Paying for NICU care

While your baby's health is your priority, try to leave time to understand and plan for the financial aspects of your baby's hospitalization. Care in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is expensive. It will be a great relief to you if you address these issues early in your newborn's NICU stay.

What kind of coverage do you have?

  • Private medical insurance: Speak with your insurance carrier to find out which NICU costs are covered by your plan. Many plans pay for the entire hospitalization, but some insurance carriers do not pay for specific care, such as that provided by certain specialist physicians. Find out as much as possible about what your insurance expects you to do with remaining costs.
  • Medicaid: Find out from the NICU social worker or hospital financial representative if there are costs that Medicaid does not pay.

What can you do if you need additional insurance?

A social worker can help you determine if you should apply for additional insurance for your child through hospital Medicaid or Social Security Insurance programs. Having one of these as a second form of insurance helps prevent you from receiving costly medical bills.


Social Security Administration
Provides information about and applications for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Your child may be eligible for SSI, based on his or her medical history and your financial resources. (800) 772-1213.

Excerpted from the March of Dimes booklet, "Parent: You & Your Baby in the NICU", written in collaboration with Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D., and Mara Tesler Stein, Psy.D., authors of "Parenting Your Premature Baby and Child: The Emotional Journey".

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Last reviewed: August, 2014