Becoming a mother is a privilege, a privilege which is enjoyed by women alone. Motherhood not only brings added responsibilities for a mother, but for the father too. While the mother is tasked with nurturing and taking care of the infant, the father bears the financial expenses involved. Right from the time the child takes seed in the womb, to the time it is born and brought up there are various additional expenses which are incurred. Childbirth itself is an expensive process where hospitals charge huge amounts of money. Does your health insurance plan cover such expenses?
There are health insurance plans which cover maternity-related expenses. They include maternity insurance in their list of coverage features and thus cover the expenses incurred in childbirth.
Here are some salient features of maternity insurance which is found in many health insurance plans -
Coverage is available after a waiting period
Any health plan with maternity insurance provides maternity-related coverage only after a waiting period. This period is specified in the policy and is counted from the date of policy inception. Usually the maternity waiting period ranges from 2 to 4 years. Thus, if you want to enjoy maternity coverage under a health plan, you should buy the plan as early as possible so that by the time you plan and start a family, the waiting period would be over.
There are limits on maternity coverage
Coverage for maternity-related expenses is not provided up to the sum insured. There are specified limits up to which maternity is covered. Moreover, maternity cover is available only if your sum insured is above a specified level (usually, Rs.5 lakhs). The limit on maternity cover is specified based on the type of child-birth. Normal deliveries are covered for a lower amount compared to Caesarean deliveries.
Expenses which are covered
Maternity insurance covers specified maternity-related expenses. Normal and Caesarean deliveries and pre natal hospitalisations related to pregnancy complications are covered under all maternity health plans. Some plans also cover expenses incurred in lawful termination of pregnancy. Moreover, the new born baby is also covered under many plans for up to 90 days from the date of birth. There are a few plans which also cover infertility related treatments up to a specified limit. However, infertility treatments are covered for one cycle. Thus, maternity cover doesn't only mean coverage for deliveries, you can avail coverage for other expenses too.
Some points to remember
Though the features mentioned above tell you almost everything about maternity insurance, there are a few points which you should keep in mind when buying a maternity health insurance. These are as follows :
Maternity insurance is available for up to 2 living children. So, if you already have a child then you would get coverage for only one more delivery.
Females aged up to 45 years can only avail maternity coverage. If you have crossed 45 years of age, you cannot avail maternity cover even if your health plan provides it.
The limit on maternity cover is available for all treatments related to pregnancy. So, if your plan provides coverage for Rs.40, 000 and you are hospitalized earlier for any complications, the expenses incurred on such hospitalization are deducted from the coverage limit. So, if an earlier hospitalization costs Rs.10, 000 your maternity limit would reduce to Rs.30, 000.
If you have a group health plan or more than one health plan which offers maternity coverage, you can claim the coverage from any one plan. You cannot avail maternity coverage from multiple health plans whether through a combination of group health and individual plan or a combination of two individual health plans.
Read More - Things You Must Know about Maternity Insurance Plan
So, health insurance plans come to your aid in meeting your maternity-related expenses. However you should understand the nuances of maternity cover in terms of the waiting period, coverage limits and expenses covered so that you would be aware of the coverage available. So, arm yourself with the knowledge and then plan your family.