As part of your health insurance policy it is important to consider whether you or your spouse are planning on getting pregnant, and if so, when, so that you can prepare accordingly. For those of you wanting to start a family, or to add another little monster to your brood, getting covered could save you significant costs.
Pregnancy is an expensive process, with regular visits to your doctor, delivery costs, and pre- and post-natal care to consider. If you add to this the possibility that unforeseen complications could occur, you could be looking at a bill of thousands of US Dollars per pregnancy, especially should your newborn suffer from any birth defects. While we obviously hope that complications will not occur, this is too important of an issue for you to not be protected in the unfortunate event that they do.
Degrees of Maternity Insurance
Many international policies include maternity cover as a part of their plans, but to varying degrees. Some policies including maternity coverage will do so up to a certain benefit limit that you cannot claim above. To avoid exceeding your benefit limits, you could consider purchasing a separate discounted package which will have a set price for all your needs during the pregnancy. With this package, costs can then be claimed back on your insurance after you have paid the medical facility yourself. Individual maternity policies will include all your hospital charges, specialist fees, pre- and post-natal care, a midwife, newborn care and sometimes coverage for your child for the first 30 days of their life.
There are some important things to consider regarding your insurance policy if you do want to bring a new life into this world. Firstly, you must look at the waiting period for maternity cover on your policy. Insurers will not cover you if you get pregnant within typically the first 10-12 months of your policy, or if they do so, it will be at a high price on your premiums. If you're desperate to start your family now, then you must consider the added cost to your premiums of covering the pregnancy. Alternately you could pay these costs yourself, or you must arrange your plan significantly far in advance that you can wait the 10-12 months before becoming pregnant.
Waiting periods can be applied to your plan in one of two ways; either from the start of the plan, which means that if you get pregnant before the waiting period is over, you must cover any costs up until the end of the waiting period. The other alternative is a waiting period that lasts until conception. This means that if you get pregnant during the waiting period, you will be responsible for all the costs of the pregnancy, even if the period ends whilst the pregnancy is ongoing. Make sure to check which type is applied to your plan before you start your family.
Extent of Coverage
Another thing to consider is the extent of the cover you want to get for your pregnancy. This relates to how much you can claim for things such as the quality and comfort of the hospital for your delivery, and the doctors and facilities for your pre- and post-natal care. Make sure to find a policy that will provide you with the level of care that you want during your pregnancy and delivery. Some policies require you to pay the costs yourself upfront, and then you can claim them back with your insurer later on. This is mostly because of people changing services mid-pregnancy. If you change programmes to a different facility mid-treatment, or want to upgrade your coverage to include previously unforeseen elements, then the insurance company will have trouble facilitating this, and the added costs, with the medical centre. Instead a practice of claiming reimbursement for treatments is standard.
If this isn’t your first child, then you may still be on the family plan you had your first baby under. If this is so, then you will not have to undertake another waiting period, unless the doctors have a reason to suspect problems may occur with this birth due to any pre-existing conditions. An example of when you may encounter problems with your second pregnancy that need added insuring is if you had your first child(ren) via c-section. If so, the likelihood is that your next baby will have to be born through c-section as well. This is an expensive process compared with regular birth, and so some insurers may limit your coverage for c-section births, especially if you’re applying with a new insurer as a new client rather than continuing an existing policy. It is therefore recommended to remain on the same policy for the birth of all of your children. Furthermore, there can be added fees if you wish to conceive through IVF treatment or other assisted pregnancy methods.
What If You Are Already Pregnant?
Unfortunately, if you are pregnant without any coverage, it is going to be very difficult to get any protection for the delivery. We know of no insurance companies that will give you any delivery coverage at all. Coverage will be available, although limited, for other aspects of your pregnancy though. It may be possible to cover, for example, the complications that can occur with a pregnancy.
Furthermore, newborn cover is often available as a separate package. This coverage protects your baby in the event of any illness or injury during the first few days of its life. If you are already pregnant it is worth looking into your options, as some form of coverage, regardless of how limited, is better than no coverage at all. If medical treatment is required for your child after birth, you want to be as prepared as possible.
Your insurance policy is a highly important aspect of your pregnancy that needs careful consideration and full planning. Ensuring you have good coverage for your baby during pre- and post-natal care as well as during delivery can lift a huge weight off your shoulders, and make sure your newborn has the best start to life possible. If you want to discuss your policy options then contact one of our advisors here and we'll be happy to help out in any way we can. Alternatively, fill our our quote form for a free quotation today.