Royal Baby Birth Cost Half As Much As Average American Birth

Kate Middleton’s royal baby birth cost half as much as an average American birth, according to estimates of what it would cost to deliver in the Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital, where the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to her son Monday.

Earlier this month, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal wrote that the average total price charged for a vaginal delivery in the United States is $30,000, while a C-section costs about $50,000. Commercial insurers pay an average of $18,329 and $27,866, respectively, leaving new parents to foot the rest of the bill. The data came from a Truven Health Analytics report on “The Cost of Having a Baby in the United States,” which stated that America was “far and away” the most expensive developed country in which to deliver a baby, with costs tripling since 1996.

But, according to Rosenthal, the cost of giving birth to a future king in the fanciest ward at St. Mary’s — where Prince William was also born — cost only $15,000.

For that price, the duchess received a suite that not only came with satellite TV and Wi-Fi, but also included a “comprehensive wine list,” and a “fully reclining chair next to Kate’s bedside” for William. The price also includes freshly prepared meals, tea and coffee, and a daily newspaper delivered to the room each morning.

Perhaps adding further insult to injury for American parents, the United States is the only country that generally bills pregnancies item by item. Costs can include everything from separate fee for the delivery room, each night in a semiprivate room, and a birthing tub. Even placenta removal may be added to the cost, according to Rosenthal, and each added test can add hundreds more to new parents’ total bill.

What do you think of the high cost of delivering a child in the United States?