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Childbirth – Average Hospital C-Section and Vaginal Delivery Cost, Complications

Find average childbirth costs and complications in this report. Estimated average cost for a C-Section hospital delivery and maternity stay in 2011 with private insurance was $5,900 (which would be about $8,000 in 2022 dollars adding medical inflation). A vaginal delivery with private insurance averaged $3,400 in 2011 (about $4,600 in 2022 dollars). Prices (charges) would be higher (probably 2 to 5 times higher); the report does not disclose the “cost to charge ratios” it used. The C-section rate was over 33% of all births, and about 1/3 of the C-sections occurred in low-risk deliveries. Numbers exclude physician fees, prenatal care, and newborn costs. Most women giving birth – more than 3 out of 4 – had at least one complicating condition, such as perineal laceration, anemia, previous cesarean section, abnormality in fetal heart rate or rhythm; post term pregnancy or preeclampsia. Complicating conditions for vaginal births were more common among privately insured than Medicaid-covered deliveries, regardless of the mother’s age. AHRQ Statistical Brief #173 uses 2011 HCUP data, published May 2014. Old data.

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