Thinking of having a baby in Singapore? Then there’s no time like the present to make sure you’ve got your maternity insurance plan in place. With a little pre-planning, you can avoid having to stump up huge sums for pregnancy, labour and delivery – an unappealing prospect, we’re sure you’ll agree. We sat down with the insurance gurus over at Pacific Prime Singapore to get the lowdown on private maternity insurance plans, as well as inside info on how to make sure you aren’t caught unawares by the dreaded waiting period.
Do you really need maternity insurance in Singapore?
‘This is an interesting question and the answer can vary greatly depending on whether you are a Singapore native or an expat,’ says Olivier Zeller, Pacific Prime Singapore Sales Manager. As a Singaporean citizen, you have access to perks such as benefits for assisted conception and the use of Medisave funds at subsidized public healthcare facilities, as well as the Medisave Maternity Package (which allows for funds to be used on normal deliveries up to $2,550 and C-sections up to $4,400 in either public or private hospitals), Medisave Grant for Newborns ($4,000 grant that provides infants with funds for medical expenses from birth), and Medishield Life insurance (coverage for major illnesses for infants from birth).
However, these schemes and programmes aren’t available to expatriates (and, to a certain extent, PRs) in Singapore. This makes private maternity insurance that covers both mother and child vital, especially since complications with labour, delivery or post-natal care could send costs spiralling into double digits.
How long is the average waiting period?
There’s one very important feature of maternity insurance plans sometimes overlooked by mothers-to-be: the waiting period.
Explains Zeller: ‘A waiting period on an insurance policy is a period of time following the start of the policy during which no claims can be made. This feature is very common among Maternity Insurance plans, and is used in order to protect existing insured members from shouldering the costs that could potentially come from people joining a plan and subsequently leaving as soon as they have reaped the benefits.’
What this means is that you can’t just snap up maternity coverage a few months before you’re due. In fact, it’s wise to join a maternity scheme (either as a standalone policy or as a rider added to an existing health insurance policy) at least 10 months before the conception of your child.
Tip: Even if you already have a maternity plan in place, you should check your policy documentation for details on individual waiting periods.
Where to buy maternity insurance in Singapore
It’s best to do your research early when it comes to finding the right maternity coverage. Many of Singapore’s major health insurers will offer maternity plans or you can save yourself the slog and rope in the qualified and knowledgeable insurance professionals over at Pacific Prime Singapore to do the legwork for you. They’ll source plans, comparisons and pricing, as well as analyse any existing policy to make sure benefits are adequate. Visit www.pacificprime.sg to start looking through Singapore’s top maternity insurance plans and get a quote.
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