Covering Childbirth

Dear Dave,

My wife and I are debt-free, and we just found out we'll be having another baby. We have individual health insurance, but it doesn't cover childbirth. What's the best way to go about paying for this?

Justin

Dear Justin,

Congratulations on the new baby AND on being debt-free!

Labor and delivery in most areas of the country can be done for the typical retail value of $6,000 to $7,000. And there are hospitals that will knock off about half the cost if you pre-pay for these services in the last trimester.

Since you're debt-free, it's going to be really easy for you guys to save up about $3,500 in the next six or seven months. Then go to the hospitals in your area, tell them you plan on paying with cash and that you're trying to make up your minds about which hospital to use. Make sure they understand that one of the main considerations is which hospital will give you the best price!

Remember, in most ways hospitals are just another business. Plus, the birth of a child is one of the few times people actually WANT to go to a hospital. It's a happy occasion and a joyous time for family and friends. And it's great PR for the hospital!

Dave

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