Holy cow is a lot, according to this New York Times feature. In fact, it’s more than any other nation in the world, but our health outcomes aren’t substantially better.
From 2004 to 2010, the prices that insurers paid for childbirth — one of the most universal medical encounters — rose 49 percent for vaginal births and 41 percent for Caesarean sections in the United States, with average out-of-pocket costs rising fourfold, according to a recent report by Truven that was commissioned by three health care groups. The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866, the report found.
The entire article is well worth a read, but this deserves emphasizing: “In most other developed countries, comprehensive maternity care is free or cheap for all, considered vital to ensuring the health of future generations.”