How Much Does Baby Ultrasound Cost?

You may be worried about the cost of an ultrasound, or if it’s covered by your health insurance.

Typically, the type of ultrasound (transvaginal) done very early in pregnancy is performed in an obstetrician’s office by the obstetrician. Thus, it is just part of the regular office visit and almost certainly covered by most forms of insurance in the United States.

Later, if an ultrasound is medically indicated, you may be referred to an outside lab that contracts with doctors or hospitals to perform ultrasounds. In this case, a trained technician will do the procedure and your insurance will almost certainly be billed, if indeed your doctor has indicated that the ultrasound is being done out of medical concern.

Here’s a trade secret: If you’re mainly interested in an ultrasound to learn the baby’s gender, some OBs will write a “prescription” for the procedure based on the fetus seeming, based on an in-office exam, to be larger or smaller than the time period of gestation would indicate. If you hint around a bit, and your OB is on the same page, you may be able to get the procedure covered on this basis with a “nod and a wink.” It’s a bit of a grey area.

If you were to pay out-of-pocket for a traditional ultrasound in a medical setting, expect it to cost $700 to $1,200 or more. Also, be aware that many insurance companies that do reimburse for the traditional 2D diagnostic ultrasound may not do so for additional ultrasounds, unless a problem was indicated in the first procedure. If a second ultrasound is medically indicated and you’re interested in a 3D or 4D procedure, be sure to discuss this with your doctor, as it may be advisable as well as covered by insurance, even if done at a freestanding commercial fetal imaging center.

In recent years, many “keepsake ultrasound” businesses have come into being, offering 3d and 4d ultrasounds that have a good chance of revealing your baby’s gender. These visits are not covered by insurance, and can run anywhere from $75 to $300 or even more.

However, some clients may have success in submitting the cost through an employer-provided Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and getting reimbursed that way.

Here are some “secrets”: Some keepsake ultrasound centers charge less on weekdays. Some offer discounts if you’re going to visit more than once. Some offer discounts to military families.

Below are some images captured of a baby boy at 29 weeks’ gestation. They were taken at a commercial ultrasound facility. Click to enlarge.

4D ultrasound, 29-week boy 14D ultrasound, 29-week boy 24D ultrasound, 29-week boy 34D ultrasound, 29 week boy 4

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