Trying to discover the actual price of having a baby here in Singapore? Let’s look at the cost of delivery alone. The 2013 national average for natural delivery without complications in Singapore was $7,145 in a private hospital, while delivery via caesarean section was a whopping 64% higher at $11,080 on average for a three day stay.
Public hospitals aren’t much easier on the wallet, either. Standard labour and delivery with recovery in a private ward (Ward A) yielded an average bill of $5,253 and caesarean delivery tipped the scales at $8,716, along with three to four days of hospitalisation. Bearing in mind that these figures only include the actual birthing procedure, you need to look into the costs of pre-natal care and add it to the above figures. This is likely to vary a huge amount based on the nature of your pregnancy – but even the least expensive of doctors certainly aren’t cheap.
So for prospective parents who are staring these bills in the face, it makes sense to do your homework and, where possible, take the financial sting out of bringing your little bundle of joy into the world.
Maternity insurance mysteries unraveled – what to look for
For locals (i.e. only Singaporean citizens), a small portion of the cost of labour, delivery and recovery can be recovered through Medisave, but for expatriates, the full cost rests squarely on your shoulders.
The key to controlling cost is to select a comprehensive health insurance plan that includes coverage benefits for all pre-natal care, labour, delivery, recovery, potential complications, and newborn child coverage to ensure that both mother and baby are fully protected and cared for. It is also smart to look for a policy that provides coverage for congenital defects because, while no one ever wants to ever use it, it can easily save tens of thousands of dollars should the unexpected arise. Additionally, it is generally very affordable.
What is a ‘Moratorium For Coverage’?
Often when shopping for maternity health insurance in Singapore, prospective buyers will be surprised to discover that insurance policies include a moratorium for access to maternity benefits. This is a standard procedure, however. Simply put, a moratorium means that a waiting period must pass before access to certain benefits is provided. Wait-times can normally range from six months to a year.
The reason for a moratorium is simple: insurers need to avoid extending coverage to a customer who has concealed her pregnancy when purchasing her coverage with the intent of using the new coverage right away to pay for immediate care.
A woman who is already pregnant and now in the market for insurance to help pay for her care should not despair, however. Policies with shorter moratoriums can still be very useful. While it will not pay for pre-natal care during the waiting period, it may still be able to cover third-trimester care, and, of course, the big ticket items: labor, delivery, recovery and any other necessary care that comes at the end of every pregnancy.
Shop around for your maternity insurance
Purchasing insurance can be frustrating, and nobody wants to be stressed when pregnant since there is already enough to think about when a baby is on the way. The best way to find out how much you can expect to pay is by getting a quote from a reputable insurer and talking to an adviser about your options for coverage. Better yet, get advice from a knowledgeable insurance intermediary like Pacific Prime in Singapore that can compare maternity policies from a number of different insurers.
Everyone’s personal situation differs, so prices for coverage will vary, but all reliable insurers use a system known as community pricing, which calculates premiums based on age and geographical location of expected care. This ensures that everyone purchasing insurance from a particular provider is charged fairly, and equivalent benefits are provided for everyone with the community.