Pregnancy can be an exciting time; a new addition to the family is on the way! It’s also an opportunity to prepare. For some, prenatal care and delivery costs can be difficult to manage. Maternity costs average $8,802! That includes prenatal care, delivery costs and post-partum healthcare. Having the foresight and taking the right steps can help you feel more confident about the process and associated expenses. That way, you can focus on what matters: the anticipation and joy of your child.
To a large extent, the needs of your specific pregnancy will determine the details and frequency of your prenatal care. However, there are important steps to consider that will help you keep your out-of-pocket medical costs as low as possible.
Get to Know Your Health Insurance
As soon as possible, look into the details of your health benefits. This will help you anticipate and budget for upcoming costs.
- What is your deductible?
Have you made any payments this year? If so, what is the balance? You’ll be responsible for paying your deductible amount, in full, before your health insurance picks up your medical costs.
- What is your copay amount for office visits?
You may be responsible for paying your copay whenever you visit a medical professional. This amount is specific to your plan. It can be a fixed or percentage copayment, based on the type of provider (ie specialist, general provider, etc).
- What is the cost for additional testing?
When you’re pregnant, you’ll need additional tests like ultrasounds, blood work, and glucose monitoring. Find out what the cost is for these services so you’re not surprised.
Shop Around For…Everything
There’s a lot that goes into prenatal care: office visits, tests, labs, prescriptions, etc. Healthcare costs are not standardized. The means, with no correlation between higher cost and improved care, you could accidentally pay up to 500% more than you need to, just because you make an uninformed decision.
Inform yourself by shopping around first for:
- Your prenatal care provider
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to select an OB/GYN for the duration of your prenatal care. That 500% we mentioned earlier? That applies to a care within your network. While two providers might be in-network, their prices can vary considerably. Weigh your options: call ahead to inquire about office visit charges. Also, make sure this doctor delivers at a hospital that is in your network.
- Fair priced tests and labs
Blood work and different screenings are a common part of prenatal care. Oftentimes, doctors are unaware of pricing information, so their facility recommendations may not be the most cost-efficient. Call around for pricing and network information before selecting your site of care.
- Prenatal vitamins
Many providers write prescriptions for prenatal vitamins. This can ultimately cost more, depending on your prescription copays. Check if the brand prescription is necessary. If not, a generic or an over-the-counter option might work just fine. Some pharmacies also offer free prenatal vitamins. Check pharmacies near you.
Ask For Fewer Prenatal Care Visits
Depending on the state of your pregnancy and your overall health, you may not need to be seen as often. Additionally, some tests may not be necessary. Ask questions to fully understand your options. It sounds intimidating, but talking to your provider about financial restraints and concerns is perfectly appropriate.
Have a Question About Paying for Your Prenatal Care?
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