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Should I Buy Pregnancy Insurance? Updated with 2019 plans!

Last updated on October 15th, 2019 at 12:36 am

Do you know that pregnancy insurance is termed as maternity insurance by the insurers?

My wife works as a doctor and for awhile she was with KKH. I kind of heard on some pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia and eclampsia from her.

Naturally when she was pregnant, we took on some coverage ourselves.

You know, not all pregnancies are smooth

Not all babies are born healthy.

The benefits from a pregnancy insurance plan is something you never hope to claim from.

I get it…

So why spend the money?

I’ve created this guide to hopefully pour in some of what I have learn over the years.

If you’re interested in a particular topic, feel free to jump ahead:

  • Should I buy
  • What is covered by a pregnancy insurance
  • Common questions
  • Conditions covered by integrated shield plans
  • When should I buy pregnancy insurance
  • Plans in the market
  • Which covers for IVF pregnancies
  • How to cover for twins
  • What if baby is born with congenital conditions
  • Recommended pregnancy insurance plans

Should I buy

Absolutely yes.

Do you know that some integrated shield plans really cover very little for pregnancy conditions.

For example, the AVIVA myshield covers for only 4 pregnancy complications only. They are

  • ectopic pregnancy
  • pre-eclampsia or eclampsia
  • disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • miscarriage after 13 weeks of pregnancy which must not be due to a voluntary or malicious act.

But if you are on a tight budget then probably no.

It is equally important to save up for the delivery cost and buy more insurance coverage for yourself as a new parent.

Common questions

Question1: Does a pregnancy insurance cover for my delivery cost.

Answer: It DOES NOT pay the delivery cost.

It pays a benefit (a.k.a compensation) to you if there is a pregnancy complication.

Your IP plan DOES NOT cover your delivery cost also.

Medisave and usually some cash is needed to pay the delivery cost.

So do save up.

Question2: Will my Integrated shield plan (IP) cover for pregnancy complication.

Answer: Yes BUT ONLY if it is a listed pregnancy complication condition.

For example: Pre-eclampsia (A common enough condition that is covered by ALL IP plans)

This is a serious condition that affects about 5 percent of pregnant women. (source)

Most expectant mothers who get pre-eclampsia develop mild symptoms near their due date.

The IP covered for the inpatient bill if it is a listed pregnancy complication.

With a pregnancy insurance plan, you can file a claim and get a compensation which is the sum assured benefit.

Maybe this compensation can cover some other unforeseen expenses?

Read Conditions covered by integrated shield plans 

Question3: The sum assured is so small, what’s the point?

I get it.

But don’t go buying multiple plans to increase the coverage. Not the smartest approach in my opinion.

See it kind of like personal accident coverage.

To protect small potential bills, not $100,000 catastrophic bill.

They are actually quite common.

In 2010, about 9,000 babies were hospitalised for congenital and neonatal conditions in subsidised wards at public hospitals. Even though they were in B2 or C class wards, some 700 had bills that came to more than $5,000. Click to read source.

More importantly, a pregnancy insurance can secure coverage for your newborn.

Read What if baby is born with congenital conditions

Question4: Can I upgrade my integrated shield plan (IP) to cover pregnancy?

If you are already pregnant and you want to upgrade your integrated shield plan, then take note of this.

There is a 10month waiting period before the IP covers you for pregnancy complications.

That means, the upgrade will exclude it.

But if you become hospitalised because of like dehydration (true story of a pregnant mum that I know of) or something… then yes you may still benefit from an upgrade in cover.

Note: Declare you pregnancy in any upgrade.

What is covered by a pregnancy insurance

There are 3 major benefits covered

1) Child congenital illnesses.

Pre-natal scans are unable to pick up all conditions fully.

Having said that, there is a range of severity for each of these illnesses.

If you check the wordings of the insurance policy, the conditions for claims are for events that are severe.

I have seen these conditions personally before

A: Club Foot

Policy wordings: Congenital abnormality of the lower extremity .. of the forefoot. The benefit will only be paid if the condition is bilateral. 

If it happens, the maternity insurance will pay out the sum assured benefit.

B: Cerebral Palsy

Policy wordings: A persisting, non-progressive disorder of movement resulting from damage to the brain … 

The diagnosis must be confirmed by an appropriate medical specialist after birth.

Severe cerebral palsy may be diagnosed soon after birth.

However, the majority is diagnosed in the first two years after birth only.

For those with milder symptoms, a diagnosis may not be rendered until three to five years of age.

Pregnancy insurance covers for child congenital conditions for a few years.

I would also recommend purchasing some Life, TPD and critical illness insurance for your child after birth.

Click here if you want to read more on the best wholelife plan for child

2) Hospital cash benefit

If you (mum) or your child is hospitalised from the conditions listed in the pregnancy insurance, there will be a daily hospital cash benefit.

An example will be prematurely born infants who need to be incubatedfor a few weeks.

The daily hospital cash provides some compensation to cover your cost.

  • Note: Each maternity insurance plan has a different definition of it.
3) Death coverage for mother or child

There is a small amount but it is usually not the focus for consideration.

Conditions covered by an integrated shield plan

If you are on the AVIVA, AIA, PRU or AXA IP plan, you should really consider taking up maternity coverage.

The coverage list is thin.

I’ve seen before a case of “abrupt placentae” and her baby was born pre-term with that complication.

We’ve written a piece on it before.

Click here to read

When should I buy pregnancy insurance

As early as possible!

Just to be safe because complications can arise in the course of pregnancy.

– AIA/AVIVA/GE/NTUC allow you to purchase as early as week 13 of your pregnancy.

Check the table in “Plans in the market”

But you see, the premiums are the same whether you are at week 13 or week23.

Makes sense to get in early…

Quick summary of plans in the market

 

NTUC Maternity 360 and GE Flexi Maternity plans are standalone plans and do not require any plans to be concurrently purchased.

AVIVA Mymaternity plan needs to be bundled with any other plan purchase which even includes a shield plan, term plan or PA plan.

AIA Baby Protector, AXA Mum Care and PRUmum2be require a purchase of an investment-linked plan.

Which covers for IVF pregnancies

These following plans allow (subjected to your (mum) health status)

– AVIVA Mymaternity

– AIA Baby Protector/ Baby Protector Plus

– AXA MUM Care/ Mum care plus

Check post below for details

How to cover for twin pregnancies

All plans can cover for twin pregnancies.

Some blogs mentioned that the NTUC Maternity 360 plan cannot accept application for twin pregnancies.

I’ve checked with the NTUC business development team personally for a previous case.

The method to do it is to purchase 2 separate NTUC Maternity 360 plans with both covering you (mum).

The option to purchase insurance is tagged on individually to each twin when they are born.

Check with other insurers for their method to cover for twin pregnancies.

For more than 2 foetuses, I do not have any experience or information currently.

What if baby is born with congenital conditions

I have looked through the policy wordings of multiple insurers.

My opinion is pre-existing conditions will be excluded.

The term guaranteed transfer to child does not mean pre-existing conditions will be accepted. That means if your child has for example hole in the heart, you can transfer/buy critical illness coverage that covers for heart failure.

With a pregnancy insurance plan, at least your child can still get coverage (with an exclusion).

The NTUC Maternity 360 has a slightly more stringent criteria though.

It’s called a “simplified health declaration”.

In a nutshell, the option to purchase life insurance for child cannot be taken up if child has “serious health issues”.

If you want to learn more on how to insure if your child has a medical condition

 

Recommended pregnancy insurance plans

NTUC Maternity 360 is the cheaper standalone pregnancy plans.

If you are certain you have sufficient life coverage in place you could consider this plan..

It gives you an “option to purchase” life insurance for your child after he/she is born

Click here to read post on the comparison

AIA maternity offers you to plan coverage for baby early. You can secure a wholelife plan to transfer for your baby.

For the maternity coverage portion, premium is cost effective.

Contact Josh Tan at 9006 0446 to get a personalised advice

 

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of any other organisation.

Were your questions answered? What other concerns do you have? 

Let me know in the comments!

Josh Tan Jian Liang (CHFC) Principal Author

REVIEWS: https://www.josh-tan/wall-of-reviews. Practising financial planner with Promiseland Independent Pte Ltd. EXPERIENCE: More than 12years. Josh Tan is a young parent, speaker, author and founder of TheAstuteParent.

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