The joy of having a child is immense but it comes with its own costs. It all starts with maternity expenses when the baby is delivered. Today, having a child could cost you anywhere between Rs.1-2 lakh for birthing and related services. This includes hospitalisation and surgery charges. So, it is extremely important that you plan for this event. A maternity cover is something that you should consider. Read on to find out all about it.
What Is Maternity Insurance?
This is insurance that helps cover the expenses related to the delivery of a child. However, this is not offered as a separate plan. Insurance, as such, is a protective cover meant for events that might happen and not for scheduled events or events that are likely to take place. This is why maternity insurance is offered as an add-on cover to your Health Policy.
What Does It Cover?
- Hospitalisation Expenses – Typically, most Maternity Insurance covers both pre as well as post-hospitalisation expenses. Pre-hospitalisation expenses are covered up to a month before you/your spouse gets admitted to the hospital. Post-hospitalisation expenses are covered for two months after you/your spouse is discharged from the hospital. While in the hospital, the insurance covers room charges, nursing charges, surgeon/doctor consultation charges as well as other related expenses.
- Delivery Expenses – All delivery expenses are covered under maternity insurance, irrespective of whether it is a caesarean or normal delivery. Policies also cover post-delivery complications.
- New-Born Cover – Most maternity polices cover the new born in case of congenital diseases or if the baby contracts any critical illnesses.
Do I Need Maternity Cover?
Most employers provide a cover for maternity along with their Health Plan. However, this might not be enough. Consider this – on an average, employer-provided maternity cover might be just about Rs. 20,000-30,000, forcing you to spend a significant amount from your pocket. If you do not have enough savings, you might want to consider this cover.
When Should I Opt For This?
Ideally, you should opt for this cover as soon as you get married or even before you get married, if you know this is an eventuality. Another reason to take for this cover early – the terms and conditions that come with it. Most maternity covers have a waiting period of 9 months to 4 years. Note that you cannot opt for this cover if you or your spouse is pregnant already.
What Are The Exclusions?
There are many expenses that are excluded from a maternity insurance cover. These include expenses related to regular check-ups during the pregnancy, any diagnostics tests prescribed by the doctor during the pregnancy and expenses on vitamins and tonics (unless mentioned otherwise in the policy).
What Are The Terms To Be Noted?
Since premiums for Health Plans with maternity covers are on the higher side, ensure that you get all the required benefits. This should include coverage of pregnancy termination, pregnancy complications, new-born cover and post-natal expenses. Most policies cover two deliveries, if you have held the policy for two or more years. If vaccinations are covered, that’s an added bonus as each vaccine can set you back by Rs.5,000-10,000 and there are at least 10 in the first year your child is born! The sum assured should also be reasonable. Note that most plans provide a maximum cover of Rs.1,00,000. It is critical that you look at the terms before choosing the plan.
Additional Reading: 7 helpful tips to choose the best Health Insurance Plan
Tip: Even if you opt for a maternity cover, ensure that you have at least 80% of the expenses as savings. This is to ensure that you are not hassled in case there is a claim rejection for certain expenses.