The moment you decide to enter parenthood; you start considering associated financial as well as health risks with maternity. Raising a child means a rise in expenses. Does your list include the medical expenses during maternity hospitalization or post delivery period? Have you planned your finance keeping the add-on expenses in mind after the arrival of your baby? If not, believe us, you should get started.
While the initial anxiety parents may face will take days to ease, the one condition you need not worry about are the hospitalization expenses during the delivery time if you or your spouse is covered under maternity insurance. You will wonder knowing the fact that you can’t claim for maternity benefits until you serve the waiting period of 2-6 years.
While there are thousands of other factors that a couple considers at the time they conceive to ensure a healthy pregnancy, you can’t deny the cost involved with the entire process. However, some of the health insurance policies also cover maternity benefits, either it is not enough or you have to pursue lots of terms and conditions before claiming. So having a separate maternity insurance plan is adequate. Contributing to the rapid rise in medical inflation, a normal delivery in a reputed hospital in a metro city could range between Rs. 70,000 to 1 lakh. Well, not to mention, you’ll definitely get hiccups knowing the C-section bill. This figure forces you to plan your maternity expenses before it is too late. Here is why you need an adequate maternity cover that helps you prepare for this new phase.
Maternity Insurance: The Importance
Embracing the parenthood in a planned manner is what shows your sincerity and concern. With the prices of medical treatments soaring high, you must prepare for all expected and unexpected expenses. As pregnancy is the most crucial phase, possibilities of any emergency may drain your savings or you will have to end up compromising on health care. With the best medical policy that offers maternity benefits, you can deal with the odd situation that may arise out of an emergency. This reason is enough for adding a maternity plan in your health checklist.
As you already know that most of the medical health plans do not cover pregnancy costs and are of no use at the time you need to deliver a baby. Also with the rising health treatment expenses, adding to 15%-18% more each year, it will take no time to leave you bankrupt and the hospitalization charges are expected to be double in the near future. Health insurance policies are the only options to remain safe now.
Considering the importance of a maternity plan and how you can deal with the the most decisive phase of your life effortlessly, we’ve prepared a list of few things to adhere to while buying a plan. Here we go:
What All Are Covered in a Maternity Plan
As per IRDA’s guidelines on maternity benefits, a plan covers hospitalization expenses, post-childbirth, medical termination of pregnancy and pre/post-natal costs. The broad spectrum of maternity coverage includes:
Know the Waiting Period and Sub-limits
Health insurance policies require the policyholder to serve a defined waiting period to cover any specific illness. Maternity insurance is no exception. The insured needs to serve a waiting period of 2-6 years before making any claim. However, quite obviously, it may vary insurer to insurer. Hereby, it is advisable to buy a maternity plan as early as possible, even if you’re not planning to conceive anytime soon. However, there are plans where one has to serve only 90 days’ period of waiting period. But yes, be in more or less, you’ll have to serve it.
Premium is the most important asset of health insurance policies. Be it mediclaim or a maternity plan, you will have to pay the premium to avail the benefits when needed, even if you don’t use it. Here the premium is slightly higher than the other health plans. However, we believe you wouldn’t mind paying little more to get a coverage for other huge expenses that may leave you broke.
You shouldn’t make pregnancy cover the sole criteria at the time of buying a medical insurance plan.
Sometimes, your employer also provides health insurance with maternity benefits. If you have one, compare the benefits you can avail and if these suffice your need, don’t buy an additional plan. In case you already have a heal plan with maternity benefit, you can make claim for the employee owned plan and earn NO Claim Bonus from your own policy for not claiming the insurance. This way you can avail double benefits, maternity and NCB, an additional bonus on premium.
There is another benefit. With a separate plan, you can cover the incurred amount in case you exceed the cover offered by your company. Here comes your individual plan in the picture and helps you in making a claim for the exceeded amount.
You can also create a maternity fund which can be saved as FDs or liquid mutual funds that you can use whenever you required.
Always bear in mind that no insurer will cover you if you’re already pregnant and requires you to serve waiting period, depending on company terms. So, it is important to purchase a plan on time.
Here’s a sneak peek on some of the top Maternity plans in India
Royal Sundaram Master Product – Total Health Plus
From Royal Sundaram General Insurance, one of the most preferred health covers is Total Health Plus that offers health benefits up to Rs. 30,000-50,000. This plan includes maternity expenses during hospitalisation or in case of any complications arising pre or post-delivery. But to avail the maternity benefit, the insured has to serve a waiting period of 3 years. Hereby, it is advisable to plan your finance and maternity accordingly.
Apollo Munich Easy Health Family Floater
There are 3 different insurance plans introduced under Apollo Munich’s Easy Health Family Floater plan, namely Standard, Exclusive and Premium. While the Standard plan is a normal insurance policy with some health benefits, Exclusive and Premium plans offered pregnancy coverage along with new born cover. Both the plans include maternity costs incurred during or after the child birth, post-delivery baby care from day 1-90 days.
Max Bupa – Heartbeat Family Floater
Max Bupa’s Heartbeat Family Floater plan is well-known for its unique features and facilities offered. Since it also covers maternity benefits, the plan is quite alluring to the couples who are planning to conceive. This plan offers coverage for maternity and post-delivery baby care under these three plans- Silver, Gold and Platinum. Apart from hospitalisation expenses incurred during maternity hospitalisation, this plan also provides first year vaccinations. Maternity benefit are offered up to two deliveries, provided the insured and the spouse is covered under this policy for two years continuously.
Cigna TTK Health Insurance – ProHealth Plus Plan
ProHealth Plus Plan by Cigna TTK includes maternity benefits, new born cost and vaccination coverage for first year. One can avail maximum health coverage of Rs 10 lakh under this plan. It offers hospitalisation coverage of Rs. 15000 for normal delivery and Rs 25000 for a C-section delivery, provided you’ll have to serve a waiting period of 48 month to avail this benefit. Hereby, you should plan to invest in maternity plans, before you plan a family.
Star Health Wedding Gift Pregnancy Cover
What if you can gift your best pal an insurance plan as a wedding gift. We may sound funny but it is true. As the name suggests, this Wedding Gift Pregnancy cover can be an ultimate wedding gift which covers two deliveries, normal as well as C-section, pre and post-delivery expenses. It also covers any post-delivery complications, if any, under maximum health coverage of Rs. 10 lakh. The best part is that if you buy this or gift it to someone on their wedding, the initial waiting period of 3 years can be served easily and the couple can avail maternity benefits from their first child. In most cases, couples ignore this or buy it later, because of which they end up unable to claim the insurance as either they are not eligible to claim the insurance or they have to serve the required waiting period of 3 years.
Today’s generation is proactive enough that they plan their finances beforehand. However, sky-high maternity expenses bind the couples to search for options to bear this financial burden. Hence, many Indian insurers have come up with alluring health insurance policies with adequate maternity cover, which has resolved this problem to some extent. Still, we advise that you plan your family accordingly, keeping your financial state at a gauge. Also, while buying such plans, always consider your priorities and requirements and do not forget the above mentioned tips.