The medical expenses of maternal care are increasing with each passing day due to the rising inflation. The total expenditure incurred on pregnancy and childbirth can push you into trouble if you don’t plan properly and build a financial cushion to fall back on. This is precisely where maternity insurance comes into play.
An insurance policy with maternity benefits ensures that you get the best healthcare services without undergoing any financial stress. A good maternity insurance policy will also cover the newborn and expenses related to the baby. Hence, you must be extra careful while purchasing a maternity health insurance policy.
Below is a list of factors that you must take into consideration before buying a maternity insurance plan:
A maternity insurance policy should ideally offer the following coverages:
- Pre and post hospitalisation cover: Pregnancy may lead to hospitalisation due to some complications that need round-the-clock vigilance. Maternity insurance plans should cover healthcare expenses from 30-60 days before delivery and 60 days post-delivery.
- Pre and post-natal cover: Regular medications, check-ups, diagnostic tests and follow-ups with the doctor are constant during pregnancy. Also, it does not stop immediately after the delivery. Maternity cover should take care of all medical expenses from 30 days before the due date and 30-60 days after delivery for both mother and child.
- Delivery cover: Whether normal or caesarean, the delivery of a child can be expensive. A maternity insurance policy should have a sub-limit of at least Rs. 15,000 – Rs. 25,000 for normal delivery and Rs. 25,000 – Rs. 50,000 for caesarean delivery.
- Newborn cover: If the newborn needs special care for congenital diseases and other complications, maternity insurance plans should cover the related expenses for up to 90 days from birth.
- Vaccination cover: A maternity plan should cover the expenses of immunisation of the baby for the 1st year of birth. Vaccinations for polio, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles and hepatitis should be covered under maternity health insurance.
2. Waiting period
Most maternity insurance policies have a waiting period of 2-4 years. While there are some insurers who have kept their waiting period as low as 9 months, others can extend it up to 6 years. This means that you have to wait for a certain period of time from the date of purchase of the policy to avail maternity benefits. Thus, it is advisable to purchase a maternity insurance policy in advance so that you can enjoy the benefits at the required time.
3. Pre-existing clause
Ideally, you should seek maternity coverage 2 years before you plan to conceive. The reason being, insurance companies deny providing cover if you are already pregnant because this is considered as a pre-existing condition. Hence, it is prudent to buy maternity insurance as early as possible so that you can plan your pregnancy in a better way.
One of the major issues with maternity insurance plans is that the premium rates are generally on the higher side. So, it is advisable that you spend enough time to research and compare policies online and zero in on the one that is best suited for your requirements.
Moreover, the premium of a maternity coverage plan increases with increasing age. So, if you delay buying a maternity insurance plan, you may not be able to procure an affordable maternity plan and you may end up paying a higher premium for it.
5. Terms and conditions
Just like any other insurance plan, before buying health insurance with maternity coverage, you must read all the related literature thoroughly. Before buying a plan, you must analyse and compare all the features, benefits, inclusions, exclusions, terms and conditions.
By keeping the aforementioned points in mind while buying maternity health insurance, you can get the best deal. There are several maternity insurance plans available in the market that are replete with some great features and benefits for the pregnant women.
For instance, Bajaj Finserv offers Pregnancy Complications Cover under its Pocket Insurance category. This insurance plan for pregnant women addresses pregnancy complications like ectopic pregnancy and gestational diabetes that need prompt medical attention and can incur high expenditure. With this plan, you can get a high coverage of up to Rs. 50,000 by paying a nominal premium of Rs. 499 per annum.