Motherhood is one of the most joyous periods of one’s life. But in order to truly enjoy this special phase, it is vital that you are financially prepared for the birth of your newborn. Rising healthcare costs and inflation have made maternity expenses shoot through the roof. Thus, it is imperative that you purchase a maternity insurance policy to cover your maternity-related expenses.
A maternity health insurance policy will cover the hospitalisation and delivery costs of the new-born (be it a normal delivery or a Caesarean), pre- and post-hospitalisation expenses, and pre- and post-natal care of the new-born. In addition, the newborn is also provided a health cover for a certain period of time after his/her birth. Maternity insurance plans also cover ambulance charges, in most cases, in case the to-be mother needs to be taken to the hospital by an ambulance.
|Inclusions||In general, most maternity insurance plans cover the following, up to the limits specified by the insurer:
|Waiting Period||Most maternity health insurance plans will only cover your maternity-related expenses after a period of 2 – 6 continuous policy years. Group health insurance plans, on the other hand, usually cover maternity-related expenses after a period of 9 months.|
|Sum Insured||You will have to choose the sum insured amount at the time of purchasing your policy. You can choose an optimum sum insured amount, which falls within the insurer’s pre-defined limits. Your premium rates will be linked to the sum insured. Thus, if you opt for a high sum insured, you will have to pay a high premium.|
|Premium||A health insurance policy which provides coverage for maternity expenses will be more expensive than a regular health insurance policy. The premium rates will vary on the basis of the sum insured, age at entry, risk factors, location, and number of employees (if it is a group policy).|
*Note: Specific features and coverage limits will vary from plan to plan.
A maternity health insurance plan can be purchased by any individual who meets the insurer’s eligibility criteria. Health insurance plans with a maternity benefit may also be a part of your group health insurance policy.
Ideally, you should purchase a maternity health insurance plan well before you are pregnant. Most health insurance providers provide maternity health insurance plans to policy buyers with a waiting period of 2 – 6 years. Since health insurance providers will not offer maternity health insurance plans to women who are already pregnant, it is vital that you purchase a maternity health insurance plan well in advance, keeping the waiting period in mind, in order to enjoy complete coverage during this period of your life.
While the claim process may vary from insurer to insurer, the general claim process that you will have to follow as a policyholder is listed below.
A few popular maternity insurance plans that are available include:
Health insurance plans have been designed with the basic idea to provide coverage for emergency treatments or surgeries. Therefore, the maternity benefit feature is not one of the key features of regular insurance policies. It is an additional feature that can be opted for under some plans offered by a few insurance companies.
Yes, a few insurers do provide coverage for vaccinations. You should check the policy document for the inclusion of this feature in the plan you have purchased or are yet to purchase.
Since maternity benefits cannot be availed immediately after the policy is issued, it is best to purchase a policy well in advance when you start planning to conceive.
The premium payable towards a maternity plan is determined based on similar parameters as of those for a regular health insurance plan. The insured person’s age, coverage chosen, sum insured opted for, etc. are taken into consideration. The premium amount differs from insurer to insurer.
While you can purchase a policy while you are pregnant, the expenses incurred on the on-going pregnancy will not be covered. So you could check if the health insurance plan offered by your employer covers maternity expenses or not. If it does, you can use the facility to cover maternity-related expenses.
The waiting period to avail maternity benefits is decided by the insurance company and can range between 2 and 6 years.
Though your first pregnancy is not covered because you haven’t completed the waiting period mentioned, your second pregnancy will be covered, provided you have completed the waiting period by then.
Health insurance companies generally set a boundary within which the benefits of the product can be availed. Most companies do not provide financial protection for medical expenses incurred for any treatment outside the country.
The maternity benefit feature is generally an added or an optional feature so if the floater option is available under the plan you’re looking at, you can cover your spouse, child, or parent under the same plan.
Delivery expenses, hospitalisation expenses, ambulance charges, and pre and post-hospitalisation expenses among others are covered up to the sum insured limit. A few insurance companies even provide additional coverage for certain daycare procedures. However, a few treatments such as IVF and infertility-related procedures are excluded from the policy.