PriceCheck: Costs Of Having A Baby Vary Greatly, Report Says

Jul 5, 2016

Having a baby is expensive, even with insurance. A new report says the average cost varies greatly across Florida and nationally.

The report by Castlight, a company that looks at millions of patient claims a year, ranked by price the 30 most populated U.S. cities, including Tampa, Orlando and Miami.

Cesarean and vaginal deliveries in these Florida cities ranged from $8,000 dollars to $13,000 and included prenatal visits, ultrasounds, delivery, hospital stay and a follow-up visit. Costs varied amongst cities, and even within the same city depending on the hospital or health care facility.

Kristin Torres Mowat, a senior vice president with Castlight, said the variation in costs don’t make sense.

"There's no rational, economic reason for the size of these variations, and so ultimately, this all comes down to the fact that our health care system is so broken as it is."

Torres Mowat also said patients often don't have a way to know what something costs before a procedure is done.

Tampa ranks 13th, about middle of the pack nationally amongst the 30 cities surveyed, for caesarian section deliveries with an average cost of $13,035. Tampa ranks 23rd for vaginal deliveries with an average cost of $8,109.

Orlando ranks 16th at $12,232 for c-sections and 15th at $9,338 for vaginal deliveries.

Miami ranks 20th at $11,480 for c-sections and 7th at $10,775 for vaginal deliveries.

Credit www.castlighthealth.com/

Credit www.castlighthealth.com/

Health News Florida has also embarked on a project to help take the frustration and guesswork out of health care pricing with PriceCheck. It compares the price of common medical procedures and lets consumers share their costs. 

ClearHealthCosts, our partner on PriceCheck, has collected cash or self-pay rates for childbirth and delivery in a database of prices posted by hospitals and other surgical providers. These are the actual cash prices reported by the providers nationwide.

To see those cash prices, click here and type delivery into the search box. You will then see a range of choices, including vaginal delivery or C-section delivery, mother's stay and baby's stay.  Results can be searched by zip code.

--Daylina Miller is a reporter with WUSF in Tampa. WUSF is part of  Health News Florida, which receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.