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What is Maternity Insurance?

Maternity insurance plan is a kind of an insurance product which is specifically designed to cater to the health care expenses related to child birth and allied expenses.The maternity insurance policy either come as a stand alone health insurance policy or it can be an inbuilt benefit of a basic health insurance policy or can be opted as an add on benefit along with you base health insurance policy.It covers maternity expenses for child birth up to a specified limit or sum insured in the policy which vary from plan to plan.

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Why Maternity Insurance is important?

Taking responsibilities at an early stage is one of the main things which you need to do to become a responsible parent. One such responsibility is taking care of the expenses related to pregnancy and delivery of your baby. But with the skyrocketing price of health care, it becomes difficult to bear such expenses. A maternity insurance helps you to lower down the financial burden related to pregnancy and delivery, and allows you to bring your child in this world with the best medical facility. Most of the people have health insurance plan, but that doesn’t give any benefit when it comes to maternity related expenses. That’s why getting a maternity insurance becomes necessary to avoid the burden on your pocket.

What is covered under Maternity Insurance?

Following benefits are covered under a maternity insurance:-

  • Pre-hospitalization expenses for 30 days and post hospitalization for 60 days
  • Inpatient hospitalization which includes room charges, nursing expenses, anesthetist charges, etc.
  • Child birth expenses (Normal delivery or c-section, the limits vary as per the type of delivery)
  • Ambulance charges for ferrying the insured
  • Vaccination of the infant
  • Pre and post natal expenses
  • Coverage for the new born baby till the specified time
  • Cashless treatment in chain of network hospitals

The coverage and policy benefits may be plan specific.

What factors affect the premium amount of Maternity Insurance?

The premium amount of maternity insurance is generally expensive because of the high risk product owing to almost 100% claim ratio. Following are the factors which affect the premium amount of maternity cover

  • The age of the women who will be covered under the maternity insurance plays an important role in deciding the premium amount. Higher the age, higher will be the premium. This is because with increasing age, the risk associated with her life and treatment increases.
  • Other risk factors like her health condition also play an important role in deciding the premium amount for the insurance company. The risk associated with a healthy woman is always less in comparison to unhealthy women.
  • In case of group health insurance, number of employees, their designation and company location are some of the most important deciding factors in the premium amount. The profile and location of the company being insured also plays an important role in deciding the premium amount.

What is the right time to buy Maternity Insurance?

Maternity is a life changing period for a woman and that’s why you need to do proper planning for it. Being an early bird for buying maternity insurance is considered as an ideal decision. Maternity benefits can be availed after a waiting period, which range from 2 to 4 years, usually.So, it is better to buy a maternity plan just after marriage so that the waiting period can be surpassed easily. You should always buy a maternity cover before you conceive because most of the insurers deny the application of maternity cover if the woman is already pregnant. Such cases are considered as pre-existing by the insurer. That’s why an early planning and purchase of maternity insurance is important.

What points to be considered before buying Maternity Insurance?

  • Waiting period- Generally there is a waiting period of 2-6 years for claiming any benefit under your maternity insurance. That’s why it is recommended to buy a maternity cover after your marriage, so that you don’t have to wait for availing the benefits of your maternity cover. But there are some plans in which the insurer offers you very low waiting period. All you need to do is to search for different policies, know about their waiting period and then choose the best plan according to your need and situation.
  • Sum Assured- Most of the maternity insurance comes with restricted cover. But you need to decide the right amount of coverage as a low coverage can burn a deep hole in your pocket even after having a maternity insurance. Your coverage amount shouldn’t be very high also because a high sum assured can become a financial burden for you. You should analyze your need and situation before deciding the right sum assured.
  • New born baby cover- Before buying a maternity insurance, you should always check the details of new born baby cover. A new born baby cover will allow you to cover the expenses for treatment of ill-health of new born baby from day one. The number of days for the cover of new born baby varies from company to company.
  • Compare- It is important to compare the similar plans before buying to assess the cost, benefit and other things to make a best buy.Buy online to save premium and policy issuance hassles.

Best Maternity Insurance plans

Health Plans Waiting period New born baby cover Sum assured Sum assured for New Born
Max Bupa HeartBeat Family Floater 2 years Covered from day one till the policy year. Vaccination expense of new born for the first year is also covered Rs.40,000 to 1,00,000(depending the sum insured) Covered upto sum insured
Religare Joy
  • 9 months (Joy today)
  • 24 months (Joy tomorrow)
Covered from day one till the completion of 90 days
  • Rs.35,000 for 3 lakh Sum insured
  • Rs.50,000 for 5 lakh sum insured
  • Rs.30,000 for 3 lakh sum insured
  • Rs.50,000 for 5 lakh for sum insured
ICICI Complete Health Insurance 3 years Covered from day one till the completion of 91 days
  • Normal delivery-Rs.15,000
  • Caesarian-Rs.25,000
Star Wedding gift insurance 3 years Covered from day one till the expire of current policy
  • Rs.15,000 for normal delivery(sum insured 3 lakh)
  • Rs.20,000 for caesarian
  • Rs.30,000 for 3 lakh sum insured
  • Rs.50,000 for 5 lakh sum insured

What are the exclusions of the Maternity Insurance?

A better understanding of the exclusions of the policy will allow you to utilize your policy in the best possible way. So following are the exclusions of maternity insurance:-

  • Expenses on vitamins and tonics unless forming part of treatment
  • Any treatment arising from or traceable to pregnancy (voluntary termination of pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage, abortion or complications of any of these, including caesarean section)
  • Treatment related birth defects and external congenital illnesses.
  • Follow ups, diagnostic tests, and doctor’s consultation during 9 months of pregnancy.

The exclusions again may vary from plan to plan.