Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Medical Costs of Newborn: $21K; Twins? $105K; Triplets? $400K

Posted By on Tue, Nov 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

New parents may want to swing by the bank before coming home with their new bundle of joy. A new study indicates that having one child will put them back about $21,000. But that price tag balloons to $105,000 for twins and $400,000 for triplets. And that's just the medical bill.

Research, just published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, calculated the approximate totals from medical expenses for 27 weeks of gestation to 30 days post-delivery, plus medical costs throughout the first year of life.

“On average, combined all-cause health care expenses for mothers with twins or higher-order multiple births were about five to 20 times more expensive, respectively, than singleton delivery,” said lead investigator Dr. Dongmu Zhang of Global Health Outcomes, Merck & Co.. “The greater expenses were likely to have been due to increased maternal morbidities, significantly increased use of cesarean section and longer hospital stay for the deliveries in women with multiple pregnancies; and increased admission and longer stay in NICU for neonates of multiple gestations.”

About 3 percent of all U.S. births in 2010 were multiple deliveries.

Researchers noted that with single births, 60 percent of medical expenses are tied to mom's care whereas with twins or multiple births, 70 percent to 85 percent of costs are for infant care respectively.

Multiple births were also linked with a higher risk for death in mom and the babies, but Zhang noted those overall rates were small.

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