Waiting Period in Maternity Health Insurance

Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences in a women’s life. Given the regular check-ups and rising healthcare expenses, buying a maternity health insurance policy has become essential for all women.But did you know that maternity insurance comes with a waiting period? Read on to know more about the maternity health insurance waiting period.

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    What is Waiting Period in a Maternity Insurance Plan?

    In a maternity health insurance plan, the waiting period refers to the period on completion of which coverage is offered to the insured. Any claim raised by the policyholder during the waiting period is rejected and no financial support is provided to cover the maternity expenses.

    The waiting period of a maternity insurance policy begins on the policy start date but may vary from one insurance plan to another.

    Types of Waiting Period in Maternity Health Insurance Plans

    Maternity health insurance plans come with four types of waiting periods. They are:

    • Maternity Cover Waiting Period – Usually, maternity insurance plans offer coverage for maternity expenses after a waiting period of 9 months to 6 years.However, the waiting period may vary from one plan to another.
    • Initial Waiting Period – All health insurance plans with maternity cover come with an initial waiting period of 30 days. During this period, no claims are entertained by the insurance provider except for medical expenses resulting from accidental injuries
    • Pre-existing Diseases Waiting Period – All maternity insurance plans come with 2 to 4 years of waiting period for pre-existing diseases. During this period, no coverage for pre-existing diseases will be offered by the insurance company.
    • Specific Diseases/Procedures Waiting Period – Certain diseases and procedures are covered under maternity health plans after a waiting period of 2 years. The list of these specific diseases and procedures is mentioned in the policy document.

    How Does Waiting Period Work in Maternity Health Insurance?

    When a woman buys a maternity health insurance policy, the applicable waiting period commences with the policy start date. The policy needs to be renewed every year without any gaps. As soon as the waiting period is over, the maternity cover begins and the insured becomes eligible to raise a claim.

    Thus, a maternity health insurance policy should be bought in advance and not right before or during the pregnancy. It should be purchased by women who plan to start a family in the next few years. By doing so, the waiting period of a maternity insurance plan will be over by the time the insured woman gets pregnant.

    Are There Any Maternity Insurance Plans with No Waiting Period?

    Unfortunately, NO.

    At present, all maternity health insurance plans come with a waiting period. In fact, regular health insurance plans with maternity cover also do not come with zero waiting period. Therefore, couples and women who plan to start a family in the coming years should buy a maternity insurance policy in advance.

    Can Maternity Insurance Waiting Period Be Reduced?

    Yes. A lot of maternity insurance plans provide the option of reducing the waiting period. They provide riders, such as PED waiting period reduction, to reduce the waiting period applicable under a health insurance policy with maternity cover. However, these riders are available only on the payment of an additional premium amount and may or may not be available with a maternity plan.

    For example, suppose the pre-existing diseases waiting period under a maternity insurance plan is 4 years. If you buy a PED waiting period reduction rider, the waiting period can reduce from 4 years to just 2 years.

    Summing It Up

    Maternity health insurance is undoubtedly one of the best investments that married couples can make to cover their maternity expenses in the future. However, all maternity insurance plans come with a waiting period and thus, you should check the waiting period carefully before buying a plan. You can also explore the option of reducing your waiting period by buying a waiting period reduction rider.

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