You have a baby on the way and you’ve been dutiful about your research and preparation about the impending arrival of this wonderful bundle of joy. Most likely you’ve heard about the option to bank umbilical cord blood during a visit to your doctor’s office, whether from the pamphlet display or in discussion with the doc. Banking your baby’s cord blood is a considerable financial investment. But like any insurance, the peace of mind it offers can be priceless. These days, some couples are even opting for donations to their cord bank collection fund in lieu of other gifts at the baby shower. Medical science can grow in leaps and bounds, so the treatment uses for stem cells is likely to increase significantly in the years to come. In fact many researches believe stem cell treatment will lead to a revolution in how illness is treated.
To bank cord blood privately costs families roughly $1000-$2000 which covers your enrolment and collection fees. The collection occurs in the minutes after birth and requires a skilled nurse or other hospital staff to carefully extract stem cells from the umbilical cord. Additional to this will be your annual storage fees of around $100-$200. Some banks include the first year’s storage as part of your initial payment and lower your annual fess when you put down more money initially. This cost covers the considerable technological costs of processing cord blood and storing it in medical freezers. Even public cord blood banks put the charge for the initial collection, processing, and storage cost at around $1,500 per unit of cord blood.
And cord blood from a public bank isn’t free, either. Costs run about $28,000 per unit, billed to the patient’s insurance company when a cord blood unit is selected for transplant.
Some cord blood bank companies also offer the service free to a small number of clients who cannot afford the service. It is worth investigating these options if cord blood banking is not financially viable but you have good reason to want this option in your family’s future.