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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My insurance covered my first birth which was birth center with midwives with a transfer to the hospital at the end. It also covered my second birth which was a home birth with a midwife. All we had to pay was our yearly deductibles. Yay!
We ended up paying out of pocket. You can always make paymant plans.
I am having a home water birth in Vegas and my insurance is covering it after I reach my deductible.
There's no such thing as choice with many insurance compaies. I'm with AETNA who have a policy against homebirths- the won't cover them. But some states (like NY) have laws on the books that require insurance companies to cover homebirths if that policy was written in that particular state. Unfortunately for me, even tho I'm a resident of NY, I can't get AETNA to cover my homebirth because my policy was written in DC- a state that doesn't require insurance companies to cover homebirths. And because we can't afford to pay out of pocket, I'm forced to have a hospital birth.
We paid out of pocket for all three. Our first was crazy expensive 6000 and took us almost 2 years to pay off. the last two were so much more reasonable 1700 and 1600 total. We liked the midwife of the last two a lot more too, strange. Our current midwife offers cash discount, military discount, payment plans also she grandfathers in previous clients. She will work with people how ever she can and has even taken trades like paint on her house or people laying her floors. Even as expensive as the first was I would do it over and over again. I have Tri- care and I have heard that some people are having success getting reimbursed(sp), so we are going to submit and try it. I also wrote them and sent studies on how hospital birth is just as safe as home birth...politics essshhh!
My insurance covers midwives...BUT there is ONE in my area and she doesn't take my insurance and she has a birth center, so she doesn't do homebirths. I've thought about doing an un-assistaed home birth....I need to read up more on this.
Coralissa, Who is your midwife? I had a midwife with my first child and live in Las Vegas and loved it. This time, 7 years later, my husband is a bit scared so we are having this one in the hospital. Our next will definitely be at home if this all goes well and I can convince him. Good luck with your water birth. I have met several midwives in Las Vegas and all are great.

BirthInSerenity said:
My insurance covered my first birth which was birth center with midwives with a transfer to the hospital at the end. It also covered my second birth which was a home birth with a midwife. All we had to pay was our yearly deductibles. Yay!
Aetna DID cover my last birth, which was at a birth center with a lay midwife. We had contemplated a homebirth, and I was told by Aetna that it would be covered if a midwife was present and I wrote a letter ahead of time (basically, I had to get a precert). I was told that as long as I met those requirements, a homebirth would be covered a the same level as any other birth with an in-network provider (which my lay midwife was). I am pretty sure this was accurate info at the time, because we had a lengthy discussion about it, and he read the policy to me over the phone-- homebirth was written into my husband's employer's policy. A friend of mine was also told that Aetna has an across-the-board no homebirth policy. Either that is not true, and it depends on your policy, or it has changed in the past year. It amazes me how difficult it is to get coverage for a homebirth. Don't they realize how much less expensive it is than a hospital birth?
I had Aetna for my last birth and was given a really hard time about using a midwife at all. I was told repeatedly that they wouldn't cover a midwife no matter what. I had friend who had the exact same insurance we did having a birthing center birth. So with the help of the birthing center I was finally able to get the people I was talking to to admit that they would cover a midwife providing the birth was in a hospital or birthing center setting but that they did not cover homebirths. I live in CA. I had wanted a homebirth but due to the above I had a birthing center birth instead. This time around for financial reasons I decided to do a hospital birth (we still have stinky Aetna) but after a while I just wasn't comfortable with this and decided to do a homebirth despite the cost. Aetna has to cover prenatal and post-natal visits, it's specifically the birth itself that they won't cover if it is at home. I was told by Aetna that they view homebirths as "inappropriate". Anyhow, I'm paying out of pocket and sending in claims for all of my visits to get out-of-network coverage for at least everything but the birth itself. I'm going to go ahead and send in a claim for the birth itself and see if they don't just cover it anyhow. But I doubt they will...it's too bad how the system works because I'm saving them loads of money doing it this way.

When I was pregs with #1 I had to have my appendix out at 24 weeks pregnant. This involved a trip to the ER, the surgery of course, and a 2 night stay at the hospital. The bill was over $30,000. I can't imagine what it would be if I had my baby in the hospital and ended up with an unnecessary emergency c-section. That vs. $4300 that my mw is charging.
I went with a midwife in the hospital this time because of the same reason. But my friend had hers at home with a lay midwife. She paid $3000 total from start to finish. For her it was worth it because even with a hospital birth, she would still owe about that anyway even after her insurance coverage! I found too even at the hospital my total bill was much, much less than my fist birth because of 1) having a midwife deliver instead of an OB and 2) all natural means you're not paying out the wazoo for medication, ivs, anesthesiologist etc etc etc.
I think that is the whole point. Instead of hiring a group of independent researchers to find the cost/saftey answer the insurance companies rely on what the Dr.'s say who are of course tied to their own politics and interests...Why would Kmart tell you to shop at Wal-mart?
Ruth Baril said:
Aetna DID cover my last birth, which was at a birth center with a lay midwife. We had contemplated a homebirth, and I was told by Aetna that it would be covered if a midwife was present and I wrote a letter ahead of time (basically, I had to get a precert). I was told that as long as I met those requirements, a homebirth would be covered a the same level as any other birth with an in-network provider (which my lay midwife was). I am pretty sure this was accurate info at the time, because we had a lengthy discussion about it, and he read the policy to me over the phone-- homebirth was written into my husband's employer's policy. A friend of mine was also told that Aetna has an across-the-board no homebirth policy. Either that is not true, and it depends on your policy, or it has changed in the past year. It amazes me how difficult it is to get coverage for a homebirth. Don't they realize how much less expensive it is than a hospital birth?
I haven't had home births, but I have had 2 births in a birth center (apart from a hospital) and had United Healthcare the first time and Medicaid the second time and they both covered the births. It was my impression that the insurance company and Medicaid were happy about covering the cost of the births at the birth center because it's so much cheaper! With Medicaid I paid absolutely nothing. With United Healthcare, I had to pay about 20% of the delivery cost and it really wasn't much and I was put on a payment plan. My first birth center experience was a water birth and the 2nd one was out of the water.

I'm really not sure why insurance wouldn't cover these types of births. It saves them money. My experience and my thoughts were that insurance companies jump at this option because it is so much cheaper.

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