The hidden costs of having a baby.
Photo by Luma Pimentel on Unsplash
When you’re getting ready to have a baby, there are some costs you’re likely expecting. That might include a surplus supply of diapers, clothes, toys, and other essential items for their nursery. Children, in general, can be expensive. Most parents know that, even when their children are grown.
But, having a baby shouldn’t be the time when you start worrying about your finances. Unfortunately, the U.S. hasn’t followed the pattern of most other developed countries, where having a baby isn’t a financial strain. In Finland, for example, it costs less than $60 to give birth in a hospital. In the United States, the average delivery costs over $4,500 with insurance and can set women without insurance back anywhere from $10,000-$30,000.
So, what can you do to avoid the shock of a hefty hospital bill, and how can you manage your medical expenses when having a baby?
What to expect when you’re… not expecting a bill that big!
Giving yourself some peace of mind starts with knowing about some of the hidden costs of childbirth. You can always ask other moms who have been through it for advice and any costs you might not be thinking about. If they were surprised by it, too, they’ll likely be more than happy to share their stories with you.
It’s also a good idea to do your research and find out about any potential costs you may not be thinking about, including:
- Tests and procedures
- Bills from your primary provider
- Any specialists you or your baby see
- Supplies used in the hospital
Unfortunately, you might end up getting multiple bills depending on how your hospital handles its finances. Some will be for you, some will be for your baby, and some will be from different departments. It can be overwhelming to see what you owe, which is why 79 million Americans are dealing with medical debt. Thankfully, there are things you can do to manage that debt and pay off your hospital bills without straining your budget.
How to manage your medical expenses
One of the best things you can do is to plan as much as possible with your finances. Before your baby is born, make managing your money a priority by:
- Creating a budget
- Cutting out unnecessary spending
- Understanding your expenses
- Creating an emergency fund
- Paying off existing debts
You might find that you need to alter your lifestyle when it comes to how you spend money. Again, children are expensive. That doesn’t stop after you’ve paid off your last hospital bill. Understanding the changes you might need to make now can help you to save money throughout your child’s life.
When it comes to dealing with the expenses you’ll be facing while having your baby, keep some of these planning tips in mind. It’s also important to understand the resources that can help you with any medical debt you incur. Talk to your hospital about setting up a payment plan that works for you. Or, reach out to different charities designed to help families with their medical finances.
You certainly aren’t alone when it comes to these costs. By thinking about them now and doing what you can to manage your finances, you can spend more time relaxing and recovering with your new bundle of joy.