At a Glance

Having a miscarriage is unexpected. There’s really no way to plan and prepare for the toll this experience can take on a family. The emotional impact is, of course, the main focus in the immediate aftermath. It’s not until later that the financial consequences appear. Research from The Kaiser Family Foundation recently revealed that the average birth in the U.S. costs $19,000, inclusive of pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum care. Giving birth isn’t cheap — and neither is having a miscarriage.

What is a miscarriage?

Miscarriage is the most common form of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. A miscarriage occurs when there is a spontaneous loss of the embryo or fetus during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Data from March of Dimes notes that approximately 10%-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, with 80% of miscarriages occurring within the first trimester, prior to 12 weeks gestation. Some women may not even know they’re pregnant when they have a miscarriage, making the associated costs even more of a shock.

After a miscarriage, the body needs to shed the contents of the uterus, which may happen naturally and last a few weeks. But, in some cases, a miscarriage could require taking medication or undergoing a minor surgical procedure called dilation and curettage, or D&C, to remove the remaining tissue and prevent potential infection.

How much does a miscarriage cost?

Miscarriage costs vary depending on what type of treatment is required. For example, some miscarriages only require medical intervention via oral medication like mifepristone and misoprostol, while others may require surgical intervention. On average, treating a miscarriage with medication costs just under $700, whether you take one or both drugs, according to a 2018 study published by the American Medical Association.

Even with insurance, surgical treatment for a miscarriage can cost, on average, more than $4,300, according to FAIR Health, a national healthcare nonprofit for consumers. How much you pay at that point depends on your insurance plan if you have one. If you don’t, costs can skyrocket upwards of $9,000. And if there are any complications, the costs can go up from there, especially if your recovery care includes a hospital stay.

Associated costs for surgical miscarriage treatment may include outpatient facility and physician fees, which may be higher or lower depending on where you’re treated. If you have insurance, your share of the bill is determined by your plan’s coinsurance or copayment policies, as well as your deductible and out-of-pocket maximums.

Since pregnancy care is an essential health benefit under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans and Medicaid must cover medication used to treat a miscarriage, and state Medicaid plans will typically cover the cost of a D&C. However, because mifepristone and misoprostol are also used in medication abortions of viable pregnancies, their availability in some states was impacted by the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

The unexpected costs of a miscarriage from people who’ve been there

When Kelly T. and her boyfriend found out that they were expecting, they were genuinely thrilled. Though the pregnancy was unexpected, the couple says that they immediately made a game plan for navigating what they saw as a “new adventure.”

They started looking for a bigger place with an extra bedroom, thought about how their big dog would react to a newborn, and started dreaming about baby names. A few weeks later, they got even more unexpected news — their baby had no heartbeat. “We were shocked, even more shocked than we were about being pregnant to begin with. Looking back, I still don’t know how we got through it.”

Emotionally, “it was a rollercoaster” from start to finish. Kelly’s doctor prescribed her medication, which she says was mostly covered by her insurance. “I had to take pills for several days, and I was in a lot of pain, so I didn’t really think about money at all right then,” Kelly says. “We just paid the doctor’s copay and then paid what we owed at the pharmacy.” The couple doesn’t recall receiving any bills after the fact, but they say they’re grateful that Kelly was on a healthcare marketplace plan.

Jeff Rose is the founder of Though he and his wife now have four healthy children, their first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, and they experienced another between the births of their first and second children. “From hospital visits, ultrasounds, and subsequent medical procedures, the bills stacked up, but we were blessed to have really good health insurance that covered most of the costs,” Rose explains.

Rose says that despite having insurance, the stress of the unexpected costs added to “an already emotionally taxing time.” He says that the financial strain of experiencing a miscarriage the second time around was especially difficult to bear while also caring for their firstborn. “The financial burden, in a way, prolonged the healing process as the bills served as stark reminders of the loss, even though much of it was covered by insurance,” he says.

Following a miscarriage, the need for time off work to recover —AKA lost wages — can add to the expense of the experience. These additional expenses can add up when coupled with the cost of oral medications or surgical treatment. Then, there’s the cost of emotional recovery.

Young Pham shared with Credello that although he and his wife were able to use their savings and insurance coverage as a safety net when they experienced miscarriage, there was more to come following the initial financial impacts.

“In our case, unexpected costs surfaced a few weeks later when my wife’s emotional well-being began to deteriorate, and she required therapy to cope with her grief and the risk of depression,” he explained. “Unfortunately, these therapy sessions weren’t entirely covered by our insurance, which added to our financial burden.”

For those without insurance, the impacts are even more significant. As medical bills pile up, the mounting debt can add pressure to an already intense situation. If you find yourself facing medical debt after a miscarriage, taking a moment — when you’re ready — to look into debt payoff strategies is one way to get started paying off the amount you owe. Credello’s debt payoff calculator can help you determine how much money per month it will take to pay down your debt using various approaches like the debt snowball and debt avalanche methods.

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How to pay for a miscarriage

Dealing with the financial aftermath of a miscarriage can be challenging, to say the least, and even though there’s no way to plan ahead for the costs, there are strategies to help navigate the experience and ease the burden. Here are some options to consider:

  • Check your insurance coverage. Review your insurance policy to understand what aspects of miscarriage treatment are covered. “We learned the importance of thoroughly understanding our insurance policies, including mental health coverage,” Pham says. “I encourage individuals and families to review their insurance coverage and explore additional policies or riders that can provide adequate support during difficult times.”
  • Explore Medicaid options. If you qualify, Medicaid can significantly help cover expenses related to miscarriage. Contact your state Medicaid office to understand what the available coverage looks like in your area.
  • Consider payment plans. Many healthcare providers and hospitals are open to setting up payment plans. “Financially, always ask your healthcare provider for a clear breakdown of costs, explore any and all financial assistance programs, and don’t hesitate to negotiate payment plans with providers to manage the bills in a way that is feasible for your situation,” Rose advises. It’s not a guarantee, but it never hurts to ask.
  • Seek financial assistance. Some hospitals and clinics offer financial assistance programs for families facing financial hardships. Research these programs to see if you qualify. Rose also suggests asking your employee if there are any employee assistance programs available to help bolster your finances.
  • Reach out for support. Support groups within your community and online can offer valuable resources and information. Connect with others who have gone through similar experiences to gain insights into how they managed the financial aspects of their experience. “Beyond financial concerns, we leaned on friends, family, and support groups to help us navigate the emotional challenges that came with the miscarriage,” Pham says.

Bottom line

Remember that coping with a miscarriage will look different for everyone — and so will paying for it afterward. When you’re ready, taking proactive steps to address the financial aspects can provide a sense of control during an emotionally taxing time.