Jul 13, 2022 - Health

The costs of having a baby

Average additional <span style="color: white; background-color:#00ab58; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap; font-weight: 900;">out-of-pocket</span>
 and <span style="color: #494949; background-color:#82eac7; padding: 0px 4px; display: inline-block; margin: 5px 0px 0px; white-space: nowrap; font-weight: 900;">insurance-covered</span> health spending by those who gave birth
Data: Kaiser Family Foundation; Chart: Axios Visuals

From frequent prenatal office visits, to caring for pregnancy-related conditions to the delivery itself, the cost of having a baby in the U.S. is nearly $19,000, per a new Kaiser Family Foundation report.

  • That translates to almost $3,000 in out-of-pocket costs on average for women insured by large group plans, the report said.

Why it matters: Estimates often look specifically at the costs of delivering a baby, but not the wraparound services that come with pregnancy which can add up.

By the numbers: The researchers looked at claims from the IBM MarketScan Encounter Database for enrollees in large employer private health plans from 2018 through 2020.

  • Pregnancies resulting in a vaginal delivery cost about $14,768, or about $2,655 out of pocket for women.
  • Pregnancies ending in C-sections cost an average of $26,280, or $3,214 in added expenses compared to women of the same age who do not give birth.

Between the lines: This makes me think of the Washington Post's recent breakdown of just how much it costs for women to breastfeed (despite often being told it's "free").

The intrigue: Drug costs typically dropped for pregnant women, likely because they are less likely to use birth control pills and other drugs considered unsafe during pregnancy.

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