When you first find out you’re expecting, your thoughts usually drift to the new upcoming costs that come with prenatal care, delivery, and of course, the ongoing expenses of formula, diapers, and a new wardrobe every few months. Because of all these new added costs, many parents often overlook cord blood banking, or the parents mistakenly believe that banking cord blood is too expensive.
You’ll be surprised to learn that cord blood banking costs are actually pretty reasonable. There will be some initial fees that will include a wide range of services, but this is par for the course.
Ultimately, it all boils down to basic financial planning. The baby cord blood banking cost is now more affordable than ever.
Preparing for cord blood storage can be a lengthy, but important process. You should begin your search for the best cord blood banking facility at the beginning of your third trimester, or sooner if possible.
If you’re unsure of what you can and can’t afford in terms of annual costs, we recommend meeting with a financial advisor who can help to identify your available funds that can go toward monthly or annual storage costs.
The use of cord blood stem cells has given families hope for the future, knowing their child’s cord blood is safely stored in the event of a serious diagnosis. These days, cord blood banks are willing to work closely with families that are on a tight budget to ensure that they can also securely store their child’s cord blood for the future, at prices that are manageable.
Upon sign up, you can expect to pay first-year processing fees that can range from five hundred dollars up to two thousand, in addition to low annual storage costs. The best cord blood banks often know that this is already a financially challenging time in your life, which is why payment plans are available. Payment plans can range from low or no-interest installments that you’ll pay over a period of three to six months, to long-term financing plans with interest.
There’s also the possibility of making a single, all-inclusive payment in exchange for twenty years of storage. Ultimately, this one lump sum payment option works out to be less expensive compared to traditional pricing with annual costs for storage.
Can I Afford Cord Blood Storage?
While you may think the price to store cord blood sounds high, the cost doesn’t just include storage. In fact, storing your child’s cord blood is its own process. This involves testing the mother’s blood before the birth of the child to rule out infectious diseases, sending a courier to pick up the cord blood from the hospital, processing the blood in order to preserve pure stem cells, and finally, storing it. This all adds up to one to two thousand dollars.
When you’re weighing your options, here are a few things you should keep in mind:
You may qualify for a discount if you prepay for storage for a longer period of time, such as five, ten, or twenty years.
Top companies offer discounts if you use their facility to store cord blood for more than one child.
While some companies charge you an extra fee to use their courier service, some banks will include the cost in their base price, so you’ll want to pay close attention to this at the time of sign up.
The Cost of High-Quality Cord Blood Storage
Like with many services, it’s true, you get what you pay for. A top cord blood bank may charge an arm and a leg, but all too often we’ve found that some facilities that charge lower than average fees often cut important corners. Considering you’re trusting a facility to store valuable cord blood, it’s important that you chose a facility based on reputation and quality of service, instead of a high sign-up fee and annual costs.
Budget cord blood facilities often use lower end supplies and products, which can mean they don’t provide top-quality kits or well-insulated storage containers that are used to transport the cord blood to the lab.
Because of this, the price isn’t a very safe determining factor.
How Long Can Cord Blood Last?
Most parents also assume that cord blood doesn’t last very long and worry that it won’t still be viable by the time their child reaches adulthood. In truth, scientists claim that since the cord blood is cryogenically preserved, the pure stem cells have no expiration date and can essentially last for decades. Research has shown that the first cord blood stored over twenty-three years ago proved that when thawed, the cells were still potent and viable.
To learn more about this process you can click here to read our article on cord blood stem cell preservation.
Average Annual Storage Costs
Finally, the information you’ve been waiting for.
Based on our research, the average cost of storing cord blood ranges from ninety dollars up to one hundred and fifty dollars a year.
Of course, this can heavily depend on the city and state you live in. Metropolitan cities usually offer a lower fee in order to keep up with the competition. Rural parts of the country will have fewer options to choose from and may charge a higher annual storage fee. As we’ve mentioned, payment options are usually available for the initial fees, however, many facilities will require you to make a lump sum down payment.
Choosing the Right Blood Bank Facility
Remember, while it’s understandable that the purse strings will be pretty tight during your pregnancy and thereafter with the birth of a new child, it’s important that you decide to sign up with a cord blood bank based on the facility’s reputation and quality of service. Don’t simply go with the facility that offers the lowest prices.
Storing cord blood may one day save the life of your child, or another member of the family. Finding the right bank is the equivalent of using only the best doctor. During your consultation, don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially regarding the storage process, courier service, and of course, the payment options. Knowledgeable staff should be more than happy to answer all of your questions and walk you through the entire process.