There are very few actions that compare to bringing life into this world. It is for this very reason, motherhood is considered to be a rewarding and significant chapter in the lives of women. It evokes feelings of excitement, joy, responsibility, and even anxiety.
A cause for anxiety can be attributed to the ever-increasing expenses associated with pregnancy healthcare. A standard or caesarean delivery in private hospitals can cost anywhere between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 2,00,000.
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Here is where maternity insurance enters the picture and can alleviate your financial stress or anxiety. Maternity insurance is a plan that is designed to cover pregnancy and healthcare expenses for expecting mothers and their new-born (s).
However, before deciding to purchase maternity insurance, there are a few important things you must know:
- Maternity Cover Benefits
To standardise maternity cover in insurance, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) released a circular detailing the benefits that must be present in maternity insurance, which include:
- Maternity-related Pre & Post Hospitalisation Expenses
Maternity-related hospitalisation expenses are covered for 30 days prior to delivery and 60 days post-delivery. This covers room, surgeon, nurse, medical practitioner, emergency ambulance, and anaesthetist consultation charges.
- Delivery Expenses
This benefit covers caesarean and standard delivery expenses .
- New-born Baby Coverage
Maternity insurance also includes neonatal care for new-born (s) from day one to 90 days.
- Maternity Insurance Exclusions
Maternity insurance provides several key benefits as aforementioned. However, it has a few drawbacks as well in the form of exclusions, which include the following:
- Infertility Treatment Expenses
Maternity insurance does not cover expenses with regards to IVF (In vitro fertilization) and infertility treatments and tests.
- Pre-existing Ailments or Diseases
Some pre-existing diseases that are subjected to waiting periods are covered under some plans.
- Congenital Disorders
Congenital disorder is a serious medical ailment that is present before or at birth. These disorders are also known as birth defects, and can arise during the foetal development stage or due to the genetic combination of the parents. Some congenital disorders are Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida (failed development of the spinal cord), and heart disease.
- Entry Age
Maternity insurance policies have a restriction on the maximum entry age for availing the coverage benefits, which is usually around 45-65 years.
- Maternity Insurance Waiting Period
A common theme running across all types of maternity insurance is the maternity waiting period. In health insurance, a waiting period is defined as the time that must elapse before the benefits of the insurance coverage can be availed. The waiting period in maternity insurance usually ranges from 9 months to 5 years and varies from one policy to another.
- Sub-limits for Coverage
Sub-limits are defined as the limits placed on the amount of coverage, which could either be a fixed amount or a proportion of the sum insured. The sub-limits vary from one insurance policy to another.
- Cost of Premium
Similar to other types of health insurance, the cost of maternity insurance policies depends on various aspects such as risk factor, age profile, and sum insured. It is also crucial to understand that the premium for maternity insurance increases with age.
Before deciding to purchase a maternity insurance policy, it is extremely important to consider the benefits provided, exclusions, sub-limits if any, and the terms and conditions of the insurance provider.
Furthermore, you can also conduct a detailed cost-benefit analysis of the plans offered by different providers to choose one that is comprehensive and meets your unique requirements. This is imperative as it will ensure that you are safeguarded against all emergencies relating to your pregnancy and delivery.