Having a child is the most valuable milestone in a parent’s life, where the mother feels a myriad range of emotions. Although carrying a baby is the greatest joy in the world, the financial burden incurred during the pregnancy phase including the pre and post-natal period may make this journey stressful. So, in order to embrace parenthood, you must prepare well in advance.
Maternity insurance is particularly designed for parents planning to have a child - to help them access the best healthcare facilities without having to worry about their finances. Therefore, it is an important tool for ensuring that this magical journey will not be hampered by any roadblocks.
What is maternity insurance? How does it work? What are the conditions associated with its coverage?
Let’s find out!
What Do You Mean by Maternity Insurance?
Maternity insurance cover offers financial protection against medical and health-related expenses related to pregnancy. It is in-built into some plans, and in others, it is available as a separate rider that you can add to your existing health insurance policy at a certain extra cost. However, there may be some conditions for coverage of maternity costs.
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Conditions for Coverage of Maternity Costs Under Maternity Insurance
There is a Cap on The Amount Covered
Most insurers stipulate a cap on how much they will cover for certain maternity expenses, which can vary depending on the product and sum insured you choose. In case the expenses exceed the insurance company's limit, you will be responsible for paying them yourself.
For instance, Radha opts for maternity insurance that covers maternity expenses up to Rs. 50,000. If she claims under maternity insurance, the insurer will only cover maternity-related expenses up to the limit of Rs 50,000.
Various Expenses Covered
The maternity insurance covers both normal and caesarean delivery costs. It usually covers prenatal expenses incurred till 30 days before delivery and postnatal expenses incurred till 60 days after delivery. However, the number of days varies depending on the insurer. Additionally, some policies cover the cost of medicines, ultrasounds, regular checkups, and doctor's consultations as well.
Limit on The Number of Deliveries
Some insurers may apply a limit on the number of deliveries covered under the maternity cover. For example, some plans cover only two deliveries.
The maternity insurance cover has a waiting period ranging from 9 months to 4 years. The waiting period is a duration during which the insurer will not provide any coverage. And so, the insurance company will not pay for claims related to maternity-related expenses during this period.
For example, In February 2022, Priya opts for maternity insurance that has a waiting period of 1 year. So, she will be eligible to make a claim for any maternity-related expenses only once the waiting period of 12 months is completed, i.e., from March 2023.
Some insurance companies have a condition that you can only opt for the maternity insurance coverage if you and your spouse are both covered under the same floater policy.
Note: Depending on the insurance company, the above conditions and limits may vary. Make sure you read your policy document before investing your money.
Does Maternity Insurance Cover a Newborn Baby?
Several health insurance policies cover both the expecting mother and her newborn baby for a specified period of time. Many floater policies automatically include newborn babies as part of the parents' floater policy.
Some plans may cover the newborn from day 1 until the next renewal, while others may cover the newborn from day 1 to day 90. Once this is done, an additional premium will need to be paid for the newborn baby to be covered under the policy.
Moreover, some policies may cover baby expenses up to the policy sum insured, while others may specify a specific limit up to which expenses will be covered.
Note: The above conditions may vary across policies. Before purchasing a policy, make sure you go through the document carefully.
Does Maternity Insurance Cover The Vaccination Expenses of The Newborn Baby?
Some insurance policies cover vaccination costs for a specific period of time. Certain policies may cover these expenses only for the first year, while others may cover them for more than one year - depending on the product.
While some insurers specify a list of vaccinations they will cover, others may limit their coverage to a certain amount.
Note: These conditions and limits may vary depending on the insurance company. You should check the policy document before investing your money - to avoid any problems in the future.
When Should You Purchase Maternity Insurance Coverage?
As mentioned earlier, the waiting period for maternity insurance can range between 9 and 4 years. It is therefore important to ensure that any waiting periods associated with your maternity insurance have been completed by the time you need to make a claim.
Consider opting for maternity coverage if any of these apply to you –
Your future plans include getting married and starting a family.
You recently got married and plan to start a family soon.
You plan to have a child in four to five years.
You already have a child and plan to have another.
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While pregnancy and motherhood bring lots of joy and happiness, there is always the possibility of large medical bills. Maternity insurance takes care of the health and maternity care costs - without burning a hole in your pocket. We hope this article helped you gain enough clarity on how maternity insurance will assist you with maternity-related expenses.