The cost of cord blood banking will vary from company to company. However, there are usually two fees involved: an enrollment, collection and storage charge and a recurring annual storage fee. Depending on the company and country of residence, some offer various plans for the setup fee with incremental storage fees for specific time periods.
Typically, the setup fee ranges from $900 to $2100 depending on whether it covers 1 or 2 years. Renewal storage fees typically cost around $100. The average total cost for startup is about $2500 when you select more than 1 year of initial storage.
Most companies offer different payment plans, including prepay options as well as monthly payments. In addition, many offer coupons or promotional discounts throughout the year, making it a wise option to comparison shop. Another way to lower the cost of cord blood banking is to contact the company directly. If you question them about their fees, especially in regard to their direct competitiors, you are often able to receive discounted services, at least for the initial fee. Ultimately, these companies are in business to make money. They would rather give a discount than lose a customer altogether.
Beware of sites offering coupons for discounted cord blood banking services. Many websites across the Internet will offer discounts or coupons from some of the cord blood banking facilities. Cord blood banking companies pay a referral fee to those who attract new customers. Some websites will contain misinformation, whether by accident or design, on the services provided by the company they promote, in hopes of earning commissions through their link.
In addition, many doctors will promote certain cord blood banking facilities without disclosing they receive monetary reimbursement for each patient referred. Both the Amercian College of Obsetricians and Gynecologists and the American Academy of Pediatrics have issued statements specifiying that doctors should disclose these financial relationships to patients before making recommendations. Their statements can be found respectively at http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr02-01-08-2.cfm and http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;119/1/165#SEC2 . Unfortunately, there is no way to monitor whether physicians are adhering to these standards.
Perform due diligence and research several different companies. Ask for all available literature to ensure understanding of the contract terms, especially with regard to termination and storage limitations. Often, when attempting to terminate a contract, the option to transfer storage elsewhere is not given and the company retains the right to dispose of the cord blood in any way they see fit, which can include selling it for medical research. The cost of cord blood banking should not be the sole deciding factor in which company to choose.
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Page Last Modified by Catherine Beier, MS, CBE
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