How Much Does A 3d/4d Ultrasound Cost?
A 3d/4d ultrasound is different from a 2d ultrasound in many ways. First, the 2d ultrasound “sees through” the baby layer by layer. This allows the technician to get a good look at the baby’s organs and determine if there are any health issues the baby may face. In this way, 2d ultrasounds are better. However, the picture received from a 2d ultrasound is usually unclear and the physical features of the baby are hard to spot. A 3d ultrasound takes images of the baby from three different angles, resulting in a 3-dimensional picture. This picture only shows the surface of the baby, which means the baby’s features can be seen much more clearly. The 4d part of this ultrasound is simply being able to watch the movement of the baby – this is usually recorded for the mother to take home. The ultrasound experience and the expectant mother’s guide have a wealth of information regarding 3d/4d ultrasounds if you wish to learn more.
Cost of ultrasound:
- A 3d/4d ultrasound can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. This price range depends mostly on how many features you wish to be included in your ultrasound experience. The more features you choose and the longer the session, the higher the cost will be.
- On average, plan on spending anywhere from $100 to $1,000. This will greatly depend on the ultrasound and the provider providing it. It will also depend if you have any sort of health insurance policy.
- Because a 3d/4d ultrasound is elective, insurance companies generally do not cover the cost. 3d/4d ultrasounds do NOT replace the traditional diagnostic 2d ultrasound. If there is a problem detected at the routine 2d ultrasound, an additional ultrasound may be recommended. In this case, insurance will usually cover it. EHealthInsurance is a great marketplace to find insurance companies that can help cover the costs.
What is going to be included?
(Remember, choosing only a few of these options will keep you around the $100 mark, and choosing many will put you at about the $300 mark.)
- A certain number of 3d image prints from multiple angles will be yours to take home.
- A CD of all the pictures taken can be made for ease in printing and sharing the images with you family.
- A VHS or DVD can be made of the movement (the 4d portion) for you to keep.
- Many places offer a teddy bear that has a recording of your baby’s heart beat.
- Gender determination (or confirmation if you already know) can be included upon request.
- Theatre-style seating for up to 10 people to share the experience.
- The more prints included or the longer the 4d portion, the more expensive your experience will be.
- An ultrasound exposes the body to high-frequency sound waves that produce pictures inside of the body. Captured in real-time, you will be able to see the internal organs and blood flowing through the vessels. This test is very safe and is painless.
What are the extra costs?
- Some 3d/4d ultrasounds charge extra for things like DVD instead of VHS, glossy photo paper instead of thin paper, or color photos instead of black and white photos.
- If you miss your appointment or cancel late, most facilities will have a late charge. This late charge can be as much as the entire appointment. If you have to cancel, be sure to do so within 24 hours.
Tips to know:
- Be sure to get something to eat before heading in. The ultrasound process can be rather long.
- The doctor will recommend that you come in with a full bladder. This makes it easier for the ultrasound tech to get a better reading. Drink something such as water a few hours ahead of time to ensure that your bladder is full.
- Try to avoid drinking caffeinated items. People have stated that this can get the baby to move, but it will only make it hard for the tech to gather pictures during the process.
- If the hospital allows it, bring a video camera into the room so that you can capture the experience when you found about what gender you were having. While the ultrasound could be recorded onto a DVD, this won’t mean that the experience was recorded.
- Not all procedures will be covered by the insurance companies. Always make sure that you get pre-approval ahead of time just to play it safe.
Types of ultrasounds:
- A color doppler ultrasound will use a computer to computer measurements. It can also analyze the blood flow through the vessels.
- A power doppler ultrasound can provide greater detail in terms of blood flow inside of the organs. The downside to a power doppler is that the technician can’t tell the direction most of the time.
- A spectral doppler can display the blood flow in graphical measurements. It can also show the distance traveled per unit.
How can I save money?
- Some facilities give discounts if multiple sessions are booked (it will only be cheaper per session, not overall)
- Some facilities are cheaper during weekdays than they are at night or on the weekends.
- Many facilities offer military discounts.
- Facilities are going to be a lot cheaper than a hospital. If possible, avoid the hospital and have the ultrasound performed at a local private facility.
- Many 2d ultrasound facilities also do 3d/4d ultrasounds. If you schedule both of your ultrasounds there, a discount will usually be given.
- As long as the ultrasound is medically necessary, you should be covered.
Ultrasound cost without insurance options:
- Pay in cash: If you don’t have any sort of insurance policy, ask them if you can receive a cash discount. Those who pay by cash or even by credit card in full can save up to 40 percent on their bill.
- Charity: Many local charity and organizations will provide ultrasounds at no cost if you meet certain income requirements. Most charities will ask that you’re at least 200 percent below the federal poverty level.
- Tax Credits: If you do have to pay for the ultrasound out of pocket, keep in mind that you may be able to write these costs off at the end of the year. Be sure to save all the receipts and paperwork.
How can I compare prices?
- A simple comparison of prices will not help determine the best deal. You must compare the cost as well as the features included to find the best overall value.
- Most facilities will allow you to come tour their building prior to scheduling an appointment.
- Most facilities will provide sample pictures and videos for you to see. Remember, however, that there is no guarantee that your baby will cooperate!!