1 in 6 privately insured families spends $5K out of pocket for childbirth, study finds

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Privately insured families spent an average $3,068 out of pocket for maternal and newborn hospitalizations from 2016 to 2019, according to a recent Pediatrics study.

Researchers analyzed data for 12 million privately insured enrollees in the U.S. for the study, published June 17. They found that 398,410 maternal deliveries resulted in at least one newborn hospitalization covered by the same family plan.

The average bill increased slightly ($3,389) for cesarean deliveries. When families needed neonatal intensive care, the average bill rose to $4,969. Bills exceeded $10,000 for 9 percent of families who needed neonatal intensive care.

The research team found that out-of-pocket spending exceeded $5,000 for 1 in 6 families.

Deliveries and newborn hospitalizations were covered by high-deductible health plans about 30 percent of the time, with out-of-pocket costs resulting primarily from deductibles and coinsurance.

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