Daily Archives: July 12, 2018

Pregnant woman seating at the park

U.S Has Worst Maternal Death Rate: High Medical Costs May Be Why

Pregnant woman seating at the parkThe United States has the one of the worst maternal and neonatal death rate worldwide. In fact, up to 900 women die because of childbirth-related complications. Personal finances and high medical costs may be the reason behind it.

Confirming a pregnancy should be one of the most exciting times in life. But, for many women, it comes with anxiety about how they will pay their medical bills. Not all pregnancies are planned so there may not be money set aside for maternity care.

The Unaffordable Price of Maternity Care

Pregnancy and childbirth are heavy on personal finances. A single visit to an obstetrician could cost 150 dollars. An ultrasound scan could be 250 dollars, while a full battery of blood tests may set you back another 300 dollars — that’s not including the delivery which sets expectant moms back by thousands of dollars. The average natural birth costs 30,000 dollars. Meanwhile, the bill soars up to 50,000 dollars for a cesarean session, an important factor since 31 percent of U.S births are surgical.

Low paid workers and the unemployed are the least likely to be able to afford such costs. They may not be able to afford large insurance co-pays either. Consequently, low-income women may have fewer antenatal visits or avoid the doctor altogether.

Open Access for All

The Affordable Care Act marketplace can help expectant mothers find cheaper insurance so they can see an obstetrician. The act offers a range of plans that have smaller premiums or co-pays and many of them have maternity coverage.

In addition, since 2014, it is illegal for insurance companies to charge women more than men. Previously, a 25-year-old woman without maternity coverage on her plan could be charged 81 percent more than a man of the same age, a situation that marginalized women. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aims to bring equality in medical care to all.

No woman should die in childbirth in the 21st century. Sadly, America has one of the worst maternal death rates in the developed world. High costs are one reason for this. The ACA can help lower wage women access the maternity care they need.