STICKER SHOCK

07.01.13

The Hefty Price of Childbirth

Maternity expenses in America continue to rise.

Want to have a baby? Be prepared to cough up the dough. It’s getting more and more expensive to give birth in the United States, making it the costliest in the world, according to The New York Times. Delivery costs have tripled since 1996, and maternity and newborn care are the single-biggest category of hospital payouts for insurers. The cumulative cost (for around 4 million annual births) is more than $50 billion. Twenty years ago, women were paying nothing other than a small fee for a private room or television. Today, more than 60 percent of women with private plans (not obtained through an employer) do not have maternity coverage. According to the report, even women with insurance are pressured into higher co-payments and deductibles, although they’re not getting more care.