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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 15:45 PM   1
xxlovexx
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Midwives/Birthing Center


Hello, I was wondering if anyone (in the U.S.) has used midwives and delivered at a birthing center? Does any insurances cover any of that stuff? If not, what is the average price? (or how much did you pay for everything throughout the entire pregnancy, birth, and after care?) I had my son in a hospital, by scheduled induction, without any type of pain relief and I was/am considered low risk. I would love to give birth in a birthing center for baby #2. (In the TWW now, hoping I'm pregnant) I've emailed 2 local birthing centers, (I was not aware until today that we had midwives/birthing centers anywhere nearby) but I'd like to hear other peoples experiences while I'm waiting for responses from the birthing centers.



Also, are children allowed in most birthing centers? I know most hospitals won't allow children in the L&D room and it's important that my son is involved.



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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 00:35 AM   2
spunky84
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I haven't delivered yet, but am seeing a midwife and am planning on going to a birth center. Like you, I had no idea that there were midwives in the area or a birth center (though the birth center is just being finished with construction and licensing & don't know if there are others).

I have insurance; however, due to my high deductible, I was advised by the financial director that all of my prenatal care would cost $2150.00 out of pocket. Thankfully, my insurance is paying at 100% for all of my prenatal care, so I don't have to pay that. But the costs covers all of the routine prenatal care and does not include any extra office visits or other testing. This is also dependent on your insurance company and what they cover and how they cover it. Some insurance would have applied this to the deductible and others (like mine) are paying it.


Also, due to my high deductible, I was advised that I would have to pay for the birth center by 34 weeks. Though this is their standard - it may vary from center to center. I was also given a cost of $2150.00 for the birth center (which is their self pay fee - which they say high deductible falls under self pay). Though it could cost more for additional hours of pushing/delivery. If a transfer is required, I'm refunded for the services I did not use at the birth center.

As far as whether or not insurances cover the birth center, it depends on the insurance company. The birth center I am planning on, they had to wait until they got their license before they could contract with the insurance companies. This is something you would need to check with the birth center and the insurance. Some insurances will cover it, some won't.

The cost you'll pay will depend on the birth center & what they charge; if your insurance covers it; if they do, it may go to your deductible, etc. I'm sure cost varies by region/practice.

I really don't know about the children at the birth center as I'm a FTM, but that's something I would definitely ask each center about (if they have a policy on children).

Hope this helps some



 
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 16:07 PM   3
xxlovexx
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Hi, thanks for your response

I heard back from someone from the birth center. They charge $4,500. She didn't know for sure whether my insurance was accepted, but she did say that no one would be turned down for financial reasons and that we could work out the details of how I would pay it out over a certain amount of time. I guess I should contact my insurance company and see if it's something that they would cover/partially cover. For all prenatal care and the birth of my son, it probably cost around $20k and I pay at least 20% of everything, so a birthing center will definitely be a lot less expensive if my insurance helps out....unfortunately, the center is 1.5-2 hours away and the hospital is only around 25 miles away so DH isn't sure it would work out :/ Also, she said children are welcome during labor and delivery Most hospitals don't allow other children in the L&D room, and like I said, it's important for me that my son is involved. DH has a crazy work schedule though and the distance of the center is a problem. Hopefully we can figure it all out, I still have time though. Good luck to you on your upcoming delivery!



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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 16:15 PM   4
xxlovexx
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It looks like my insurance doesn't cover birthing centers or midwives



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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 16:45 PM   5
Guppy051708
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Hi, i presume you are referring to a free standing birth center?
My insurance doesn't *usually* cover them (there are tons in my area, well compared to the rest of the US) but i did find two that are covered. Basically i had to search and search and keep calling the insurance company back to ask if this MW/BC was covered or that, etc. (had i just called and ask a general question of "are birth centers covered" more than likely i would have gotten a big fat NO. But if you can get specific providers, dont say anything about it being a birth center, just give them the name of the facility (only if you have to) and the name of the MW, you will get more clued in. Sometimes being vague w them wont get you anywhere, but asking specifics can) I finally found two that they cover, but one was a 2 hour drive away and they wouldn't accept me (bc of the distance) but i did find one that is one hour away and they did accept me (i had my second son with them and will be having this one with them as well). If insurance wouldn't have covered it, then my MWs would have worked with me to pay over time. I Would highly suggest seeing about a payment plan. Honestly, i had a hospital birth (Which was covered under my insurance) w DS1 and three yrs later and it's finally paid off! I dont know how your insurance is but really there wasn't much difference had i had to pay 100% for the MW/BC or paying my deductble/coinsurance for the hospital (that was covered).

Dont be scared off by a 1 hour commute. Mine is one hour and so far it has been fine and ive already given birth with that once. Its really not as bad as it sounds especially bc labor typically isn't super duper fast.

even if my insurance didn't cover a birth center, i would have found the means to have it. We live pay check to paycheck, but my birth experience with DS2 was amazing and totally worth it. I never want to birth in a hospital ever again if i can avoid it. You will NOT regret going this route, even if you have to work out a payment plan with the MWs.

Also, one other thing: Let the MW know you would like to see about going with them. Tell them your insurance situation and let THEM call the insurance comapnys. Insurance companys can be difficult to deal w in these situations. Sometimes MWs have ways around it and can get them to cover it by billing differently. You dont want to red flag anything by calling them up yourself. I know it sounds crazy but MWs typically have a better handle and know the loopoles (so to speak) to get things covered. Sometimes they cant work their magic, but sometimes they can. So let them do all the talking to the isnurance company and if for some reason they cant get anywhere, its perfectly legit to switch care. Or you could just do the payment plan.



 
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 18:02 PM   6
Kat541
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I live in Oregon and have state OHP insurance. They DO cover a birth center, or should I say rather, they accept my insurance. I will be attending one this pregnancy. I will never go conventional again. The big stipulation though, is you have to be "low risk," and each center has their own definition of that. You just need to google one and call them or visit their website.
Oh, and $20k! I was quoted $4000-$10000, not including any hospital fees, if I had to be taken there.



 
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:55 AM   7
xxlovexx
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If I'm not pregnant this cycle, DH and I plan to prevent getting pregnant for a while. (hopefully not for more than 8 months at most) The midwife told me that the 4,500 had to be paid off by the time I'm 36 weeks pregnant and that she would contact my insurance company when I got pregnant! (although I looked it up, and it said they don't cover midwives/birthing centers/home births/etc;.) I have some cosmetic/health issues that I need to take care of (I didn't even think I was ovulating yet since I'm EBF my 10.5 month old...but surprise! got my + OPK on the day DH and I BD...now I'm HOPING I'm pregnant) and then DH wants to put DS and I on a different insurance plan. I had a low risk pregnancy with my son. No problems at all...had a great pregnancy...was induced at 41 weeks and other than that, gave birth naturally around 3-3.5 hours after starting the pitocin.



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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 02:08 AM   8
xxlovexx
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Yeah...around $20k...we will be paying hospital bills for many years..lol. (at least 80% of that 20k) AND I didn't have a great hospital experience...my doctor didn't even make it to deliver my son, I let everyone know that I did not want any type of pain relief offered to me, but what do you know, every 30 minutes the nurse asked "are you ready for the epidural?" She got mad at me because I was starving and ate breakfast before coming to the hospital and told me that it was a mistake and that I was going to throw it up...and I DIDN'T....then she kept trying to force me to keep the oxygen mask on and I wouldn't because I didn't need it and I felt really hot and sick with it on...then when it was time to push, I 'accidentally' breathed out before the 3rd count to 10 and she told me that I was doing it wrong...where's the support??! and the recovery room nurses are suppose to come by every hour at night...well one of them comes by, DH and DS are asleep, I was in the bathroom when she walked in and was bleeding A LOT, (2nd degree tears, tons of pain...funny how they offered me all sorts of pain relief during labor, but nothing during recovery..not that I would have accepted it lol) she told me she would be right back...she came back 5 hours later! I know they are busy..but seriously?!



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Old Jul 23rd, 2013, 16:15 PM   9
GAgirl
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I'm in GA, and the practice I go to has both doctors and midwives. It is my choice whether I want to birth with one or the other. I love the idea of a birth center, but it's not covered by my insurance so I'll be going to the hospital. However the midwife I talked to yesterday at my appointment was fantastic - - he was a strong proponent of natural birth. He said that as long as I'm low risk, I can do whatever I want! Eat, drink, wear my own clothes, get in or out of the water, labor in any position I choose. I will never have to see a doctor at all unless something goes wrong. He kept telling me -- "there is nothing wrong with you. You are not SICK. You are PREGNANT. It is natural and you do not need medical intervention to do this." What a great attitude!

Maybe you can also find a practice that has both doctors and midwives. It's a great compromise. I fell like I'll get the experience of a birthing center, with immediately availability of a doctor if some unlikely complication should arise.



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Old Jul 31st, 2013, 09:45 AM   10
AC1987
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About 20k... outta pocket No insurance for maternity and didn't have the 5k up front to be able to get it, and then we calculated we'd end up paying exactly the same amount with or without insurance. It was ALOT more expensive then what we were quoted.. we got told it'd be 5000 for vaginal birth and 10,000 for c section, I had a v birth and it was about 20,000.... *sigh* still paying it down, thank God for payment plans!! I've never given birth in a birthing centre just a hospital with a midwife.



 
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