All About Maternity Insurance
Fri, May 19, 2017
Happily-married couple Raj and Priya are planning for a child. Priya’s close friend Reena was recently blessed with a baby girl. When Priya visited her to see the baby, they talked about the maternity expenses Reena and her husband had to bear. Reena, who delivered the baby through a C section, said the maternity costs amounted to Rs. 1 lakh. This got Priya worried as she was unaware about how fast the maternity expenses were rising. Reena told her they had started to prepare in advance for the delivery by purchasing a maternity insurance cover.
A maternity insurance policy is an insurance product that covers maternity-related expenses for both caesarean and normal deliveries. Having a maternity cover ensures that you and your newborn are taken care of during the duration of your pregnancy. Maternity insurance can be opted as an add-on cover of a health insurance plan.
With a maternity insurance cover in place, neither you nor your partner has to worry about expenses related to delivery. Your insurance company will take care of the pre and post hospitalization charges. Some insurers even cover ambulance charges for transporting the mom-to-be to the nearest network hospital. Additionally, your new-born child will be protected under the policy up to a certain age.
When you purchase a maternity plan, the coverage is not extended to you immediately. Maternity insurance comes with a waiting period. The waiting period usually varies from two to four years from the date of the policy purchase. In case of group health covers with maternity benefits, the waiting period is likely to be nine months.
It must be noted that most health insurance companies do not offer maternity covers to women who are already carrying. It is thus necessary to plan early for such insurance policies.
(Note - Coverage extended varies from insurer to insurer)
There are certain exclusions applicable to the maternity benefit. Some of them are mentioned below:
Availing a health insurance cover with maternity benefits as an add-on is expensive. The reason for the high premiums is that insurance companies consider maternity cover a high-risk product. The claim ratio almost goes to 100%.
Your age also plays a role in determining the premium. The more you wait, the higher the insurance premium gets. If you recently got married and plan to have a child in a couple of years, make sure to take out an insurance cover at the earliest. The sooner you find a policy with maternity benefits, the more affordable the premiums will be.
In case of group health insurance policies that include maternity insurance, premium is derived taking into account a number of different factors. The insurance company will look into the profile of the business being covered, the industry in which it operates and the risk factors associated with it. The insurer can also take into consideration the number of people working in the company, their age and the previous claim ratios.
Since premiums on health insurance policies with maternity covers are expensive, it is recommended that you first check all the benefits you can get. See what kind of treatments a particular plan covers - whether it extends to pregnancy complication, post-natal expense etc. Also take into account the place where the delivery is to take place. Hospitalization charges in the metro cities will be much higher compared to small cities.
If you can avail maternity cover as an add-on to the group health insurance plan taken by your employer, consider going for that option. These plans tend to have fewer limitations as compared to individual plans. So if you get to choose between the two, first try to claim it from the group policy. By doing so, you can also preserve the no claim bonus of your individual health cover.
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