Motherhood brings a lot of joy and a sense of fulfilment, but it also increases your responsibilities as a parent since you must take care of both yourself and your child now.
One way to handle the challenge is by planning pregnancy-related expenses well. With healthcare costs escalating each year, it’s essential to have Maternity Insurance to support you through pregnancy and childbirth.
Most Health Insurance policies these days cover expenses related to maternity and childbirth. However, the benefits offered may vary from company to company. Let’s find out more about the maternity cover under a Health Insurance policy.
Maternity Benefits in Health Insurance
Maternity benefits can be availed either as an add-on benefit or an inbuilt feature in an insurance plan. Most high-end individual policies and family floaters offer maternity benefits. These benefits also cover the expenses of new-born babies to a certain extent.
Most maternity plans have a waiting period associated with them that typically ranges between 9 and 48 months. The benefit of such a health plan is also available to the newborn baby, but with some restriction on the coverage amount.
When you choose a health cover, make sure you go through the terms and conditions to understand the benefits offered, as it varies from one insurer to another. Some insurance companies fix a ceiling on maternity benefits based on the delivery process to be adopted.
For example, ‘X’ health policy offers a Rs. 5 lakh basic cover, but the maternity benefit would range between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 20,000 for normal delivery, and Rs. 15,000 and Rs. 25,000 for a cesarean delivery.
(Note: Maternity benefits may vary from company to company and on the type of policy)
Typically, the following costs are covered:
- Pre-hospitalisation expenses, typically up to 30 days before delivery and post-hospitalisation expenses up to 60 days after the delivery. It includes charges associated with ultrasound, doctor’s consultation, medication and post-delivery care.
- Hospitalisation expenses such as room charges, surgeon fees, anaesthesia charges, pregnancy termination charges, charges related to fertility treatment etc.
- The newborn baby gets cover for ailments till the expiry of the policy in the year the baby is born. Vaccination is also covered till the baby attains the age of one year.
- Ambulance fee to take the mother-to-be to the hospital is also covered.
What To Keep In Mind
As mentioned earlier, there are waiting periods attached to various treatments and procedures, including for maternity benefits, so make sure you buy a cover at the earliest.
Also, the cost of policies covering maternity-related expenses is relatively higher than a regular policy. There is a ceiling on the amount provided by the insurer. Often, the charges tend to exceed the amount offered by the insurer and are paid for by the individual from his or her pocket.
Finally, do not buy a health policy just to get maternity benefits. Make sure you evaluate the policy in broader terms. If your employer provides a health cover with maternity benefits in it, you can go in for a separate health cover without this feature. Also, remember that insurance companies do not provide maternity coverage if you buy the policy after getting pregnant.
(The writer is CEO, BankBazaar.com)