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Study: Out-of-pocket costs for childbirth skyrocket in past decade

The average out-of-pocket costs of childbirth and maternal care among women with employer health insurance rose nearly 50% between 2008 and 2015, a new national study found (Source: “Childbirth comes with staggering out-of-pocket costs,” Columbus Dispatch, Jan. 13, 2020)

The average out-of-pocket costs of childbirth and maternal care among women with employer health insurance increased from $3,069 to $4,569 — 49% — between 2008 and 2015, the latest date for which statistics were available, according to a study published last week in the journal Health Affairs. The rising costs are largely attributed to the rise of high-deductible health plans.

“The magnitude of those costs were really striking,” said Dr. Michelle Moniz, the lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan.

When it came to vaginal delivery, average out-of-pocket costs increased from $2,910 in 2008 to $4,314 in 2015, according to the study. Out-of-pocket costs for C-section births increased from $3,364 in 2008 to $5,161 in 2015.