Congratulations! You’re pregnant. There’s so much to think about and plan for over the next nine months — and almost none of it is free, or even cheap.
Finances are rarely the first thing we think about when we discover we’re expecting a baby, unless they’re already stretched, in which case they may be our biggest concern. But whether you’re financially comfortable or not, preparing financially for a new baby means making a few important, and immediate, decisions.
Financing the pregnancy and birth
Depending on where in the world you live, being pregnant and giving birth can be a major expense. According to Forbes, the average cost of giving birth in the USA without health insurance is $18,865 (less for a straightforward birth, rising to $26,280 if a caesarean is needed).
How much of these costs you’ll need to plan for will depend on your health insurance plan, of course, but average out-of-pocket costs are $2,854. These costs are for the birth alone, so you’ll need to factor in pre-natal care and post-natal hospital expenses for both mother and baby.
As with almost anything, it’s wise to plan ahead if you’re hoping to have a family someday, and choose a suitable insurance policy, but sometimes life happens and that’s just not possible. If your pregnancy was unexpected then you’ll need to immediately check what you’re covered for under your current health insurance. Important questions to ask include:
- What exactly is covered in terms of prenatal care and the birth itself?
- Does my plan cover a hospital (and possible NICU) stay?
- What’s covered in terms of specific plans I may have (such as a home birth, midwife and doula costs, or a planned caesarean)?
- Are supplementary costs related to pregnancy and post-partum recovery (such as complementary or mental heath services) covered?
- What are my deductibles and co-pays for each service?
It may be a little late to be finding out about this if you’re already pregnant, but the sooner you know what you’re working with the better you can plan to meet any…