Like most insurance plans, maternity insurance policies have a long list of terms and conditions to take note of – from waiting periods to newborn underwriting. Going through them mightn’t be much fun, but it pays to be familiar with the essential terms – it could cost you a huge amount of money if you don’t! Knowing what you’re paying will help get you the right policy for you and your baby’s needs. We asked the team at Pacific Prime Singapore to run us through some of the key terms.
#1 Maternity insurance rider
Maternity insurance is actually a rider benefit to an existing individual health insurance plan. In other words, maternity coverage alone cannot be purchased as a stand-alone policy.
#2 Moratorium or maternity waiting period
All maternity insurance policies come with a “waiting period” of about 10 to 12 months. During this time, you won’t be able to claim any maternity-related benefits. Therefore, if you’re already pregnant and looking for maternity insurance, you’ll most likely not be able to get it.
#3 Maternity benefits
Most maternity plans cover costs related to prenatal care such as doctor check-ups and blood tests. They also cover expenditure related to giving birth (normal and medically necessary C-sections, for example), including the hospital stay, doctor’s fees and newborn care for up to the first 90 days of the baby’s life, including the necessary vaccinations.
#4 Maternity limits
When it comes to policy limits, it’s important to know how much maternity treatment costs in Singapore, as well as any other potential charges – for example, costs related to pregnancy complications or congenital disorders.
#5 Maternity insurance exclusions
Most maternity policies include a set of exclusions that vary from plan to plan, and insurer to insurer. For exclusions such as pregnancy complication cover or an elective C-section, policy holders can obtain an additional rider or choose a plan with higher benefit limits. However, there are some maternity-related exclusions that you can expect not to be covered under any of maternity insurance plans worldwide. These include:
- treatment expenses related to infertility;
- pre-existing diseases affecting pregnancy;
- non-medically necessary C-sections;
- harvesting and storage of stem cells when carried out as a preventive measure against possible future illnesses.
#6 Newborn underwriting
As a parent, it’s best to avoid newborn underwriting and instead choose a plan where the baby’s medical history is disregarded. Having maternity insurance in place when giving birth protects your newborn should it be born with any congenital disease. This is a key advantage compared to purchasing a separate child policy once the baby is born (i.e., a stand-alone child policy) which has underwriting.
Why maternity insurance is so important
With the high cost of healthcare in Singapore, planning for a baby should be taken seriously. The price of normal delivery in Singapore’s private hospitals (excluding doctor’s fees and or anesthetists) varies from approximately $6,500 to $12,000. A similar amount can be counted for costs associated with prenatal consultations, tests, scans and postnatal treatments you and your newborn might need. Knowing the terms and conditions of your maternity insurance policy is crucial so you know what to expect from the coverage.
Looking for more help?
For more insights into choosing the right policy for you and your child, download Pacific Prime’s 2019 Maternity Insurance Guide that covers a range of topics, from the costs of giving birth in Singapore and the best maternity hospitals to insurance terms and even the Zika virus. The team’s dedicated maternity experts are also available to provide insurance advice, plan comparisons and quotes.