Is cord blood banking covered by insurance?
Cord blood banking isn’t covered in many insurance plans. Some insurance providers may consider covering the cost involved in banking cord blood if it is deemed that the collection is a medical necessity. What does that mean? Take for example, if a family has a history of having leukemia and other blood disorders, they may become eligible for partial or total coverage of the cord blood banking cost. This is something that a parent should consult with their insurance company and the cord bank facility. The guidelines for each insurer that considers offering insurance in case of a medical necessity will vary.1,2
Your healthcare insurance company may not provide coverage for cord blood banking, however some family cord blood banks do offer this type of insurance. The cord blood insurance will give you extra security in affording cord blood transplants or even taking part in clinical trials. Cord blood insurance may cover the standard medical expenses not taken care of by the regular insurance. For example, it may cover outpatient visits, hospital costs, rehabilitation costs, policy deductions, and medication. It may also cover travel and lodging costs related to getting cord blood therapy.6
Why is banking cord blood so costly?
If you decide to bank cord blood for private use, then you will pay an amount that ranges from somewhere between $1500 and $2500 for the first year. There is also a recurring annual fee of about $175 for the entire storage period. In the end, you may end up paying up to $10,000 for a unit of cord blood. This is a unit you aren’t 100% sure that you will use it, there are chances you might never use it. It only acts as reassurance in the event that a family suffers a heritable disease and there is possible match. The cost is high because of the many tests that have to be done including CFU assay, HLA typing, specimen contamination, quality testing, and nucleated cells tests. Transport, license, expertise, and equipment also contribute to the high cord blood banking costs.
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- Health Insurance & Cord Blood Banking. https://www.familycord.com/insurance-cord-blood-banking/
- Do Insurance Companies Cover Cord Blood Banking? | Americord. https://topics.americordblood.com/cord-blood-banking/faqs/insurance-cord-blood-banking
- How Your Child’s Cord Blood Could Be Used to Save Your Life. https://www.corcell.com/blog/cord-blood-benefits-family/
- Who Can Use My Baby’s Cord Blood? https://www.everydayfamily.com/who-can-use-my-babys-cord-blood/
- Cord Blood Banking FAQs. https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/cord-blood/cord-blood-banking-faqs/
- FAQs Stem Cell Science. https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/faqs