Maternity care is great in Singapore but it comes at a high price. So, if you’re planning on having a baby here, ensure that you get maternity insurance ahead of time to cover it (costs go beyond the delivery and hospital stay). But what happens if you’re already pregnant? Can you still buy and benefit from it? The team at Pacific Prime answers this question and tells us more about how everything works.
What does maternity insurance cover?
Maternity insurance covers costs associated with the development and birth of a baby. They include prenatal checkups, ultrasounds and delivery. If post-birth complications arise, maternity plans usually cover a newborn for up to 30 days after delivery. Beyond these benefits, some plans feature fertility treatment benefits. Do your homework and ensure that your policy covers costs for your present and future needs.
In Singapore, maternity cover cannot be purchased as standalone coverage, but rather as an add-on to an existing health insurance policy. You can choose to buy an individual or family health plan with a maternity rider or top up your employee health insurance plan.
What’s a waiting period?
A crucial thing to note when purchasing maternity insurance is the waiting period. A certain amount of cost is guaranteed should a woman become pregnant, so maternity plans tend to come with several limitations and restrictions like this. The waiting period refers to a duration of time that must pass after you have enrolled on a policy before you’re able to receive its benefits. Most maternity plans in Singapore have a waiting period of 10 to 12 months, while others may have longer ones.
Now, you may have done the sums and be thinking, “Wait a minute. This means that if I buy maternity insurance after I get pregnant, I won’t have maternity coverage.” That’s correct. Because of this restriction, you will need to have a maternity insurance plan in place well ahead of when you plan to conceive in order to be covered throughout the entire duration of your pregnancy.
Securing maternity insurance plan way in advance is the only option if you don’t want to pay full price of delivering a baby, pre- and post-natal expenses and vaccines. These are just the basic costs, too, as costs increase for caesarean section births, premature babies and pregnancy complications.
What do you do if you’re already pregnant?
It’s not uncommon for couples to get pregnant earlier than planned. If you’re already pregnant but have not secured maternity insurance, the good news is that steps can still be taken to protect your baby after delivery.
While it’s too late to cover the costs associated with prenatal care and delivery, you can still secure a newborn health insurance plan that will cover your baby’s medical costs from the moment they are born. This too is important as newborns can be prone to illnesses in their early months.
Why is maternity insurance so important in Singapore?
Having a baby in Singapore is expensive. For example, a standard private room in a private hospital for a normal delivery can cost about $6,000. For a caesarean section, it’ll be about $11,000. The cost of pre-natal consultations, tests, scans or post-natal treatments vary between hospitals but can be anywhere between an additional $6,000 to $10,000. Having a comprehensive maternity insurance plan in place will help you cover these costs.
Want to find out more?
Check out this free Maternity Insurance Guide by Pacific Prime Singapore’s team of consultants (and mothers!) to learn about:
- important maternity insurance terms;
- the ins and outs of maternity insurance;
- the best maternity hospitals in the country;
- the cost of expat maternity care in Singapore; and
- protecting yourself and your baby from Zika.
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