Although the cost of a birth at home is priceless, I know that for many people, cost is so important for planning. Here is a quick and easy breakdown which might help as you plan for your beautiful birth. I also provide copies of a clear financial agreement up front, and am always both transparent and happy to work with my families if you require help with financing your birth. I do not believe cost should prevent ANYONE from having the birth they desire.
1.If you are paying out of pocket: My total out of pocket cost for all of your prenatal visits, the birth, and all postpartum visits is $3,500.
I ask for a deposit of $500 at the time of the initial/first visit, and then ask that the total be paid by 34 weeks.
I always work with my families on how they feel they can pay the balance. I am always willing to be flexible and a partner with my families when it comes to paying for their birth. Some families pay me the entire balance at once, some make monthly payments and some as they can.
I take all forms of payment, including HSA/FSA cards and am also willing to discuss barter* (more on that below).
This cost is competitive in Arizona, although geographically you can anticipate higher costs in Northern Arizona and some lower costs in the rural valley. At times, newer midwives will also charge less than established midwives as a way of increasing their outreach. In terms of what a hospital will charge, this amount is incredibly affordable as an option for safe care if you are a low risk and healthy pregnant person. Birth centers will charge an additional fee for the facility which is often quite significant, although their provider fee may only be slightly higher.
Please note: I do NOT recommend home birth ONLY as a way to save money. Women should birth at home because they truly desire this type of birth, NOT to cut costs. In my experience, this has not lead to women having the births they want and can sometimes lead to transfers of care, etc. I know medical care is expensive, but I also know that home birth is really for people who believe in the safety of natural birth outside of hospital. However, for those who believe in home birth and desire it, home birth is actually very affordable.
*Bartering: did you know that most homebirth midwives will consider the notion of bartering if you truly want a homebirth but cannot afford it? I also will consider this if you have a service or items to barter that I actually need, and base it on the fair price of the items. That being said, there are also many things I will not barter on. Massage or other personal holistic care (acupuncture, therapy, Reiki, etc) by the pregnant person, housekeeping, and some other similar services. The reasons are varied but generally it is just because I do not need those services or already have providers. If you want to barter, please feel free to bring up it during our consultation.
2. Yes,I work with insurance and have an insurance manager that is very experienced.If you have insurance, I suggest that you please go to the insurance page here on this site and enter your insurance information. You should hear back from the biller with 24-36 hours generally for an overall idea of what the coverage looks like - and you can also ask me questions if you are still confused. You will be submitting your insurance information so that you can obtain a Verification of Benefits (VOB), which tells us how much you have of a deductible, your out of pockets costs, co-pays and so on. This allows you to make a good decision when it comes to the cost of your birth as it gives you an approximate idea of what your insurance will, and will not, cover.
If you will be using insurance, you will still have to pay an out of pocket $500 deposit at the first visit (and possibly a follow up payment prior to birth depending on your deductibles). I do take all forms of payment, including your HSA/FSA card.
If you have state medicaid, AHCCCS or one of the state plans, unfortunately the State of Arizona has decided NOT to cover the "care" of homebirth midwives. We have tried to lobby and request but it has not proven successful, although we are still trying! However, your labs and ultrasounds WILL be covered by your state insurance plan.
3. Other costs you may have? Birth supplies, labs, a waterbirth tub if you'd like to rent one (about $300), a doula if you wish (which I DO recommend for first time parents - $500-$1000), childbirth classes (about $200-250) and fun things like photographs, etc. that you may want to budget for as part of your exciting event (but certainly are NOT all necessary expenses OR sometimes we can find very low cost/free options!).
Finally, if you live very far from me, or want all home visits, I may charge an additional fee depending on how much further you live than the area I serve. I generally work about 20 miles from my office in the west valley, but do births all over the city and state if you would like me to serve you.
A birth at home is considered an affordable alternative at all levels by major organizations across the world.
I hope cost will not impact your ability to birth at home, and hope you will talk to me if you need extra help. I try to keep costs as low as possible and homebirth accessible to every person. Thank you, and please let me know if you have more questions.