Everyone who has had kids can tell you that pregnancies are an expensive affair. Everything you need to get during pregnancies can make a hole in your wallet. Whether it is a fresh set of maternity clothes, a housekeeper to take care of your home while you can’t, or a constant supply of pure ice cream, it can all make you fear your finances when your baby is one the way. Moreover, since healthcare is already very expensive in the US even with insurance, your medical procedures can begin costing you a fortune.
These can include anything from basic routine checkups to ultrasounds. Many of the soon-to-be-mothers prefer getting at least one ultrasound to see their baby, though in more common cases, doctors advise one ultrasound per trimester. All of these tests are a medical necessity and give you emotional pleasure, but at the same time they are very expensive too.
In case you are looking to reduce your costs of ultrasounds, this is the right article for you.
How many Ultrasounds Should You Get?
The number of ultrasounds you should get depends on some factors and is usually different for everybody. You can get an exact answer from your doctor, but in case you feel that your doctor is requesting more ultrasounds then required, you should be ready for the first one at your 18- to 20- week time period. This is the time when your doctor will be able to identify your child’s gender and tell you about it if it is legal where you live.
During this time, your doctor may advise to not worry about more ultrasounds unless there are some complications in your pregnancy. This means that your next ultrasound will be held near the end of your third trimester provided that all goes well in your pregnancy.
The Cost of Ultrasounds with Insurance
Health insurance plays a major role in American healthcare as it helps people to be able to afford the costs of their treatments and medicines. In such cases, health insurance carriers such as Aetna or Blue Cross Blue Shield cover all major medical procedures including ultrasounds.
This means that you can use your insurance to pay for your ultrasounds. But, in the end it comes down to your carrier and your plan since the variations between them don’t allow for a constant number. Most plans only partially cover one ultrasound or may be able to cover all the ultrasounds your doctor recommends. If your carrier covers the amount of the ultrasound, you may have to co-pay a small amount of around $50.
It is advised to verify all the terms and conditions of your insurance policy before you get your ultrasound so that you are sure about the exact amount you will need to pay for the procedure. Moreover, your doctor’s office will most probably conduct a 2D ultrasound procedure which will show you an image of your baby in 2 dimensions. This type of ultrasound has been the standard for years.
However, in recent years, a new kind of ultrasound technique has popped up. This allows you to see a 3D image of your child and allows you to get an even more detailed image of your child. Unfortunately, these are not covered by health insurance yet and your doctor will most probably not have the equipment to give you a 3D ultrasound. Even if they did, you might wonder how much does a 3D ultrasound cost. The answer for your doctor’s office may shock you.
The Costs of Ultrasounds Without Insurance
If you plan to pay for ultrasounds without any help from your insurance premium, these can tend to get a little expensive. This can cost can be expected to be around a couple of hundred dollars at least. These costs depend on the facility you use which makes it hard to get your ultrasounds at a common and steady rate. Your doctor’s clinic can charge anything between $200 and $300. This can get hard to pay for most without an insurance cover having your back. Unfortunately, getting actual medical ultrasounds aren’t available at lower rates than that. There are various clinics such as Planned Parenthood which are equipped for medical ultrasounds. Planned Parenthood ultrasounds cost 40% less than most other ultrasounds.
If you’re lucky, you can find an independent center in your locality that can conduct the test work and send the results directly to your doctor, but this may also charge at least a hundred dollars. In case your budget is less, you can try explaining the situation to your doctor and inquire about any lower cost places in your locality or in some cases even help you set up a payment plan.
If you do not want a medical ultrasound, but rather want one to just look at your baby or get to know the gender, you can choose to go for a 3D ultrasonic imagery center in your locality. These centers have been growing a lot around the world and have offered the new 3D ultrasound services to soon-to-be-parents. Many parents wonder how much are 3D ultrasounds for or how much does a 3D ultrasound cost.
Their fees range from around $50 to $150, and in this amount, it is possible for you to be in a comfortable environment and get a 3-dimensional image of your baby. These services are not covered by health insurances and are not performed by licensed doctors, so please note that this cannot replace medical ultrasounds.
What Can Be Expected During an Ultrasound?
Ultrasounds are not exactly dangerous and scary medical procedures that you need to get nervous about. Most pregnancies are perfectly normal and even if there is a slight anomaly, the ultrasound will detect it and your doctor will be able to advise you about it. So, before you go in for the procedure, it is a great idea to be calm and not think about anything wrong happening.
The procedure is completely painless and all it involves is passing some sound through your body. This happens to you every day, except this time the sound will be detected. The technician will simply begin by uncovering your belly and applying a soft gel on it. Then she’ll start moving a device over your belly. This device is known as a transducer and it will send sound waves bouncing across your uterus to be able to detect them and form an image of your baby. It takes less than 20 minutes and is a very heartfelt moment.