In most cases, the total payment structure for cord blood banking happens in two phases:
- Initial enrolment fee – This fee usually varies from ₹5,000 – ₹20,000 depending on the bank of your choice. This amount may or may not cover the fee for collection of the blood sample.
- Storage fee – This is the large amount, which can either be paid off as a one-time payment or through monthly instalments. This fee varies and may start from ₹20,000 and go up to as much as ₹3,00,000.
These are just ballpark figures. With time, the demand for stem cell banking in India has gone up and the associated costs have gone down. It is now available in many centres in the ₹50,000 and ₹75,000 range.
When one rationalises this cost and analyses it thinking that the samples would be preserved for as long as 21 years, then the costs do not really seem exorbitant given today’s standard of living. However, to think from the other side, in the wake of ever-increasing cost of raising a child, the investment needed right after delivery for stem cell banking may thwart many willing parents from opting for it.
Assuming that you can afford it, the moot point to debate is whether you wish to spend the money on a developing science that does not assure results under all conditions. There is a lot of ongoing research which is likely to throw more light on the subject in coming days. Also, all going well, your child may never need it. It is your call, really.