thread: Costs associated with giving birth and pregnancy

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    Costs associated with giving birth and pregnancy


    Im sure this has been covered a million times before, but i have obviously missed it and cant really find the answer to it here... (sorry)

    Basically - what i want to find out about is what the actual costs of having baby is? I dont mean the cost of nappies and cot and stuff like that, but costs of doctor visits, ultrasounds, and being in hospital while you actually give birth..?

    If you go through the public system, does medicare pay for EVERYTHING, or are there still out of pocket expenses?

    Do I really need to get obstetrics cover added onto my private health cover? I mean, it would be nice to choose my own doctor, but from your experiences, is it worth it?

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! (I have no idea on this. )

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    Happy Valley, Adelaide

    We had this same dilema as we only have singles health cover with no obstetrics... so we youred our public and private hospitals, and decided we actually like our public one better, so opted to go there. I haven't had to pay for anything, and their classes offered are more comprehensive than some of the private places offer, so I've been really happy. That said though, it comes down to piece of mind, and if you think you'd feel more comfortable with your choicve of doc then go private. I've seen a midwife for nearly all my visits, and they only bring in a doc to see me if there are complications.

  3. #3
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    We went public and we had to pay the gap for the ultrasound which was around $70 and a few GP appointments which were PG related but not big enough to go to the hospital and one blood test. So all in all we paid a total of around $200. Everything else, antenatal appointments, classes & hospital were covered. HTH!

  4. #4
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    Thanks for your replies.

    Do you think its worthwhile seeing if I can visit a couple of hospitals to see what they're like? Or would they all be more or less the same?

    Does anyone know anything about being a private patient in a public hospital? Whats the go with that, and how does it work?

  5. #5
    And the truth is we don't know anything
    Follow Pandora On Twitter

    Jan 2005

    If you are undecided, its definatley worth a tour as different hospitals will have different policies & models of care etc.

    We have private insurance but decided to go public, mainly because my GP practises obstetrics, (so its not like I see a different doctor each time), and theres a large public hospital nearby.
    I pay the gap for ultrasounds, and did have to pay $100 for antenatal classes - thats about all so far. All my GP appts & blood tests have been bulk billed.

    My friend has done the private patient at public hospital thing - it means you can choose your OB & have a private room if one is available.

    Private hospitals (well the bigger ones in the city) can tend to have big waiting lists so it pays to get in early.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    Oh ok. Thanks

    I think i would either go as a public patient or go to a public hospital but as a private patient, which will probably actually end up being the hospital i was born at, lol. I dont think i'd go to private hospital.

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member

    Mar 2005
    Sydney, NSW

    With first DD I went private patient, public hospital. Found private care to be the biggest rip off ever. Unless there's a medical need, I would not recommend. This time Im doing the whole thing public with the team midwives, and it's so much better. Everything I've had, down to ultrasounds as well, have been free. I paid for one ultrasound but got half back on medicare, and since then had two more ultrasounds free. This is because I was with the midwives from the second one and they referred me to free places.
    So it's cost us nothing. We have paid for antenatal classes, which obviously are not compulsory, but HEAPS of fun. Also I just chose the hospital closest to me, which happens to have the best neo natal care in Sydney, so that is reassuring.
    I highly recommend team midwives if you can find a hospital that has them. You are looked after by 6 or 7 midwives throughout pregnancy, and one or two of them will be the ones at your birth, so you know them by then!

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2005
    Happy Valley, Adelaide

    With the private room for private patients issue, my public hospital said if a public patient has a greater medical need then they are given priority for private rooms over private patients anyway, so paying your hospital gap to stay there does not guarantee you a private room!

    Definately go for some tours of any eligible hospitals in your area, and ask heaps of questions about what sort of classes, care and follow-up care they have, because they are all so different. The one we thought we'd like best we found very sterile and the staff quite patronising on the tour so ruled it out. Also one of the best things to do is just talk to everyone you can who has attended any of the hospitals... personal recommendations are a great help.

  9. #9
    Fruitwood Guest

    Hi, I used to have private health insurance with medibank private until they told me that I would have to pay a $3 -4,000 gap after having my baby in a private hospital. I decided to go Public but have found that the costs associated with going public differ from hospital to hospital. Originally I was booked into a hospital with a midwife clinic so I only had to pay a $65 gap for my ultrasounds and $95 for antenatal classes, all other costs were bulk billed by the hospital. Now that we are about to move interstate things have become a little more expensive as the area we are moving to doesn't bulk bill so we have to pay $70 for each GP visit, the full cost of almost $300 per ultrasound and $300 per obstetrician visit. The new hospital does have a midwife clinic but limited places so you need to book in as soon as you find out your pregnant so we missed the clinic at the new hospital. The good thing though is that as long as you keep your receipts you can claim alot of it back on Medicare. The best thing to do is check with your preferred hospital as they'll be able to give you a full list of costings up front.


  10. #10
    lindie Guest

    Hi girls,

    Just letting you know about our "so far" private experience! We are going private and have had 2 OBGYN appointments at $ 115.00 from there on in they are bulk billed. At 20 weeks we have an out of pocket expense (standard now with all OBGYNs.) of $1250.00 then we have our gap at the end payable upon hospital admittance of $500.00 then if I require anesthetic etc... its extra.

    So far we are happy and it seems to be going okay, its close for us too attend and 2 minutes away from hubbys work, so its not too bad. But wanted to get something out of our private health insurance that we could use!!!LOL

    But its still a lot of money if you are budget watchers!


  11. #11
    Superjen Guest

    With #1 I was a private patient in a public hospital, had my own room etc and the hospital and staff were great but we were out of pocket by about $1,800 all up with HBA. We then changed to HCF and with #2 were out of pocket about $800, again as a private patient in a public hospital. With this one, we're going public and so far we've paid for 2 ultrasounds ($180 each - got $80 back for each) but that's only because I had to be referred to a "specialist" ultrasound centre who charge like wounded bulls LOL. The ultrasounds from here on in are at the hospital and are bulk billed.

    I'd definitely recommend doing the tours of the different hospitals you're interested in.

    Good luck!!!


  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2005

    I just found out that it costs us as public patients only our clinic visits and any ultrasounds we choose to have. As it is a larger rural hospital we have a team of midwives and our chosen doc will attend even on his holidays!
    We also can stay for as long as we like up to 5 days and DH can stay with me and bubs on a mattress on the floor the whole time. Also they only have 1 double room and that is only used for twins so that both parents and bubs etc fit in the one room which means we are guaranteed a private room!

    Public is definitely the go for us.


  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2004

    Thanks heaps for all your replies!
    Youve all been so helpful