Discover the costs associated with private cord blood banking and how it compares to the free public option. Learn about the price of cord blood banking, insurance, and other related factors to make an informed decision.
The umbilical cord and the placenta contain blood known as cord blood. Because it contains a high number of stem cells, which have the potential to develop into a wide variety of blood cells, it is an excellent choice for the treatment of conditions that affect the blood and immune system, such as leukemia and other types of cancer, sickle-cell anemia, and certain metabolic disorders.
Because umbilical cord blood has the potential to save lives, many parents decide to have their child’s cord blood frozen and stored in a bank. The operation is as follows: Following cutting the umbilical cord, the obstetrician will collect the stem cells using a method that does not require surgery. After that, the cells can be kept in a safe holding environment for an indefinite amount of time and retrieved whenever they are required.
It is possible to register cord blood stem cells privately within a family or to donate them for use by the general public. The following is an explanation of the distinction between public and private cord blood banking:
Private Cord Banking:
Families can pay a fee to have their umbilical cord blood stored at a private bank. Your family is the only one who is permitted to access or use the blood, and it will never be given to another family or used for scientific research. No one else will have access to or use the blood. Those with a significant family history of certain diseases harmful to the blood and immune system may benefit from participating in private cord blood banking. Those parents who already have a child (in a household with biological siblings) who is afflicted with one of these diseases have the best chance of finding a match with the cord blood of their newborn child, although this is not given in any case.
Public Cord Banking:
These organizations are not-for-profit and will keep your donated cord blood at no cost. Because it can then be used for any transplant patient — in addition to being used for research — having access to your own cord blood in the future is not guaranteed. Despite the rare diseases that may require cord blood transplantation, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) still advocates for public cord blood banking. This is due to the fact that cord blood transplantation may be necessary in some cases. According to some estimates, the number of children who will need their own stored cells in the future ranges from one in four hundred to one in two hundred thousand. According to the organization, “The public cord blood banking system has a thirtyfold higher likelihood of using a baby’s cord blood cells for transplantation than the private cord blood banking system.” Cord blood banking facilities that are publicly funded are more likely to use the cells for transplantation.
The Price Paid for Cord Blood Banking in Private Facilities
The storage of cord blood in public banks is provided at no cost, but private banks require payment. The American Animal Hospital Association estimates that the total cost of collecting, testing, and registering an animal will be between $1350 and $2350. There will also be an annual storage and maintenance fee that ranges from $100 to $175. It is a requirement of both public and private cord blood banks that mothers undergo testing for a variety of infections, including hepatitis and HIV. The total cost of the procedure may increase as a result of factors such as your health insurance policy.
What factors contribute to the extremely high cost of private cord blood banking? According to Frances Verter, Ph.D., founder and director of Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to educating parents about cord blood donation and cord blood therapists, “This is a medical service that has to be done when your baby’s cells arrive, and you certainly want them to be handled by good equipment and good technicians.” “The price is not going to be very reasonable.”
Does Cord Blood Banking Fall Under the Coverage of Health Insurance?
No, families will not typically receive any reimbursement from their health insurance companies for any costs associated with private cord blood banking. In spite of this, Dr. Verter says that certain insurance companies may contribute financially if a sibling requires treatment with cord blood in the near future.
Is Financial Aid Available?
Some families that store their cord blood in a private bank can qualify for financial assistance. Banks may have programs available that cover the costs of processing and storing umbilical cord blood for free if you have a sick child who could benefit from using cord blood. If this is the case, you should inquire about these programs. In other words, to qualify for this financial assistance, it is typically required that your baby has a biological sibling who is afflicted with one of the diseases listed above.