Although advanced neonatal care technology has contributed to significant decline in mortality of premature infants, it has also resulted in rising costs of hospitalization. Premature infants constitute 4% to 6% of all newborns treated annually in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) and that is why the cost of prematurity determines considerable financial burden on health care in each country. In Poland research concerning costs of neonatal intensive care have not been conducted so far. The object of this paper is to review world-wide literature on that subject, particularly taking into consideration methods of estimating costs and economic analysis, such as cost-benefit analysis, cost-effect analysis and cost-utility analysis. The results of studies undertaken in the United States of America, Canada and Australia have been presented. Results of review indicate the strong relationship between high costs and small gestational age or low birth-weight of newborns. As no research in this area has been conducted in Poland so far, it seems to be crucial to estimate costs of neonatal intensive care of premature infants in Poland. Precise analysis of main factors determining high costs may be helpful in searching for significant savings. It would be a useful decision-making tool both for the NICU and the hospital managers.