Maternity insurance: Important points to remember

Maternity insurance is an add-on cover policyholders can opt for in a health insurance policy, either in individual or family floater plan

Maternity insurance: Important points to remember
Most insurers do not provide maternity insurance to individuals who are already pregnant

Almost all of us have at least one or multiple health insurance policies. We also have some rider or add-on coverage. Maternity benefit is one of the most important things about health insurance. Generally maternity benefit does not come as default coverage. Either one has to avail it as a rider or has to opt for only a maternity specific insurance coverage, where pre and post-delivery costs will be taken care of. The average cost delivering a baby has climbed to about Rs 1.5 lakh in a private reputable hospital in an Indian city.

Most insurers do not provide maternity insurance to individuals who are already pregnant. Insurance companies consider pregnancy as a pre-existing condition that goes beyond policy cover. Experts suggest, one should get this policy as soon as he/she is getting married since maternity insurance comes with a long waiting period. Generally, policyholders need to wait for a period of around three years before getting this coverage.

Here are the significant points that one should keep in mind while opting for this special benefit.

1. Maternity insurance is an add-on cover which buyers can opt for in a health insurance policy, either in individual or family floater plan. You have to check out exactly what your insurance coverage offers.

2. There is a minimum waiting period for three-four years to get the benefits. So it is advisable to opt for this special benefit as soon as possible.

3. Maternity insurance covers pre and post-hospitalisation expenses along with nursing and room charges, doctor consultation, surgeon fees, and anaesthetist consultation. Along with these benefits, maternity add-on also pays for expenses arising out of hospitalisation charges of the new-born due to any medical complications, vaccination charges etc.

4. You should be well informed about the coverage for maternity benefits for both normal delivery and C-section. The coverage limit is different for the two situaions.

5. One should check whether the company offers maternity in its group insurance plan. Most of the companies cover employees under a group plan and, hence, this is the best option. Most group health insurance policies offered by employers cover maternity expenses up to a limit of Rs 75,000.

6. Insurer should cross check the sub-limits such as new-born coverage limit and any further complication of the mother etc and whether the coverage covers the period after delivery.

7. An individual should always check if there is any specific exclusion related to the maternity cover. Before buying a maternity health policy, one needs to ascertain all exclusions too.

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