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Planning for a child – Plan a Maternity Insurance too!
The current generation is obsessed with planning and it surely is a good trait. Today’s youth will have a well chalked-out plan for buying a house, owning a new car, going out on a long outing or vacation, getting married, purchasing the latest smart touch screen phone, and the list goes on. Young married couples will wait till they achieve a particular lifestyle or career stand and then plan for a child and this trend is increasing rapidly. It is alright if married couples delay in having a child but at the same time it is important to know the cost of doing so. The cost of health care is constantly on the rise and same applies to maternity expenses too. Also, it is a known fact that childbirth involves a lot of complications for both the mother and the child, which results in added expenditure on delivery.
Many insurance companies have added the feature of maternity benefit in their mediclaim or health insurance policy. This feature covers maternity expenses right from pre-hospitalisation to the delivery stage and much more. But even today, most of the health insurance policies do not cover maternity benefit because they do not associate it is as an unforeseen expense. Exclusive health insurance companies like Apollo Munich, Star Health and Max Bupa are offering maternity covers in their health insurance plans. Additionally, group insurance policies offered by employers usually cover maternity expenses.
Usual Maternity Benefits
- Hospitalisation charges (room rent, cost of medicines, doctor’s fees, etc)
- Delivery charges (Normal as well as Caesarean)
- Pre natal (delivery) charges for 30 days
- Post natal (delivery) charges for 60 days
- Expenses on post delivery complications for mother
- Expenses for tests in case any disorders in the foetus
- Nursery charges for the child
- New born baby cover which covers congenital diseases (existing at birth)
- Cost of first year vaccinations
List of Exclusions (Not covered in Maternity insurance)
- Termination of pregnancy for the first 12 weeks
- Surgical items like cotton, gauge etc. monthly check ups, medicines taken during the pregnancy period and
- Post-hospitalisation expenses such as extra oxygen given to premature baby, baby cot charges, etc. and other items like baby food, etc
Importance of Maternity Insurance
Since stand alone Maternity Plans are not available in India, Health Insurance Policies with Maternity Benefit has become increasingly important. This is how a good maternity insurance can help a mother to give birth to a healthy child -
- Maternity Insurance ensures that routine checkups, tests and any other complications that may arise during that period are taken care of; allowing you to bring a healthy baby into the world.
- Maternity Health Insurance plans are especially designed to cover conditions like cesarean births, pre-mature births etc.
- It also helps as the cost of medicines, hospital expenses, etc. has increased phenomenally.
- Having Maternity Insurance coverage will assist you through any such problems that may arise during one of the most critical phase of your life, i.e. the pregnancy period.
Health Insurance Plans that provide Maternity Cover
Non-life insurance companies health insurance plan that offers maternity benefits. The popular health insurance / mediclaim polices with child birth and delivery covers are –
Max Bupa Heartbeat Policy provides for expenses during childbirth, newly born babies and their first year vaccinations and sometimes all vaccinations till the age of 13 years is also covered. The expenses for the first 2 deliveries are covered. There are 3 variants of this policy, where the extent of coverage is different, namely, 1) Platinum Plan, 2) Gold Plan and 3) Silver Plan
Oriental Insurance Universal Health Insurance Scheme provides cover for childbirth expenses up to Rs. 2,500 for normal delivery up to Rs.5,000 for caesarean delivery. Apollo Munich Easy Health Individual Insurance Plan covers expenses for childbirth up to Rs 25,000 for normal delivery and up to Rs 40,000 for caesarean delivery
Best Time to purchase Maternity Insurance
Maternity Insurance needs to be purchased much before you actually plan to have a baby. This is because, most policies have a long waiting period during which maternity expense claims are not entertained. In fact, there are no policies in India where maternity insurance policies can be purchased after you are pregnant or near pregnancy.
There is a waiting period of 24 months in all the Max Bupa Heartbeat Health Insurance Policies and a 12-month waiting period in Oriental Insurance. Apollo Munich Easy Health Plan has 48 months of waiting period and the same is 24 months in case of Star Health Wedding Gift Insurance. Even Group Insurance policies have a minimum 9 months of waiting period clause attached to it. Thus, family planning needs to be done in advance to avail maternity insurance benefits.
In the End
With the surging medical expenses, Maternity Insurance has become important to bring a healthy baby into this world! But it is equally important for parents to understand all the terms and conditions of the plan before actually plunging for the same, whether it is an individual policy where you have a choice or a group insurance plan (offered by employer) in which you or your spouse where you do not have a choice of cover.
Currently, standalone Maternity insurance plans are not available in India and hence health insurance policies with maternity benefit are become increasingly important. It is the only and obvious choice for parents-to-be to ensure that the child gets the best of the benefits even before he or she actually lands into this world.