I was recently surfing the internet to check information on the Health Awareness Days celebrated across the world and I noticed something interesting. Indian Medical Association was celebrating the Pregnancy Awareness Week in February, 2015. The Pregnancy Awareness Week is a platform initiated to educate the precautionary measures taken during pregnancy and highlight important issues that will help for a safe motherhood.
Choosing to have a baby is a critical decision in a couple’s life. It is important to empower yourself with knowledge, before and after conceiving, in order to ensure safe and healthy pregnancy.
Let us see a few points for the well-being of the mother and the baby:
- Having a baby is a wonderful experience, but there are several changes that might happen in your life. It is important to discuss with your partner and find out if you both are ready for the changes that will happen during the pregnancy and the newborn baby will bring.
- It is vital that you and your partner undergo HIV Test before trying to conceive or after conceiving and also undergo a voluntary counseling. This will help in early recognitions of danger signs during pregnancy and after delivery.
- It is important to take Nutritional Supplements during pregnancy. Folic Acid is normally recommended during the pregnancy, that will help in your early pregnancy stages. Along with that, you can also add vitamins and minerals to a balanced diet.
- Pregnant women should also attend "Antenatal Care Classes" as soon as you suspect pregnancy. It is vital when it comes to preparing for the birth.
We should also think about the expenses that occur during and after pregnancy. Cost of delivering a baby varies across cities. If we consider a few hospitals in India, then it goes as below
Looking at the above figures, it is important to properly plan your finances and mentally be prepared for the expenses that will incur. One of the ways is to look at the Maternity cover offered by several Health Insurance companies.
But before we understand what is offered by these Health Insurance Companies, we would like to create awareness about what is exactly included under Maternity Cover?
Here’s what you need to know about the Maternity Covers:-
- Sub Limits – Health Insurance plan that has maternity coverage comes with Limitations, whatever sum insured you may choose, there is a certain capping which will be applicable for maternity cover. Typically, for a Normal Delivery the cost is between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000 and for C-Sections it is between Rs. 25,000 to 45,000.There are certain policies which give you an upper limit of Rs. 1.5Lac if you have opted for a higher Sum Insured.
- Pre & Post Natal Expenses –Expenses for regular Checkups fee, doctor’s consultation, medicines, etc. are also paid as part of the Maternity Limit by certain plans.
- New Born Baby Expenses - From the birth of the baby till 90 days expenses are also covered under certain policies. There are few companies who give benefits post 90 days on paying requisite premium.
- Vaccination benefits – Vaccination for the new born baby (as per the National Immunization Scheme, India) is covered until baby completes 12 months. It is paid up to the limit of the basic sum insured.
When I looked at the Policy basket following are the Health Insurance Companies who offer Maternity Cover, let us understand what they will offer and how much you need to shell out of your pocket. Let us look at the comparison between four Health Insurance Companies that are offering Maternity Cover:
When we look at the above comparison, we could gauge that Religare – Joy Plan has a waiting period of 9 months, which gives an opportunity to the customer to buy the product, if they are planning for a child within a year. Whereas, in Apollo, Max Bupa, and CignaTTK the customer needs to wait a minimum of 24 months in order to avail benefits under the maternity cover.
If you look at the above comparison, all these four plans are offering Pre & Post Natal Expenses and New Born Baby Expenses, but to the limit of the maternity cover. Whereas first year vaccination benefit is not offered under Apollo-Easy Health Premium Plan and Religare Joy Cover, but it is covered under CIGNA TTK-ProHealth Plus Plan from the birth of the baby untill 12 months and in Max Bupa-Heartbeat it is offered under the Platinum Plan from the birth of the child untill 12yrs.
What you need to watch out in Maternity Cover while buying a Personal Health Insurance?
While purchasing insurance it is important to read those fine prints and consider them before buying a product. Let us look at a few points to get a better understanding:
Other than the benefits that Maternity Cover is offering we should also consider how much Premium you may need to pay. Will you be able to afford the premium?
Let us compare the Premium factor for the above product: - Age: 30yrs Family Type – 2 Adults Sum Insured – 5Lac
So when we look at the premium what we could find out is that though the Maternity Cover Waiting Period in Religare–Joy Plan is only for 9 months but the Premium Amount is higher than other plans. If you buy a CignaTTK- ProHealth Plan, you may end up paying a Premium of around Rs. 12,067/- and will include both Health Insurance and Maternity Cover.
One point which we need to realize is that, Maternity Cover will not be beneficial for everyone and Health Insurance Plans available in the market are not meant for all age groups. You need to decide which cover best suits your requirement.
We at www.medimnage.com will recommend you to buy a health insurance plan with minimum sum insured of 5 to 7Lakhs. Our advice will be, look out for a Health Insurance Plan where Maternity Cover is an inbuilt feature and not a Standalone Policy. Though many health insurance companies offer inbult cover for maternity but, they have a capping at the time of claim, whereas, the actual cost of hospitalization for maternity is on the higher side. Another point you need to consider is that, every Maternity Cover comes with a waiting period of minimum 24months, in case you are buying a Standalone Policy it has a waiting period of 9months. If you plan for a child in the next few months, then none of the policies will be beneficial.
There are several other health insurance plans available in the market which are beneficial and reduce the out of pocket cost, for Eg. Super top-up, Critical Illness Cover, Personal Accident and Hospital Cash.
In a nutshell, you need to be careful before buying a health insurance cover and read all the policy terms and conditions carefully.
To get an expert advice on which of the above products are better, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your details at http://www.medimanage.com/inquiry.aspx so that we can assist you.