An American woman currently living in the UK has highlighted one of the major differences between giving birth in the two countries: That in the UK, it is completely free, but in the US, it can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
The mother-of-one showed off a hospital bill, which without insurance came to a staggering $69,634.
Expensive! Lisa Dollan, 39 — who is originally from Atlanta, Georgia but now lives in Leeds — has gone viral with a video about what it’s like to have a baby in the UK vs. the US
Crazy! The mother-of-one showed off an American hospital bill, which without insurance came to a staggering $69,634
‘So a lot of people say, so how much does it cost to have a baby in the States? Well, this is without insurance,’ she says, showing an itemized bill from her hospital stay.
The grand total she owed was $69,634, including charges like $4,290 for nonsterile supply, $892 for pathology lab, and $934 for hematology.
Americans without insurance are expected to pay the entire bill, though it is possible to negotiate with the billing department to lower the cost.
But even for those who have insurance, the bill is not covered in full.
‘With insurance, it probably pays it about 80-20, is the usual insurance plan, meaning that the insurance company pays 80 per cent and you pay 20 per cent,’ Lisa says.
Insurance plans vary in the US and may pay different percentages of the bill, depending on services rendered or whether a hospital and health care provider are considered ‘in network’ or ‘out of network.’
Yikes! The bill shows a shared room was billed for $25,000, while the delivery room cost was $26,000
Out-of-network charges are less likely to be covered.
Some insurance plans will pay most or a large percentage of all in-network charges, while others require the insured party to meet a deductible — that is, to pay a certain amount on their own each year before the insurance kicks in.
Deductibles can be thousands of dollars, and even once they’re met, the insured party may have to pay co-insurance every time they go to a doctor.
What’s more, Lisa points out, the itemized charges on a hospital bill are rarely representative of real-work costs, so a bandage that costs pennies could be charged for much more.
‘What the pharmaceutical companies and the hospitals do is jack up the prices. So that that 20 per cent becomes higher and higher,’ she says.
‘So here, as you can see, for a semi-private room, meaning you’re sharing a room, the big cost’s $25,000 there,’ says Lisa.
Unimpressed: Commenters certainly got the message, with many praising the UK’s universal healthcare system and blasting America’s expensive alternative
‘And then another $26,000 for the actual delivery room, where you go back and have the baby. And then the other little bits and bobs that you need.’
Lisa is clearly loving the health care in her adopted country, captioning the video: ‘Grateful for the NHS yet?’
Commenters certainly got the message, with many praising the UK’s universal healthcare system and blasting America’s expensive alternative.
‘America isn’t a country, it’s a company,’ wrote one, while another quipped mockingly, ‘America is the land of the fee.’
One commenter responded to those who complain that the NHS isn’t ‘free’ because it’s paid for in taxes, writing: ‘We do, yes, but not nearly as much as this!’
‘This is the most inhumane third world country thing I’ve ever heard,’ wrote another.
Even with health insurance, the out-of-pocket cost of giving birth in the US is in the thousands.
According to a study published by Fair Health, the average cost of a vaginal birth is between $5,000 and $11,000 for most states, while C-sections can cost anywhere from $7,500 to $14,500.