Cost of hav­ing a baby is boom­ing

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS -

PAR­ENTS are pay­ing more than ever be­fore to have a baby with out-of-pocket costs for ob­stet­rics soar­ing in the past five years.

Since 2013, the av­er­age cost of more than 50 ob­stet­rics pro­ce­dures, charged for care both in and out of hospi­tal, jumped by 17 per cent to $231.

The Medi­care data shows NSW par­ents paid an av­er­age of $289 to have a baby last year, up from $251 in 2013.

Ob­stet­ric pro­ce­dures usu­ally at­tracted the high­est out-of­pocket costs of any ser­vice cov­ered by Medi­care and is mea­sured by the av­er­age gap pay­ment be­tween what Medi­care and pri­vate health in­sur­ance pay.

La­bor has seized on the data to call on the Turn­bull Govern­ment to drop the Medi­care freeze in next month’s fed­eral bud­get, claim­ing it is con­tin­u­ing to drive up prices.

A spokesman for Health Min­is­ter Greg Hunt said ob­stet­ric de­liv­ery ser­vices were com­pletely free for all pa­tients giv­ing birth in pub­lic hos­pi­tals.

Good rea­son to cry.

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