Top 5 Factors to Consider When Purchasing Maternity Insurance
Motherhood is an important event in a woman’s life. During this transition, the woman goes through a lot of bodily changes. During pregnancy and after childbirth, a woman needs extreme healthcare which may require frequent medical visits. Physical support notwithstanding, she may also need emotional support. Another important type of support is financial support. Critical as it sounds, the importance of staying mentally and physically healthy, during and after pregnancy can have a tremendous influence on how the child is born, and how the child grows in the formative years.
Owing to such needs, it is not an afterthought to look into options of insurance during pregnancy. Specifically termed as maternity insurance, this type of insurance covers a woman’s pregnancy expenses. Covering hospitalisation expenses primarily, maternity insurance can also include pre and post hospitalisation, critical illness cover, and death benefits. Choosing a maternity insurance policy is a personal choice and decision, and the following information assists in making an informed choice on choosing the best medical insurance for pregnant women.
Factors to Consider while Purchasing Maternity Insurance
Numerious factors can affect one’s decision of buying maternity insurance, however, the following are being the foremost:
- Check if the current health insurance plan has maternity insurance and also child insurance. If not, check if there are add-on riders available to supplement the health insurance with maternity insurance benefits.
- Check if the maternity insurance covers some or all aspects of pregnancy. Maternity insurance policies may not cover certain aspects of pregnancy such as pre-hospitalisation, ambulance charges, equipment usage at home etc.
- The cost of normal deliveries versus Caesarean deliveries differs not just by the treatment type but also by hospitals. So ensure that the maternity health insurance policy provides adequate coverage for this.
- Maternity insurance once taken, cannot be utilised immediately, until after a waiting period. Health insurance providers have different waiting periods. Some may have a waiting period of 9 months; some others may have an average waiting period between 2 – 6 years.
- Check with the employer if they have employee-friendly policies regarding pregnancy and childbirth support. If there is such support, use it. If the projected pregnancy and childbirth expenses are more than the employer’s pregnancy coverage support, consider using a maternity insurance scheme to cover this portion.
What does a Pregnancy Insurance Policy Cover?
Usually best medical insurance maternity health covers provide the following benefits:
- Pre hospitalisation and post-hospitalisation expense support. The number of days prior to hospitalisation differs by insurer. In pre-hospitalisation expense support, the coverage includes pregnancy-related checkups, medications, and in some cases alternative treatments. In post-hospitalisation coverage, the cover can extend to home nurse expenses, equipment usage at home, medication, fitness centre reimbursement, and in some cases usage of alternative treatments.
- Covers hospitalisation expenses such as room rent charges, ICU charges, medical practitioner fees, surgeon charges, nurse charges, medicine costs, ambulance costs, and several miscellaneous expenses
- Best medical insurance plans nowadays have childbirth support, either integrated into the plan, or as an add-on. Childbirth support is different from post-hospitalisation expense support. Childbirth support is coverage of expenses that arise out of a growing child needs; coverage is provided up to 3 months. This support is provided to impede the infant mortality rate.
How to Cut Down the Cost of Childbirth?
The choices made during pregnancy should be right ones. Because not only does it affect the child’s development, but also affects someone’s savings. In an effort to drastically cut down cost, vital coverage should never be omitted. In fact, choosing essential services can cut down expenses in the long run. Fortunately, there are smarter ways to cut down costs. The following information assists on the same:
- Check if there is an option for homebirth. Seek assistance from a renowned and qualified medical practitioner on this. Low-risk mothers can consider home birth. Check local government rules on the same. Check if there is a health insurance policy that covers home birth. However, the trend of birthing at home is not very common. It is recommended to use hospital facilities to birth children.
- Rates of cesarean section or C-section are higher than normal deliveries. Check for rates of C-section procedures. It may not only differ by hospital but also by surgeon. Go for a C-section procedure only if it is recommended by a qualified medical professional.
- Some hospitals levy rates of intervention. Be it for a forceps delivery or administering a Pitocin drip, rates of intervention vary by hospital and doctor. Check with the insurance company if they cover this cost.
- Purchase newborn insurance. This is not maternity insurance. Rather, it covers newborns up to a certain age. To cover for unforeseen emergencies, it is always advisable to take this insurance policy. Even if medical emergencies do not arise, newborn insurance covers medication costs, hospitals visit, doctor’s consultation fees, medical interventions etc. The best medical insurance child plans can be purchased with the same insurer.
- Do light to moderate exercise and eat well. Before, during and after childbirth, as it is important to stay healthy and fit. Nutrition plays a huge role during childbirth, and can affect the development of a child. Personal lifestyle habits that affect the childbirth process such as exercise have to be given prominence. Mild to light exercise is recommended to increase blood circulation. It is highly discouraged for women contemplating childbirth or those who are pregnant to stay away from alcohol, smoking or usage of narcotics.
Ans: The best time to purchase such a health insurance policy is before one coneives. It is advisable to take this policy at least 3 to 4 years before pregnancy.
Ans: Maternity insurance covers delivery costs, which includes costs related to caesarean and normal childbirth: covers pre and post-natal expenses. Maternity insurance policies can cover growing child costs up to a certain age. During this time, costs related to vaccinations, checkups and purchase of nutritious foods can be covered. At a minimum, pre-hospitalisation duration is 30 days prior to getting hospitalised and post-hospitalisation duration is 60 days after getting discharged.
Ans: Medical practitioner’s visit may or may not be covered. It depends on the insurance policy. During pregnancy, medical practitioner’s consultation, diagnostic tests and purchase of nutrition foods may or may not be covered. Costs arising due to the purchase of vitamins or tonics may or may not be covered. It is always a good idea to check the insurance policy for these details. Choose the best medical insurance policy based on these factors.
Ans: In general, for normal deliveries it is Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000. For Caesarean deliveries it is Rs 25,000 to Rs 50,000. However, the sum insured varies from one insurer to another. It is a good idea to assess the total expense required based on factors such as chosen hospital, chosen medical practitioner, nutrition expenses, pre and post hospitalisation expenses etc.
Ans: Buying maternity insurance is no different from buying any other insurance policy. It can be bought online. Depending on the insurer, certain documents such as age proof, income proof, residence proof and nationality proof may be required to be furnished. Choosing the best medical insurance policy for pregnancy requires some comparison checks.
Written By: Paisawiki - Updated: 22 February 2021