The cost of having a baby, from the first prenatal visit to the baby’s delivery, averaged roughly $7,600 for an uncomplicated birth, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The total, in 2004 dollars, includes payments for hospital childbirth, prenatal office visits, prescription medicines, and other services.
AHRQ also found that:
• Average spending for prenatal care for women with private insurance and women with Medicaid was about the same—approximately $2,000. However, their inpatient delivery costs differed: $6,520 for the former and $4,577 average for the latter.
On average, privately insured women paid about 8 percent of their total expenses for pregnancy out of pocket, or about $660 for a privately insured woman with an average level of expenses. In contrast, women on Medicaid paid only about 1 percent out of pocket.
• Only 23 percent of women had some prescription drug expenses associated with their pregnancy and the median amount of these expenses was $640. About three-quarters of all prescription drug expenses during pregnancy were for nutritional products such as prenatal vitamins.
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, works to enhance the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care in the United States. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a highly detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid.
Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)