I believe that every family should have access to midwifery care regardless of their gender, race, economic status or ability to pay. It is not always possible to pay a midwife’s full fee prior to 36 weeks gestation as is typically required. Midwives want to support families, but many do so with very little resources. Many of us want to serve for free when circumstances dictate, but it’s usually not possible. Midwives do not earn huge salaries and many even take additional part time jobs in order to fully support their families.
For this reason, I operate my practice on a principle of trust. I recognize the huge amount of trust my clients must put in me when I support them in birth. In order to reciprocate that trust and help it grow, I trust my clients to pay me according to the absolute fullest extent of their ability. I trust them to be honest and open in regard to finance and then we work together to find an agreement that benefits us both.
My fees is payable over a short or long term payment plan, up to a year after the birth. I ask that clients do their absolute best to pay the full fee. I ask that they look carefully at their finances to see if there is anything they might “do without” for a period of time in order to pay the full fee. I also ask if there are any goods or services available for barter that might pay part of the fee. This is attainable by most people if they really dig deep and pay careful attention to finances. I ask that families take an honest inventory of their resources and come up with the best financial plan possible. Most families are able to create a payment plan that works for them.
Some families are truly unable to cover the fees. In this case, I ask that they have an honest discussion with me about what they might be able to afford. Even if the family cannot cover the fee, I ask that they pay something (whatever is possible) at each visit and then we discuss bartering for services, extended payment plans or our grants for families in need.
Some families are very blessed by the services we provide. In this case, it is possible that they are able to pay over and above the suggested amounts. If a family is able to pay beyond the suggested amount, the overage goes into a benevolence account to aid families in need. This grant money will be available to help families meet the minimum payment if they are truly unable to.
No family will be denied services because of inability to pay.
Once a payment plan is agreed upon, it is essential that each family follows through with the plan consistently and on time. This practice is dependent on honesty and integrity in this area. The only way that this type of practice can work is if each family gives to the fullest extent and is faithful to follow through.
I feel privileged to be able to provide birth services to my community. It is my wish that every family become aware of the beauty and attainability of home birth. Thank you for your interest in Red House Birth Care and thank you for your contribution to my work.
Amy E. Miller, CPM
Red House Birth Care