Bringing a new life into the world is a momentous and joyous occasion, but it also comes with a range of responsibilities and financial considerations. Maternity insurance is designed to provide expectant mothers with the necessary financial support and peace of mind during their pregnancy journey.
Understanding Maternity Insurance
Maternity insurance aims to provide comprehensive coverage for both expectant mothers and their babies during the course of pregnancy and also for a period after birth. The coverage generally comes in the form of a lump sum pay-out or daily hospital cash to offset additional medical costs due to pregnancy complications or congenital illnesses that the newborn might have. It can be purchased as a stand-alone plan or bundled with whole life insurance or investment-linked products.
Key Features and Coverage
Pregnancy complications refer to health issues or conditions that can arise during pregnancy and affect the health and well-being of the mother or baby. These complications can vary in severity, ranging from mild discomfort to potentially life-threatening situations. These complications may require additional treatments, medications or intensive care. Maternity insurance typically provides a pay-out in the event that the expectant mother is diagnosed with specific pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and more.
Congenital illnesses refer to health conditions or disorders that are present at birth, often resulting from genetic or developmental abnormalities. Maternity insurance provides coverage for the baby against various congenital illnesses, usually for up to 3 years. Common congenital illnesses include congenital heart defects, limb anomalies, cleft lip or palate, club foot and spina bifida.
Mental wellness care
Mental wellness during pregnancy is an essential aspect of overall maternal health. Pregnancy can bring about various emotional and psychological changes, and it’s important to prioritize mental well-being during this time. Maternity insurance can help to cover the costs of psychological consultations and postpartum depression diagnosis.
Hospital care benefits
Certain pregnancy-related conditions and child-related medical conditions may require hospitalisation. Maternity insurance usually provides a daily hospital cash benefit to help relieve the hospitalisation expenses incurred during this period.
Death benefit provides financial protection for expectant mothers and their families in the event of the mother’s death during pregnancy, childbirth, or the postpartum period. Maternity insurance coverage is designed to offer a lump sum pay-out to typically the spouse or children, in order to help them cope with the financial challenges that may arise after the mother’s death.
Benefits of Maternity Insurance
Maternity expenses can be significant, including hospital bills, prenatal consultations, and postnatal care. Maternity insurance provides financial protection by covering a substantial portion, if not all, of these expenses, reducing the financial burden on expectant families.
Enhanced Access to Quality Healthcare
With maternity insurance, pregnant women have access to a wide network of healthcare providers and hospitals that specialise in maternity care. This ensures that they receive the best possible medical attention throughout their pregnancy journey.
Peace of Mind
Maternity insurance offers expectant mothers a peace of mind, allowing them to focus on their well-being and the health of their baby without worrying about the associated costs. It provides reassurance that unexpected medical expenses are taken care of, leading to a stress-free pregnancy experience.
Considerations When Choosing Maternity Insurance
Having an Integrated Shield Plan
Integrated Shield Plans (IP) may provide coverage for pregnancy complications. However, do note that there is a 10-month waiting period before the coverage becomes effective.
Even if the expectant mother has completed the waiting period, an IP only reimburses expenses incurred due to hospitalisation as a result of the covered pregnancy complication conditions, while maternity insurance complements and provides a lump sum pay-out for a wider range of pregnancy complication conditions.
Most importantly, an IP only protects the expectant mother, leaving the baby unprotected. Maternity insurance can provide the child with insurance coverage without medical underwriting.
The time to buy maternity insurance
Maternity insurance can be purchased typically between the 13th to 36th week of pregnancy. Expectant mothers should consider to buy maternity insurance as early as possible, at the end of their 1st trimester so that they can be protected against any complications that may arise throughout the course of pregnancy. You pay the same premiums whether you apply for the insurance at the 13-week mark or towards the tail end of the pregnancy.
For multiple births pregnancy or pregnancy via assisted reproductive technology
Maternity insurance generally do cover multiple birth pregnancy or pregnancy resulting from assisted reproductive technology. However, there may be certain criteria to fulfil and different limits to the maximum entry week for such pregnancies.
In conclusion, maternity insurance plays a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and stress-free pregnancy journey for expectant mothers. It offers financial protection and peace of mind during this special time.
Before making a decision, compare different maternity insurance policies and consult with a financial advisor or insurance agent if necessary. This will help you find the most suitable maternity insurance plan for your needs in terms of the policy features and coverage limits. With the right coverage in place, mothers can focus on their health and the well-being of their baby, knowing that they are prepared for the exciting journey into motherhood.