Not many new parents are aware of the birth costs involved in having a baby.
Depending on which hospital you go to; there might be a deposit you need to pay when booking your bed. Most hospitals usually have two packages to choose from: A standard package that includes your bed only, and an exclusive package that includes your baby’s name registration, a photo of your newborn and his/her birth information on their website (available at Netcare hospitals nationwide). This will get published shortly after your child’s birth.
Your hospital costs will be determined by how long you stay. Most medical aids cover your stay in a standard room while you will have to pay the rest if you prefer the luxury of a private room. The extra charge for a private room must be paid for when you are admitted.
If you are having a Caesarean and complications do arise, it means that you will spend a longer time in theatre. For this, your gynae will probably add an emergency fee to his account. You might have to pay in a percentage of the gynae’s fee as some medical aids don’t often cover 100% of the specialist’s costs. This fee is usually due within 30 days after the birth. Do your homework and ask a medical aid consultant what percentage will be covered, this way, you know what you are up for.
When drawing up a childbirth cost plan, remember to add the cost of the paediatrician as his presence is compulsory. He is there to do an Apgar score (a quick test performed on a baby at one and five minutes after birth) and check that your little one is doing well.
Other financial costs to keep in mind:
If you have a C-section or an epidural it means that you will receive an account from the anaesthetist. Ask your gynae for the anaesthetist’s contact details to get an idea of the costs involved.
There will be a lack of income if your company doesn’t cover maternity leave. Talk to your HR manager about the company’s policy with regards to maternity leave.
Adding your baby to your medical aid scheme
This needs to be done immediately after birth and means you’ll now pay a higher medical rate.