How much does it cost to birth a child in your country? I have been mulling over this question. You see, I didn’t pay anything out of pocket despite having major unexpected surgery. But, on the other hand, I know of women who had to cough up thousands of US dollars just for primary birthing care.
I became curious to know how much it could cost in Germany. So I talked to BARMER Insurance, one of Germany’s leading public health insurance.
Let me back up a bit. It is a legal obligation to have health insurance in Germany, whether you are in-between jobs, a minor, or even a tourist. Everyone is required to have one. The amount of premium paid, of course, varies depending on your earning capacity. Every earner pools money in a big basket, and everyone can enjoy health services without worrying about fundraising.
So how much does is the average total medical cost of birth in Germany?
Of course, there are variables such as is it a vaginal birth or surgery. At BARMER Health Insurance, the average cost for vaginal delivery in 2020 was 2,397.66 euros. For a cesarean section, it was 4,174.58 euros. In the same year, 68.3% of the births were vaginal, and 31.7% were through cesarean section.
Who Pays What?
How much does the insurance pay, and how much do the parents pay? Tobias Klingen is BARMER’s North Rhine-Westphalia press spokesperson. He says that statutory health insurance pays for everything that is medically necessary. That includes prenatal care, childbirth preparation classes, childbirth, aftercare treatment by a midwife, and postnatal training courses.
Since the insurance pays for the primary care, new parents can decide to pay for additional services. These optional services include, for example, having a single room or so-called family rooms in hospitals.
The average total cost can be affected by various variables. Without going into details, some of the variables are the number of children, the week of pregnancy, vaginal or cesarean section, previous illnesses of the mother, disease of the unborn child, and complications during and after delivery.
How much would it cost if you wanted to have a home birth, of course, under the guidance of your health care providers? Klingen says that BARMER would cover the costs of the midwife who accompanies the birth. The amount includes the remuneration for the work and any material fees that may arise. The costs for this can total between 700 and 900 euros. And just like during hospital births, some variables could affect the total cost, such as the time of delivery. There are also surcharges for midwives who are on duty at night or on weekends.
When it comes to access to maternal health care, statutory health insurance covers a lot. You can check out this pregnancy resource from BARMER. The language is German, but after using google translate you can reach out to the insurance’s ever present and helpful customer service for any further questions.
For additional information on giving birth on Germany as an Expat check out this.