Via Elisabeth Rosenthal at the New York Times:
"The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section," Rosenthal reported, "with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866." That data comes from a Truven Analytics report that recently looked at the high cost of pregnancy in the United States.
The comparison isn't totally apples to apples; Truven includes the full cost of pregnancy care, not just the delivery. But even when you compare delivery costs, as the International Federation for Health Plans does, you see that the United States is (no surprise!) far and away the most expensive place to deliver a baby.
"Only in the United States is pregnancy generally billed item by item, a practice that has spiraled in the past decade, doctors say," she wrote. "No item is too small. Charges that 20 years ago were lumped together and covered under the general hospital fee are now broken out, leading to more bills and inflated costs. There are separate fees for the delivery room, the birthing tub and each night in a semiprivate hospital room, typically thousands of dollars. Even removing the placenta can be coded as a separate charge."