Motherhood is joy. That feeling of caring, nurturing and bringing up a new life is bliss. While the mother nurtures her new born, the father provides the much-needed financial and moral support. While motherhood is a heavenly feeling, one cannot deny the expenses associated with it. Medical inflation is touching new heights every passing day. Hospitalization costs have increased sky high in recent years and this increase is expected to continue in future too. Even maternity related expenses have not been left untouched. Today, basic delivery charges, whether normal or Cesarean, range somewhere between Rs.25, 000 to Rs.1lakh. Then there are associated pre and post-natal expenses, vaccination expenses for the new born, etc. All these expenses are enough to burn a gaping hole in your pocket. As such, a health insurance policy seems like the perfect solution. But does health insurance cover maternity related expenses?
Yes, there are health insurance plans which cover maternity expenses. Maternity insurance is offered either as an inbuilt benefit in a health insurance plan or is allowed as an optional coverage which can be added to the basic plan by paying an additional premium. Whether inbuilt or optional, maternity cover is never allowed as a separate standalone health insurance policy.
What does maternity insurance cover?
Maternity coverage in a health insurance plan,usually, covers the following expenses:
• Pre and post hospitalization which covers expenses incurred before you are hospitalized and also after you are discharged from the hospital
• Normal or Cesarean delivery – expenses incurred in childbirth whether it is normal or through a cesarean surgery
• Ambulance expenses – expenses incurred in transporting the expecting mother to the hospital for childbirth
• Pre and post-natal expenses – expenses incurred both before and after childbirth
• New born baby cover where the new born baby is covered against any health complications up to the end of the policy year in which the baby is born
• First year vaccination expenses of the new born baby
Which expenses are not covered by the plan?
Some common exclusions in the context of maternity cover include the following:
• Termination of pregnancy through an abortion
• Congenital diseases – diseases suffered by the new born baby since birth
• In-Vitro Fertilization and infertility treatment related expenses – expenses for pregnancy related alternate treatments sought by couples with infertility related disorders
• Routine check-ups during pregnancy – Cost of routine check-ups asked to conduct during pregnancy.
• Consultation fees of the doctor,- .Doctor’s consultancy fees during pregnancy
Important points for maternity cover
Besides the inclusions and exclusions of the cover, there are some important points with regards to maternity cover which should be kept in mind. These points are –
• There is a waiting period for the coverage of maternity related expenses in every health insurance plan. This period usually ranges from 2 years to 4 years. Maternity cover is not available during this waiting period. So, if you want your health plan to cover your maternity related expenses, buy the plan at the earliest.
• There are sub-limits to the coverage of delivery expenses, both normal and cesarean. These sub-limits vary between different plans and increase with an increase in the Sum Insured of the basic plan.
• Though pre and post hospitalization expenses and delivery related expenses are universally covered in all health plans providing maternity cover, other coverage features vary between plans. Such features include coverage for complications during delivery, health complications faced by the new born baby, etc.
• Maternity cover is available only up to a maximum age of the mother. In most policies, the maximum age is limited to 45 years.
• Maternity cover is, usually, allowed for a maximum of 2 deliveries.
Comparative analysis of some popular plans
Here is a comparative analysis of some popular health insurance plans which offer maternity cover.
Comparative features Apollo Munich’s Easy Health Exclusive Cigna TTK’s Pro Health Plus Star Health’s
Delivery expenses Normal – Rs.15,000 to Rs.30,000
Cesarean – Rs.25,000 to Rs.50,000 Normal – Rs.15,000
Cesarean – Rs.25,000 Normal – Rs.10,000 to Rs.25,000
Cesarean – Rs.15,000 to Rs.40,000
New born baby cover Available if Sum Insured is above Rs.3 lakhs by paying an additional premium Available for hospitalization of the new born baby up to the Sum Insured of maternity cover Available up to Rs.50,000 or up to Rs.1 lakh depending on the Sum Insured
First year vaccination expenses Not covered Covered Covered up to Rs.1000
Waiting Period for maternity cover 36 months or 48 months depending on the Sum Insured 48 months 36 months for first delivery and 24 months for second delivery
Should you opt for maternity insurance?
Given the high cost associated with pregnancy and child birth, a maternity cover makes sense. It provides a good amount of coverage. However, when buying a maternity cover plan, do look out for the waiting period. Choose a plan which has the lowest waiting period so that you get an early coverage. Moreover, look at the plan’s sub-limits on delivery related expenses. Read the coverage features thoroughly before opting for maternity cover.
You can choose the best plan with maternity cover at Coverfox.com, which is an online marketplace where you can get a choice of multiple available policies. You can compare the coverage features of all the plans available and then choose one which offers the most comprehensive coverage at the most affordable rates of premiums. So, what are you waiting for? If you are newly married and want to start a family some years later, buy a health plan with maternity cover today for an all-round coverage.