I had my first baby with private health insurance and was out of pocket almost $1800. For my second bub (due in 8 weeks), we have gone public and so far have been out of pocket about $100. For this pregnancy I had the initial consultation with my doctor ($30 above medicare rebate) and a scan at 8 weeks to check dates ($70 above medicare rebate). I then transferred to the midwife clinic at my local hospital and apart from one visit where my normal midwife was on holidays, have seen the same midwife, although she doesn't work in delivery, so I will be having someone else at the actual delivery. All the midwife visits, bloodtests, scans and everything else is done through the hospital and has not cost us a cent.
For first bub the private hospital does not do deliveries so I delivered at local hospital then transferred to private. Costs for him were: every visit (12 in all) to Obstetrician was $30 over medicare rebate apart from initial consultation which was $60 over rebate, we had to go to his preferred radiologist (2 scans @ $100 over medicare rebate each), $800 obstretrician's insurance fee (not refundable by medicare or health insurance), obstetrician billed health insurance directly for his actual delivery fee ($500 I believe), health insurance covered cost of anti-natal classes but would not cover cost of breast-feeding class (even though I strongly argued that it should have been classified as a healthy lifestyle class- what better start to a healthy life can you give your child?), hospital excess for me $200, hospital excess for bub $200, (he had to be admitted to SCN due to jaundice).
I also got the statements from the health insurance showing what they had paid each hospital. Even though there was only $20 difference per night between the hospitals, the difference was amazing. At public even though I had my own room with ensuite, the ensuite was actually shared between two rooms and was tiny, the room was a triangular shape which meant it was very awkward and not much room at all, the food was disgusting (who on earth would give a curry dish to pregnant or new mums recovering from giving birth and beginning breastfeeding?), I was lucky to see the nurse once a day and it took forever to have someone answer the buzzer and the had bought the cheapest toilet paper ever (even newspaper would have been softer) which is the last thing you want when that area has just been through all of its traumas and has been stitched.
So why am I going public this time? I'm hoping to get on the early discharge program which means that if I leave within 24hours of giving birth, I will get a midwife come to my house every second day or so for the first week to see me. I can be at home for my toddler, in my own environment, with foods I like and think are suitable for a new mum and the most expensive toilet paper I can find, a long with all the support from family and friends. My only hope now is that bub goes from transverse to normal position so I don't need a caesar! LOL