Do you know that pregnancy insurance is termed as maternity insurance by the insurers?
While my wife was working in KKH, I learnt more about pregnancy complications like pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
Naturally when she was pregnant, we took on some coverage ourselves.
You know, not all pregnancies are smooth and not all babies are born healthy.
The benefits from a pregnancy or maternity 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 learnt over the years.
If you’re interested in a particular topic, feel free to jump ahead:
- Why buy pregnancy insurance now
- Common questions
- What is covered by a pregnancy insurance
- Conditions covered by integrated shield plans
- When should I buy pregnancy insurance
- Plans in the market
- Which covers for IVF pregnancies
- What if baby is born with congenital conditions
- Recommended pregnancy insurance plans
Why buy pregnancy insurance now
Do you know that integrated shield plans cover some pregnancy conditions.
Shield plans would reimburse some parts of the bill (if it is a covered condition) and your pregnancy insurance would still pay the sum assured (if it is a covered condition).
It is equally important to save up for the delivery cost and buy more insurance coverage for yourself as a new parent.
Question1: Does a pregnancy insurance cover for my delivery cost.
Answer: Pregnancy / Maternity Plans 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 will 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?
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 or maternity insurance can secure insurance coverage for your newborn.
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 usually a 10-12 month waiting period before the IP covers you for pregnancy complications.
That means, the upgrade will exclude it.
For our private clients, we always advise them not to do any switch on their shield plan providers during pregnancy to avoid these waiting periods imposed.
What is covered by a pregnancy insurance
There are 4 major benefits covered
1) Child congenital illnesses benefit
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.
2) Hospital cash benefit
There will be a list of covered conditions and for mum which pay daily hospital cash benefit.
An example will be prematurely born infants who need to be incubated for a few weeks.
In addition, phototherapy for severe neonatal jaundice is also important to have as a cover.
The daily hospital cash provides some compensation to cover your cost.
- Note: Each maternity insurance plan has a different definition of it.
- AIA Mum2Baby link and AXA HappyMummy link provide 2%/day of sum assured.
3) Death coverage for mother or child
There is a small amount but it is usually not the focus for consideration.
Current highest is AXA HappyMummy at $30k sum assured. link
When should I buy pregnancy insurance
As early as possible!
Just to be safe because complications can arise in the course of pregnancy.
Most plans allows purchases from week 13 onward.
But you see, the premiums are the same whether you are at week 13, week 23 or week33.
It is to your benefit to get insured early.
List of pregnancy insurance plans in the market Mar2021
List of plans which covers for IVF pregnancies
These following plans allow for IUI/IVF pregnancies(subjected to mummy's health status), usually will require an additional form to be filled up by your consulting gynaecologist.
There may be extra premiums needed (loading to plan).
What if baby is born with congenital conditions
AIA Mum2Baby and AXA HappyMummy plans can be bought with a whole life and transferred to baby upon birth.
Hence, it can offer life/TPD/CI/ECI coverage even if baby is born with congenital conditions. This is a very powerful benefit.
Attached below is the wording from AIA Mum2Baby for such a situation
Recommended pregnancy insurance plans
Hi I'm Josh and the founder of TheAstuteParent.
My team and I are independent financial adviser reps. We represent multiple insurers and can personalise comparisons for you.
We put information out and prioritise being transparent.
If you feel we are a good fit for you do get in touch and we can work out the best pregnancy insurance fit together.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the views of any other organisation.
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