Welcoming a new family member is joyous and blissful, but planning for a baby is no ordinary task. Among numerous plans and arrangements that would be parents make in advance for their baby, arranging a proper health insurance cover should not take a backseat.
In fact, in these times of high medical inflation and astronomically rising health care costs a proper health insurance covering every family member including the expected baby must be considered as a valuable gift, one should plan giving his family. When a newly wed couple plans their finances, a good health insurance cover and that too with maternity benefit included must be on a priority list.
The maternity benefit may be in-built in the insurance product or may be provided as a rider on payment of additional premium. Great health insurance plans with maternity benefit included can be purchased from a life, general or health insurance company. With variety of health insurance products available in the market customers may have a confusion on how to choose good product with maternity benefit.
We will discuss in the current article about the considerations one must heed before purchasing a health insurance policy with maternity benefit.
- First thing to check is that whether the policy or plan we are opting for even covers maternity benefit or not. For being sure we should check that the policy wording or brochure of that particular plan, which can be easily found at the download section, clearly mentions maternity benefit to be covered with all terms and conditions.
- Waiting Period – Generally health insurance policies will have high waiting periods for maternity which may run upto 3 to 6 years. Therefore, if one is not covered under an insurance policy from bachelor life under which spouse can be added after marriage, people are advised to take a policy without any delay after their marriage to get the facility of maternity benefit till they have a child. Thus, waiting period under the policy must be chosen considering your plan of having a child. There are policies available in the market which have lower waiting periods say upto 6 – 9 months, but obviously they come at a higher price.
- Check for the type of maternity related coverages your policy is providing. It is not only about hospitalization costs which all insurance policy generally covers, there are other costs like regular doctor visits, check-ups, sonography etc. Have a check that if your insurance plan cover some or all of these potential pregnancy related costs. It is a matter of fact that more of these costs a plan will cover the more the premium will be charged for it by the insurer.
- Complications arising out of pregnancy which many normal health policies do not cover should be covered by standard insurance plan focusing on maternity. This is better to check and be clear before confirming a purchase decision rather than getting unwanted surprises at difficult times.
- New born baby cover, pre- and post-natal expenses are important coverages that pay for the various expenses a new born baby can incur if god forbid suffering from any congenital disorder also post-natal expenses like vaccination are covered in some plans.
- Pre hospitalization cover may be important as delivery of a baby is generally a planned event and hence hospital admissions may be in cases a bit earlier. Similarly post hospitalization is vital for a caesarean section because after such a procedure the mother and baby may need to stay in the hospital for a while which will get covered by the same.
- Purchase the policy with adequate maternity sublimit, one need to always consider if there is an insurance policy provided by the employer which generally will be covering maternity upto a certain limit. Our personal health policy can be used a top up once the limit under the employer provided policy is exhausted. Considering this we should select the policy with adequate maternity limit as policies with high maternity limits are bound to cost more on pocket. Normal and caesarean procedures generally have a different sum insured limit with later having a higher limit than the former, one should make a note of this.
- Maternity is a part of the health insurance policy and one should look at other coverages and limits like room rent cap the insurance product is offering as well and not solely concentrate on the maternity benefit. Important aspects like claim settlement ratio of the insurer and the brand name should be definitely looked at.
- Network hospitals should be a point of consideration before insurance purchase as one will look for hospitals which are standard as well as not very far away from their residence for delivery of the baby. If one has some specific hospital in mind as per convenience it should be looked that the plan, we are going to purchase empanels that hospital of our choice.
- Buying an online policy or long-term policy can fetch up some discount and saving on insurance premium which one should never miss up.
Before making a purchase decision it is always better to do a research yourself over the internet and read the brochure, policy wording after zeroing-in to a few standard health plans to understand the coverages and exclusions and avoid unwanted claim rejections at a later stage.
One can use a quote comparison website to compare the premium but important will be rational decision basis the coverages offered by the plan, one’s specific needs and budget.