Ok, I'm curious. Looks like there are quite a few homebirthers out there and many women who have had multiple homebirths. I'd like to know how that impacted you financially? Did you have insurance who covered you or did you have to pay out of pocket? I know that was a major issue when I decided to go with the in-hospital CNM with my last birth. I loved my midwives, but think I might have considered homebirth if it would have been covered by insurance....even partially. My insurance would only cover an in-hospital CNM.....no lay or direct-entry midwives. Thanks!

Tags: Home, birth, finances, money

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Hello.

I always find this to be an interesting question.

I am 55 years old. I was born at home, UC, in 1954 in a small apartment on Vineland Avenue in North Hollywood. My father was a DC, and my mom wanted to have a home birth. I was eight weeks early, four pounds twelve ounces, and I am still here to tell the tale.

About expenses: my parents went on to have eight more children, seven of them at home. In the 1950s, the neighbors asked my mom if she had homebirths because we were poor and could not afford a hospital delivery; no, that was not true. Now, in the 2000s, people TELL me that I am privileged to be able to choose a home birth, and that is not true either.

My mom and I were simply able to negotiate the birth we wanted regardless of cost. We looked at our choices and made the best choice possible for ourselves.

As for insurance, with my first baby, 1980, the health insurance my husband and I had would only cover a delivery that involved pre-eclapsia, eclapsia or a caesarean section, none of which involved me. We paid out of pocket for everything for our homebirth with a doctor and a midwife. We paid $850.00.

My second baby was covered with a $200 deductable and 80/20 over the deductible. We had a home birth with the same doctor and midwife. The total cost was $1200.00

I had no maternity insurance when I had my third baby. We paid $2500 out of pocket for him with the same midwife at home.

I had no insurance at all when I had my fourth baby. We paid $5000 out of pocket for him with the same midwife at home.

Was it worth it? It sure was! I am the proud mother of four homeborn children.
I haven't had a homebirth but personally I delivered at a CNM's birth center, which was a preferred provider on our insurance and it was a very homey atmosphere. The only drawback was the drive. So I would way, and it may not really answer your question, but can you find a CNM in a birth center that your insurance would cover, if that is something you would consider?
Coralissa said:
I am having a home water birth in Vegas and my insurance is covering it after I reach my deductible.

My insurance 100% covered my Vegas homebirth as well. Initially over the phone I was told they would not cover it, but through an insurance biller we submitted the bills anyway and the checks started pouring in. We also claimed them on our itemized taxes for that year.

Even if they say NO, submit your bills anyway. Hire a doula, submit the receipts. My clients have been told no on the phone and reimbursed when paperwork was submitted. What's the worst thats going to happen... you waste a stamp or a fax, five minutes of your time submitting the receipts and they say no.
I have been told by our insurance that they won't cover a midwife (also in Las Vegas), only MDs, DOs, etc...she read me the whole list. It's all so frustrating. I will have to share this post with my husband.
My insurance (oxford) covered my homebirth. The only out of pocket expense we had was renting the birthing tub and the list of items my midwife requested.
I had 2 homebirths. 1 was supposed to be paid via insurance (they assured us they covered home births) but after all the "unauthorized" and "uncovered" charges, I ended up paying for the vast majority of the home birth, in addition to all of the monthly insurance premiums. My first homebirth was $3800.

My second was a midwife and we didn't bother going through insurance (we don't have any insurance anymore, instead choosing to save our insurance premiums in a medical savings account). My second home birth cost me $2800.

My first birth was a hospital birth (completely covered by insurance) and I saw the bills...over $30,000 (natural, no drugs, pitocin induced, vaginal delivery). $15,000 for the 3 days in the hospital, etc and another $15,000 for doctor fees, pre and post natal visits, etc.

The homebirth fees covered everything...everything.
Thanks so much for responding everyone. It is interesting how different it varies, state to state, different insurances, etc. It just kills me how insurance companies will pay tens of thousands of dollars without batting an eyelash to hospitals but fight not to cover homebirths that cover a couple grand....just insane!
well my insurance covers about 200.00 out of 3200.00 ( so not much). But my flexable spending account lets me use it towards my midwife..so I put in 5000.00 a year and I have never had any left over. Then again 3200.00 takes a good hunk of that. But I have a kid with asthma, so shoot a couple of trips to the ER and the rest is gone. I think that money does play a big role, but I have friends who have no insurance that go with HB because it is so much cheaper then the hospital!

Amber
Why do you women let your health care providers and health insurance dictate to YOU where you will have your baby. My husband and I were out of work when I had my fourth baby. We paid out of pocket for it. If I had to go to the hospital, I would have gone and paid for it, but honestly, why do you have to be told where to go to give birth by some CEOs in a large insurance company? Whose birth is it anyway?
applejuice, I hear you and if I were to get pregnant again I think I would pay out of pocket, but to answer your question, when you do have insurance and your options are to pay a $500 deductible for a hospital birth or $4000 for a homebirth, its hard to think of going into that kind of debt to get "the experience" (or at least that's where I was at when I was pregnant this last time). I had midwives at the hospital and a relatively good experience and the thought of getting that into debt was completely scary to me. Plus, many women have problems getting their husbands on board to begin with and when you throw in the money issue, sometimes the hubbies just aren't on board at all when they realize how much it will cost. But, like I said, I think I've gotten to a place where money wouldn't be as much of an issue, although it still ticks me off that they won't cover it.
My four babies were born at home.

Had I gone to the hospital with #1, a 27 hour posterior labor, I would probably have had a caesarean. If I did not, I would have had a more protracted recovery. Instead at home, I recovered quickly and literally without a stitch.

Had I gone to the hospital with #2, a posterior with a deflexed head presentation, I would have had a caesarean. Instead I again recovered quickly at home again, literally, without a stitch.

I would never had any more babies. However since I paid out of pocket for these deliveries at home, I was healthy and confident enough to go on and have two more at home which I also paid for out of pocket. Having major abdominal surgery as a healthy woman is a consideration for later life health situations as colon blockages, fallen bladders, appendix problems, and hysterectomies; caesareans are associated with later miscarriages, stillbirths, placenta accreta, and adhesions. These other problems are never discussed in childbirth classes (which I have taught) and on consent forms.

Therefore in the long run, in my own honest opinion, the $500 deductible is really more expensive than the $4000 out of pocket expense. However, I agree, I am only paying my own bills, not anyone else's. I can only offer a different perspective here that no one else would.
While I completely understand what you are saying, just because there is a potential for all the issues that can accompany a hospital birth, when you get down to it, it's simply a matter of the here and now. Do I have $500 for the deductible or do I have $5000 to say, "screw you" to my insurance and do it my way? I'm one of those, "you women" you were referring to. I had a birthing center birth for my first because that was the only way my insurance would cover it. I'm soooo glad I didn't have a hospital birth as I had a longer labor than you did, my baby was posterior and there were several other issues I ran into which I know positively would have resulted in a c-section had I been in a hospital. Despite that, I was ready to do a hospital birth for #2 armed with all of the information and experience I now have, simply because I just couldn't afford to pay out of pocket. It's not me saying, "gee, Mr. CEO, I guess you know better than I do, where I should have this baby" it's me saying, "I hate you, Mr. CEO for forcing me to have this baby somewhere I'm not comfortable simply because you are a biased turd". Anyhow, I'm just saying, it's not because we are pansies or stupid that we may be forced to go where our insurance dictates we are "allowed" to go.

All that being said, in the end we were able to dig up the money we needed to tell our insurance to kiss our bums and are having the homebirth I always wanted. But I just felt the need to defend myself anyhow, because had we not been able to scrape it together I would have been one of the "you women" you were referring to.

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