural midwife home birth.

19 Donielle @ Raising Peanuts

Honestly, if we didn’t have insurance, we’d go with a midwife and a home birth. Here in MI it’s about $2-3,000.00 when all is said and done. Compared to the $7,000.00 it costs for my last hospital birth. (of course insurance paid!)

20 Tarzan

Well hey momof3girls! Welcome to our little pregnancy blog. I’m glad we’re your entertainment at night and not those ‘other’ website many people spend time on at night. ;)

That is so funny you laughed so hard you woke up your husband! That’s great – as long as you didn’t pee on yourself… or on him.

Ahhhh… the dreaded midwife subject. This one is becoming tougher and tougher. We have a lot of people suggesting a midwife. Jane has looked into it. We have a few factors to deal with. One is that Jane has her doctor for many, many years. Both her and her mom actually. She feels very comfortable with her. We haven’t tossed the idea out of the window yet… Jane and I are still discussing it… in between both of our pregnancy mood swings that I now somehow caught like a cold!

Anyway, we will keep everyone posted on that saga… believe you me. :)

21 momof3girls

Ok I’ve been a silent ready for a few days now and I finally have to chime in. I have never laughed so hard. With 3 girls I don’t get computer time during the day so at night I play around online and look for things that interest me. Ok I know that sounds like porn but it’s not. You two are my new evening sitcom. I laughed so hard at the sneeze and pee post I woke up my husband. Keep it up. You make me happy.

ok over 500.00 for a dr appt. no way! I live near Seattle and that is crazy. I had midwives? Is Jane married to the idea of drugs? Even if she is you guys should check out a CNM or LNM through the hospital. The care is second to non and it’s over half the price. I had my second daughter with midwives through the hospital and I had drugs. Still cost wayyyy less.
The last baby I had at home and the whole thing total came to 4500.00 Pre and Post care. Check it out!

22 Tarzan

Hey Lipton of Starfeeder,

You aint kidding brother – there would be no tears shed here either.

Outsourcing the birth of your child… very interesting. I’m a big fan of outsourcing. I wonder what Jane would think if I told her I’m going to send her off to the Philippines? Something tells me she wouldn’t go for that. Darn.

23 Lipton of Starfeeder

When my wife got pregnant with our 2nd kid, it was also unplanned and at the time neither of us had health insurance, I had to outsource our birth… meaning bought a ticket for her and our first kid to the Philippines. The 2nd baby is healthy now and only cost $1000 for the delivery and the plane tickets.

American healthcare sucks, I can’t wait till we have some sort of socialized heatlhcare industry… I wouldn’t shed a tear if every single health insurance company went bankrupt.

24 Natalja

I don’t know guys, where all these insane prices come from. I did have a c-section which was my own choice, and $9,000 I’ve mentioned was for that. Not sure perhaps I have a some kind of better insurance since my hubby works in non-profit organization or it varies state to state. I am in Florida. But $50,000-$60,000 is INSANE. Only rich and famous can afford a luxury of having a kid. It maked my blood boil. Do they pull these prices out of their a**???

25 jessica

you are welcome-it works-shop around at hospitals like you would anything else-go take a tour-tell them you are cash customers (they LOVE cash customers) and that you are shopping around where to have your birth. even talk to the financial officer of the hospital if you have to…

26 Tarzan

Hey Jessica – now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!

27 Jane

Hey Jessica -

Thanks for the great tip and also the hope of a cheaper l&d (like your friend)!

28 jessica

NEGOTIATE your labor costs BEFORE you get there! I have heard story after story of this-go to the hospitals you want and negotiate. You will have no power to do so after the baby comes-so do it before. I know a friend who had a a labor and delivery for $5k which should have cost $25k b/c they negotiated before and paid cash.

29 Tarzan

Hey PenguinSix,

Way to rub it in man. Just kidding.

I’ve heard from others who’ve had to pay out of pocket a wide range from $8K all the way to $50K to $60K because his wife had to have a c-section.

So I guess all these bills we’re paying now and leading up to the birth is just an appetizer!

30 PenguinSix

FWIW, I just tallied up the bills from our recent arrival. From the moment my wife went into labor to the moment we left the hospital (with a non-complicated, simple delivery) the cost was $16,188. We did have a luxury ($400 for a private room) but that was the only real ‘optional’ expense we had (and yes, insurance paid almost all of that).

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