Everyone knows that having a baby can be expensive. But really…How expensive, you ask? According to BabyCenter.com’s Baby Cost Calculator, the first year of a baby’s life (not including medical bills) is likely to run anywhere from $4,000-$10,000–or more! From fun purchases like nursery decor and baby clothing, to not-so-fun expenses like medical care and hospital stays, the cost of a baby adds up quickly. But here are few things even insured couples are paying out-of-pocket for that they don’t necessarily have to:
1) Childbirth Classes
Many insurance companies consider Childbirth Classes to fall under the realm of prenatal care. Classes can be located through your local hospitals, or a quick search online should help you locate a private class. (If you use a private educator, just make sure they are certified and teach from board-reviewed material like this.)
While most insurance companies won’t cover home-birth midwives, many insurance companies have no problem at all with covering a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) who attends in-hospital births. If you are very natural-minded and want a midwife, but need insurance to pay for it, then look for an OB/GYN office with a CNM on staff. (It is also good to note that the current medical trend is leaning more toward the ‘mother-baby initiative.’ So even if you can’t find a CNM, chances are good you will still be able locate a natural-minded, supportive doctor.)
Doulas are non-medical support persons who are helpful during labor for the emotional care of laboring mothers and their spouses (or birth partners) throughout their childbirth experience. Because a doula’s presence statistically tends to decrease the need for expensive medical intervention during labor, many insurance companies are willing to cover all or part of a doula’s fees. When interviewing doulas, ask if they have a Provider Identifier Number (PIN) that can be submitted for insurance.
To find out whether your insurance company/plan covers these services, it is important to actually call your insurance company and ask. (Few companies offer an exhaustive, printed list of all the services they cover.) Lastly, If your plan does not cover the services, don’t despair! HSA and FSA will often reimburse in part, or in full. A few quick phone calls to the right people, and savvy parents could potentially save thousands.
Jennifer DeBrito, CCLD, CCBE is a Colorado Springs Doula and Childbirth Educator. She is the author of Expectant Parents Workshop:Devotional, and the creator of the Expectant Parents Workshop childbirth preparation class. Jennifer was the 3-time doula to Suzanne Hadley Gosselin (esteemed author of Expectant Parents, a pregnancy/childbirth/parenting book by Focus on the Family, releasing October 2014). In addition to coaching expectant parents toward a Christ-centered childbirth, Jennifer also specializes in prenatal and postpartum wellness coaching. Jennifer is also a featured blogger for My719Moms.com. To learn more about Jennifer, go to EdensPromiseLLC.com.