Having a child is expensive, it’s just a fact of life. A report shows the estimated average cost of having a baby for women with health insurance was $4,569 in 2015, up from $3,069 in 2008. A new University of Michigan study found that between 2008 and 2015, 98 percent of women had some out-of-pocket costs for maternity care. The estimated cost of having a cesarean section rose from $3,364 in 2008 to $5,161 in 2015, while the estimated cost of having a vaginal birth rose from $2,910 to $4,314.
Usha Ranji, associate director for women’s health policy at the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation, says, “Having a baby is the most common reason for hospitalization in the U.S., and even with private insurance, women could face significant out-of-pocket costs when they have a baby.” Study author, Dr. Michelle Moniz adds that the findings are concerning because cost is one reason many women might defer or skip needed care, which can lead to bad health outcomes for mother and baby.