Cord Blood Banking Costs and Storage Fees
There are various costs associated with storing your child’s cord blood, such as enrollment and processing fees. Understanding these costs will help you make an informed decision when choosing a bank.
Here are 2 important things to remember about cord blood banking costs:
- Public banking is free, but using these cells in a transplant will cost money. Since this is a medical procedure, it’s usually covered by health insurance. However, cord blood stored in a public bank is available to everyone, so there’s no guarantee the donating family will be able to use these cells.
- Private cord blood banking costs money upfront, and additional payments are due every year for storage. While this is more expensive, only your family has access to these cells, so you can always use them for medical treatment.
Comparing private banking costs
While comparing prices for cord blood banks may seem straightforward, many banks hide additional costs. For instance, some companies charge for shipping – usually called a “courier fee” – but don’t include this in their processing and enrollment costs.
If you are researching a private bank, ask for the total first year cost, and then compare annual storage fees. First year costs include enrollment fees, processing, shipping and one year of storage. While most companies include shipping as a flat-rate fee, the cost varies between organizations. Shipping fees usually range from $50-$100, but some banks have courier fees as high as $150.
Private cord blood banking costs typically include:
- Enrollment Fees
- Collection and Processing Fees
- Shipping and Handling Fees
- Storage Fees
- Usage Fee
Enrollment, Collection and Processing Fees
Enrollment fees are usually due when you sign your banking contract, and cover all administrative work. Collection and processing fees cover laboratory work for your child’s cord blood, and are paid with your enrollment fees.
Often called “courier fees”, these are one-time costs for shipping cord blood to the labs. While some banks offer a flat-rate fee, some facilities charge based on where you ship from. Be sure to ask your bank for a total shipping estimate from your baby’s hospital.
For most banks, storage fees are charged every year cord blood is kept at the labs. Some banks offer a pre-paid storage plan for a set amount of years – on average, these plans cover 20 years of storage.
Banks charge usage fees when customers need cord blood for transplants or research.
While private banks store cells for your family, donating stem cells to a public bank can save lives, and help researchers test new therapies. Find out more about public banking here.