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Researchers Eye Health Account Plan Maternity Benefits

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Parents with health savings account or typical health reimbursement arrangement plans may spend about $1,500 to $6,300 more out-of-pocket for an uncomplicated pregnancy than parents with traditional managed care coverage would spend.

Researchers at the Georgetown Health Policy Institute, Washington, and Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., have published figures on the maternity benefits gap in a study on consumers’ out-of-pocket maternity health costs.

For an uncomplicated pregnancy with vaginal delivery, total costs run about $9,660, the researchers estimate.

Out-of-pocket costs for the pregnancy would be about $1,455 under a traditional health insurance policy and about $3,000 to $7,884 with a health account plan, the researchers estimate.

For an uncomplicated pregnancy combined with a C-section delivery, costs would total $12,453.

Out-of-pocket costs would average about $2,244 under a typical traditional plan and $3,545 to $9,818 under health account plans.

For a complicated pregnancy that involved gestational diabetes, pre-term labor, a C-section delivery and a hospital stay outside the intensive care unit, costs would total about $287,453.

The out-of-pocket costs would average $8,770 under a traditional plan, with a range of $6,000 to $21,194 under health account plans, the researchers estimate.