Miscarriages are just such a sad thing. We all know people who had them, ourselves, our families, our friends. It’s worth noting, as Jessica Zucker does here, that the cost of miscarriages is not only emotional, but also financial.
But what is rarely, if ever discussed, is the financial toll of pregnancy loss, and how the bills that follow a miscarriage can exponentially exacerbate or even thwart the grieving process.
“My first miscarriage cost about $1,700 out of pocket,” Edathikunnel explains. “I had already met my deductible, so it was just what insurance wouldn’t cover…for ultrasounds, physician visits, the D&C (dilation and curettage) procedure and the testing of the tissue, which was about $300. For my most recent loss, a lot of the appointments I had fell into the first two weeks of the new year, so my insurance’s new cycle was kicking in and I hadn’t met my deductible. So far, I have paid a little over $2,000.”
For those who do not have savings, gainful employment, or insurance, the financial ramifications of pregnancy loss can be more severe. Plus, the bills that continue to roll in can be deeply triggering as well—propelling a person back to the moment they realized or were told they would no longer be able to carry a pregnancy to term.
“You may be having a good day, and then these charges hit your account, and all of a sudden you’re transported back into that hospital bed, looking up at the ceiling,” Edathikunnel says. “You’re already in the process of grieving and it hits you like a ton of bricks.”
While the cost of a pregnancy loss will vary depending on a number of factors, including how far along a person is when they miscarry, any additional medical care that may be required, where they live, whether or not they’re insured, and the type of coverage they have, pregnancy losses that require medical aspiration to remove the non-viable embryo, and/or a visit to the E.R. can range from $2,400 to $7,500.
Losses that do not require additional medical care or treatments cost less, but that doesn’t mean the emotional toll of receiving a bill is any less intense.
Imagine if we have some sort of, say, single payer health care system where people already struggling with emotional loss and grief also have to pay huge bills. Crazy, I know. One of just so many ways our health care system is a disaster and particularly devastating for both women and people of color.