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Maternity Insurance: All you need to Know

Meera and Sameer are happily married for 2 years now and are planning for a family. Meera’s best friend Riya was recently blessed with a baby through a c-section and when Meera visited her to see the baby, they discussed about the maternity expenses which turned out to be 1.25 lakh in Riya’s pregnancy.

Meera got worried, as she was completely unaware of the ever-increasing maternity costs and medical inflation. Riya told her about the advance planning for the delivery by buying a Maternity Insurance Plan which also includes health insurance for infants.

She discussed the same with Sameer, but both of them had a few apprehensions in their mind regarding the pregnancy insurance. This isn’t just the case with Meera and Sameer. A large section of people are quite apprehensive about such maternity insurance plan and are often to be seen in a lookout for answers relating to questions about maternity insurance plans.

So, here we present to you some common questions about maternity insurance and their answers to help you understand the term better.

What is Maternity Insurance All About?

Maternity insurance is an insurance product that covers expenses related to childbirth up to a certain limit. It comes as a standalone policy and can also be opted as an add-on cover with your base health plan by giving an extra premium. Maternity insurance falls under the health insurance arena.

What is Pregnancy Insurance So Important?

With skyrocketing medical costs and increasing complexities of childbirth, the delivery expenses in a good hospital may range from Rs.50,000 to 1.5 lakh or maybe more, varying as per the complications involved in the childbirth process i.e., from normal delivery to caesarean. In these cases, insurance for the new born turns out to be a blessing.

Maternity insurance with coverage for baby health care eases out the financial burden in such times by covering the related medical expenses that are often so-costly. Every benefit under the maternity plan has its own particular limit subject to the base sum assured.

What all is Covered Under Maternity Insurance Plan?

  1. 30 days pre-hospitalization and 60 days post-hospitalization expenses.
  2. Normal and C- section delivery expenses.
  3. Hospitalization expenses related to nursing, room rent, OT charge, anesthetist fees, and doctor’s fees.
  4. Expenses related to medical treatment of a New born child.
  5. Day care treatment.
  6. Vaccination expense insurance for new born.
  7. Ambulance expenses for commuting the insured.
  8. Cashless treatment in network hospitals.

Please Note: Coverage is limited to the plan type and may not be covered beyond that. Also, it varies from insurer to insurer.

What is Not Covered under Maternity Insurance Plan?

  1. Pre-existing diseases affecting pregnancy.
  2. Congenital Diseases.
  3. Treatment expenses related to infertility.
  4. Medicine costs out of the purview of the treatment.
  5. Frequent Doctor’s checkup expenses, consultation fees, etc.

Is there Any Waiting Period to Avail the Benefits of Maternity Insurance Claims?

Most insurers impose a waiting period for maternity benefits varying from 9 months to as long as 36 months. So it is wise to plan early for such insurance. "A plan offering maternity benefit is worth buying at the time of one's wedding because most couples plan a child only after three or four years," says V. Jagannathan, CMD of Star Health and Allied Insurance.

How Is Maternity Insurance Plan Premium Calculated?

In case of maternity and pregnancy insurance plans, premiums are higher as compared to other health plans (which do not include maternity benefits). This is because in maternity insurance plans, there is a full certainty of the event for which insurance is taken. So, from the insurer’s perspective, a claim is bound to happen.

Due to this fact, most insurers choose to keep the premium high for such plans. It is prudent to make a cost benefit analysis before buying such plan. Group insurance health plans do cover maternity benefits. It’s imperative to check the cover provided by your employer based health scheme before buying a standalone policy.

How to Get the Best Maternity Insurance Policy?

  1. It is prudent to check on the clauses like Sub Limits, Co-payments, Waiting periods, Room Rent tariffs, Tenure, Renewability, etc. related to the policy.
  2. Read the fine print before making a final decision.
  3. Clarify all your doubts regarding the plan.
  4. Compare online for the maternity plan features, benefits, coverage details, pre & post natal expenses, etc. and find the suitable plan as per your requirement, budget and preferences.

What all Maternity Plans are Available in India?

  1. Religare Health Insurance Company’s Maternity Plan – JOY
  2. Star Health Insurance Co.’s - Star Wedding Gift Insurance.
  3. ICICI Lombard’s-  i Health plan
  4. Apolo Munich’s - Easy Health Plan
  5. Max Bupa’s - Heartbeat Plan

Rightly said by prominent American author, Rick Warren - “The Wise Look Ahead and Make Plan”, it makes sense to get acquainted to the concept of maternity insurance well in advance and buy it at the right time to enjoy the joyous occasion of parenthood in future without having to worry about financial planning.

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