Having a child is a life-changing—and expensive—undertaking. Health insurance can help future parents secure necessary care, but it comes at a cost.

Romper reports that it’s gotten more expensive to bring a child into the world in the United States. Though employer-based insurance is known to be more comprehensive than an individual or small business plans, new parents can expect to shell out about $4,500 for the cost of giving birth.

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The January 2020 issue of Health Affairs published a study about the financially crippling cost of giving birth in the United States today. The study observed 650,000 women who gave birth between the years 2008 and 2015.

This means the study was able to measure the influence of the Affordable Care Act, the law that mad healthcare plans more accessible to people of all income brackets.

The lead author of the study, Michelle Moniz is an assistant professor of gynecology and obstetrics at the University of Michigan.

Moniz says she wanted to study the impact of the cost of giving birth because she sees the medical side of things. This prompted her to want to understand the financial impact of having a baby. She says,

“I unfortunately sometimes see patients delaying or deferring recommended services because of the cost.”

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The study reveals that the cost of childbirth went up despite the fact that insurance companies are legally required to take on maternity costs. Why? Because many companies skimp on these payments, which transfers the cost to new mothers. Moniz says,

“$4,500 is not a small, $10 copay. These are significant financial burdens. What’s more, these costs are coming at a time when many families are trying to prepare for a new baby — they are buying a car seat, a crib, a high chair, baby clothes.”

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