Parenthood is the most precious and fulfilling sentiment of one’s life. But maternity can be financially challenging for a middle-class family especially in urban areas owing to ever soaring healthcare costs. Hence, it is important for a married couple to have mediclaim policy with an add-on maternity insurance cover.
Insurance is based on the premise of covering unanticipated risks, however, pregnancy is planned and not a risk, and hence is not covered as a risk by insurance companies. Therefore, there are not plans that solely cater to maternity expenses however some plans offer add-on riders to cover maternity costs.
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It is also good if you have a family floater health insurance plan covering maternity expenses. This way a single plan will not only cover healthcare expenses for a family but also maternity expenses at an additional premium payment.
Also, general insurance companies cover maternity in corporate group health insurance policies mostly as an add-on cover with sub-limits not exceeding Rs 50,000.
What is Covered
Maternity cover should provide for delivery expenses (including caesarian) and complications arising thereof, pre-natal and post-natal expenses along with post-birth care and vaccination, maternity-related OPD care (outpatient department) expenses and cost of medicines, ambulance charges and hospital stay.
Most insurers cover child delivery expenses in their health insurance plans (available as add-on cover or inbuilt in the base plan). But there are few plans that actually cover all maternity-related expenses including pre-natal and post-natal charges (which include ultrasound, regular check-ups, and doctor consultation fee), pre and post hospitalisation expenses, new born baby cover etc and those plans which do cover all these command high premiums.
Here are few factors to look while buying a maternity add-on cover :-
Usually, there is a waiting period of two-six years before you can claim maternity expenses in such health insurance plans. This can be counter-productive for those who plan to start a family in near future. However, waiting period can be brought down in some plans by paying the additional premium. Probably, it is best to buy maternity add-on cover on your health insurance policy at the start of your marriage, in order to factor -in the initial waiting period.
Most health insurance plans that have maternity cover as an add-on limit the cover amount till Rs 50,000. However, this amount might be insufficient in metros where this cost can easily touch Rs 1 lakh or above.
Newborn Baby Cover
Check if the rider covers day one new born baby cover which means covering costs for treatment of ill-health of the newborn baby from day one, associated with pregnancy complications, pre and post-natal expenses, etc.
Many policies do not cover post-pregnancy expenses such as medical check-ups or the cost of medication, stem cell preservation and illegal termination of pregnancy.
So, if you are planning to have a family soon, it is important to have a comprehensive maternity add-on cover so you don’t feel the strain on your finances.