Understanding Cord Blood Pricing
When you are trying to make a decision as to which cord blood bank you would like to bank with, the price of the service is bound to play an important role in your final decision. Since the cost of banking with a private cord blood bank can vary widely, you may be tempted to go with the cheapest company. Before you sign on the dotted line, though, you may want to reconsider not going with a more expensive bank.
In the United States, first year fees for banking cord blood can range from $879 to more than $2,000. On average, though, the first year of fees for umbilical cord blood banking are about $1,450. So, does this mean that some banks are over charging you while others aren't charging you enough? Not necessarily.
It is important to remember that the fees you pay do not solely cover the cost of processing your baby's umbilical cord blood. In addition to the laboratory fees are other factors, like employee salaries, laboratory facilities and advertising costs. Additionally, any reputable cord blood bank will need to have accreditation, which is an expensive process to undertake. Even once accreditation has been obtained, banks must continue to abide by the regulations set out by the accrediting body. Again, this can add extra expense to the bank's operating costs.
While price will be a major issue when choosing a cord blood bank, do not make the cost of the bank your only criteria. Ensuring that you are going with a reputable bank that has at least AABB accreditation as well as follows the guidelines and any regulations set out by the FDA are equally as important as the fees.
However, steer clear of cord blood banks that seem to be nothing but advertisements. Maybe the reason you have heard so much about a particular bank is because the company has paid to be everywhere. A cord blood bank needs more than just good commercials to be a worthwhile choice. Your baby's umbilical cord blood is too important to store just anywhere. So make sure that, in addition to some advertising, your fees are going to accreditation processes, training of professionals and state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment.
Making it Affordable
Many private umbilical cord blood banks realize that the first year fees can seem a bit overwhelming to parents. For this reason, many banks now offer various discounts to their customers.
More and more, umbilical cord blood banks are deciding to offer their customers different payment plans. This way, you can choose whether you want to pay the entire fee up front or pay in installments.
The Bottom Line
Before you rule out a cord blood bank because of their initial prices, take a moment to examine the bank in closer detail. Do they offer any discounts or payment plans? Are they accredited? How long have they been around and what is their reputation like? What are their storage facilities like? While some of the more expensive banks may just have a good marketing department, others will charge you more because they offer a better service. When you make your final decision, go with the bank that is better on the whole, not with the bank that has the lowest price.