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Old 04-04-2012, 01:57 PM   #1
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How to afford a Midwife?

This whole ordeal is just plain stupid if you ask me because midwives are 1/3 of the cost of a hospital birth but here is the deal. We have insurance but they do not pay out for maternity until after the baby is born. NOTHING until then. The midwives I am interviewing want their fees up front or on a pay plan that has you paid off by 7 months gestation which means we are "fronting" the 5k to the midwife and hoping the insurance will pay US back in the end.
1st issue is we do not have 5k, my hubby was laid off in Jan. and is only working part time right now. I have been hearing lately that insurance does not always pay out for midwives even if they tell you they do and you have to resubmit forms a ton of times to get any money at all. 2nd issue is I really do not want a hospital birth and in my area is is ONLY home birth or hospital birth as options, there are no midwives that work in birth centers in my area.
Has anyone found a way around this issue?

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Old 04-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #2
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

My mother is a midwife. Because of the laws in neighboring states women travel to where the midwife is to give birth. This sometimes means staying at a hotel or at friends or relatives homes. In another area fees may be sufficiently cheaper to make this an option. In Missouri I know at least one midwife is charging $2400. This covers prenatal care, delivery, and post partum checkups. Some are willing to make more long term payment arrangements. I know some are even cheaper. My mother charges $1700 but does most of the prenatals at her home. The one in her area who charges more will do the prenatals at the clients homes so charges more.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

We always pay the midwives directly making sure to have everything paid in full by 34 weeks gestation. Here there are a decent number of midwives that work with a local birth center and have various rates. It's $2600 for a birth center birth with a master midwife and two apprentices, $2300 for a home birth with a master midwife and two apprentices, and $1600 for a birth center birth with an apprentice (or two) supervised by a master midwife.

To us that cost is affordable enough that we aren't worried about being reimbursed, but we also don't carry conventional insurance as we have found that it costs us 3-4x as much as out of pocket expenses.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:21 PM   #4
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

Wow, I can't believe they are asking for it up front or latest a 7 months. I mean, I believe it, but that's just crazy. My midwife had a great payment plan. We just payed little by little as we could afford it. We didn't end up paying her in full until months after the birth, even after her services were up. It's sad that other midwives won't do the same
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:28 PM   #5
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

My MW charges $3200, which covers all prenatal care, delivery, use of the birth center, and some PP visits. She requires a $400 deposit at the first visit (not the consultation), and the rest is due by 36 weeks. She does allow extensions past 36 weeks in extraordinary circumstances, but she charges a late fee (not sure how much).

That is a huuuuge amount of money to pay at one time, but think of it this way... would you work basically for free (not counting any small deposit the MW requires) for 7-8 months with only someone's word that your salary would be paid as agreed upon? Honestly, I wouldn't. That's what my MW has done, though. She has put in 7 months of work with me on my word alone that I WILL pay her.

I've heard of some people taking out 0% interest credit cards (the ones you can get for 6 months or a year), charging the fees, and then using the interest-free period to pay the whole balance off.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:35 PM   #6
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

Yikes, gl mama - no way we would be able to afford a midwife in that situation - thankfully we are Canadian so either midwives or ob's are covered all along for us.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:40 PM   #7
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

If you've spoken with your insurance company and they agree that they'll pay for a midwife's services, then get it in writing! That should, at least in theory, save you a hassle later on. As for the fees of the midwives you're checking into, maybe they would be willing to work out an affordadble payment plan with you because of the circumstances. Good luck getting it all straightened out.
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Old 04-04-2012, 03:54 PM   #8
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

Thanks mamas! All the midwives in this area are AT LEAST 4k that I have talked to so far and require the money up front. I am meeting with one today that I really liked on the phone. I am hoping we can work out a payment plan. I agree that working for free for several months does not seem fair but that dang insurance will not pay until after the birth! It makes me sad that you all gave fee amounts that are SO much lower then this area. Maybe it's higher here because our only option is hospital outside of a home birth...
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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I hope you get something worked out!
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:05 PM   #10
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Re: How to afford a Midwife?

Do you live in the bay area? If so, I know a midwife who may be able to work with you -- she had let me pay 1/2 upfront, then pay it off monthly after that. It took us about 6 months after my DD was born to pay her back fully. We did not have insurance at the time, so I'm not sure how that would factor into the situation. She lives up in Felton / Santa Cruz area, but comes all the way down as far South as Morgan Hill. PM me if you're interested.

My experience here in CA is that the cost of a homebirth increases by $500 every two years; I've had 3 babies in the last 6 years, and the inflation is just incredible. I love the care, but at that rate, I'm sure there are more and more people who simply cannot afford it. It is sad to me.
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