How do people pay for home birth? For the last three months my husband and I have been planning for a home birth, and my insurance (Anthem) covered our midwife. Today I found out that my company is changing insurance companies to a local company (that happens to be owned by the local hospital). This means no midwife coverage. In fact, this insurance company told a friend of mine that home birth is an emergency situation and they don't cover any of it. 

 

Now, I'm trying to figure out what to do. Our midwife cost would be out of pocket and with a new baby I don't think we could make that work. However, I had really started to visualize what it would be like to bring our baby boy into the world through the comfort and security of our home.

 

I've had friends who have had amazing, natural birth experiences at the local hospital, but I'm still fearful of being forced/pressured into unnecessary interventions. My only thought is that I could hire my midwife as my doula instead.


How have other people handled this?

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We have paid for our midwife out of pocket.  It has been tough at times, but I think in the end it is totally worth it.  It might depend on how much it is.  Our midwife charges 2600.00.  We just pay a little at each visit and have to have her paid off by the 6 week check up. 

 

Have your current insurance pay your MW a pro-rated amt for services rendered until your ins changes since you "can't see her for the remainder of your PG. Then instead of using your new ins just pay the MW the difference out of pocket.  Many times MWs will allow you to make pmnts. Would yours be willing to do that?

My husband's company changed my coverage though it was still w/the same company. My maternity coverage was 100% but w/change of coverage it became 80/20. I threw a BIG fit since it was changing 6 weeks before my DD--why should I have to pay 20% for services rendered when my coverage was at 100%. They said they only pay a "total or global" maternity fee upon delivery when my coverage would be 80/20. I asked what would happen if I changed providers and they said they would pay a pro-rated amount in that situ for all services already rendered based on # of visits. It took lots of calls & letters, but eventually they did agree to pay on my old coverage rates for all services rendered when I had 100% coverage.

 

Check on your state laws...in my state if they cover advanced practice nurses at all (say for skilled nursing or Nurse Practitioners that work w/doctors) then they HAVE to cover MW (CNM) since they are an advanced nurse. The law specifically says that I have the right to choose a MW if the ins company covers advanced practice nurses in any other capacity.

 

Good Luck.

 

Thanks for that info - those are some good tips!

 

I know my midwife will work with us to create a payment plan so I haven't lost all hope that we can do a home birth. I hate that this decision has to come down to money.

We had to pay 100% out of pocket.  Its a pitiful situation here in GA for homebirth.

 

I just found out that a friend had a natural, unmedicated birth at our local hospital and the final bill came to $9500 (not counting the OB). If my bill was the same, then I would still end up paying $500 for the deductible and 30% of the remaining bill ($2850). After learning that, I'm realizing that the $3500 our midwife costs is a bargain. If we're going to end up paying that amount anyway it seems to make sense to stick with the midwife and the home birth plan.

I was going to say that midwife are almost always cheeper then a hospital births, So glad you get to have your home birth=-)) BEST OF LUCK & WARM WISHES=-)

Our midwife used a company who submitted bills to our insurance (then Aetna).  Surprisingly, they ended up covering about half of it.  I assume most of it was billed as prenatal visits instead of actual birth attendance, and we got the out-of-network rate for "OB care".

I'm wondering if we will be able to still have part covered by the insurance as out of network since we have a PPO. It would be great if at least part of the cost was covered. We're 7 weeks out from my due date and I really can't wait. Getting really excited about the home birth! I heart my midwife.

Right now Im in the wonderful game the insurance companies play where they conveniently make it difficult to have homebirthing midwives in-network so that it's just not cost effective to have a homebirth, even if you wanted one.

For all the midwives that are in network via our insurance, the practices they work for are NOT. So, in Oregon I am going to OHSU (Oregon Health Science University) for my midwifery care just as I did with my 6th baby in 09' seeing a midwife who DOES do homebirths, and my bills are covered 80%. However if and when I transfer to her other practice that does homebirths, they are out of network therefore covering VERY little. With the new year we also have a whole brand spankin' new deductable.

Emmalia's birth only came out to be just under $1900 for her hospital birth however even with insurance, to have a homebirth it's going to add up to over $3000+ depending on how it goes. CRAZY.

 

Im basicly freaking out because I fear Im not going to be able to have my homebirth and Im going to end up being held hostage to the hospital, once again. Poked with an IV because I've had so many kids Im considered at a higher risk to bleed out and dragged out of the tub the minute she comes out in fear of bleeding too much.

I've neer told off a midwife or nurse but this just might be the year to do it.

I'm sorry to hear that. These insurance companies can be just plain rotten. I'm still waiting to find out if my new insurance company is going to cover our midwife and home birth. I don't have a lot of hope, but my husband and I have resigned ourselves to paying for the home birth and midwife no matter what. It turns out that our midwife will give us a discount if we have to pay out of pocket and the cost will be the same as our deductible plus 30%.

I don't think my insurance will cover anything, so I think I'll just pay out of pocket and then submit a claim and hope for some reimbursement.  However, I did hear recently that you can use your Flexible Spending Account to pay for midwife services. I want to double check with our policy, but if that's true, then I want to discuss payment plans with my midwife (as soon as I decide on one) to see if she will wait until the first of the year to get paid.  That way I could include the full amount in my FSA and not have to worry about coming up with $3000-4000 on my own.  If your company offers an FSA, you should check into it as an option.

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