“We heard you are expecting! Congratulations! So, how do you feel?”

And the answers include - “delighted,” “excited,” “nervous,” and…

“Worried”

The last emotion is more than often related to -

  • The soon-to-be mom’s well-being,
  • The baby’s well-being, and
  • The imminent financial dip owing to prenatal care, the birthing process, perinatal care, educational financing, and so on.

And so, while the news of impending parenthood is truly an occasion for celebration, it is also one pregnant with responsibilities. Why else do you think “family planning” is a crucial stepping stone before achieving the milestone of parenthood?

Family planning is possibly the most mature way to gauge a couple’s physical, psychological, and financial well-being. While medical practitioners can assist you with the first 2 factors, the latter will require significant financial resources to get you through because childbirth is in no way inexpensive.

Add to the fact that private nursing homes and hospitals leave no stone unturned to increase the bill amount to an unbelievable number.

Scary, isn’t it?

So, how do you manage this? How can you make your dream of parenthood come true without getting burdened by it financially? Well, you can always opt for a maternity insurance policy.

To be honest, this policy brings a few hurdles that need to be weighed against the pros offered, but again, for some, this pregnancy insurance is an affordable financial solution. Look at all the coverage provided, the challenges you need to be aware of, and the best plans available in the market.

What is Maternity Health Insurance?

Maternity health insurance is a financial security net that helps policyholders meet the expenses related to pregnancy health concerns, treatments, and processes. This policy offers coverage for both the mother and the newborn (the latter is included in most of the plans).

The skyrocketing costs of healthcare, combined with the increasing complications in childbirth and the spiraling healthcare charges for newborns, have resulted in couples frantically seeking financial assistance as soon as they dream of having a family.

In response to this rising demand, health insurance providers are now offering maternity insurance policies, which can be standalone or add-ons, depending on the insurer.

Why are Maternity Health Insurance Covers Gaining Ground?

While on the surface, this seems like a policy with benefits for the would-be parents, insurance providers are reluctant to offer this financing option in most cases. Hence, these policies are a rare find as compared to the widely available health insurance coverages offered by the best insurance providers across the country.

And we will tell you everything about it later. First, let’s take a look at what kind of features and benefits these pregnancy health insurance plans offer.

What does the Best Health Insurance with Maternity Cover Offer?

  1. For the Mother-to-Be

Please note that most maternity plans do not cover pre- and post-hospitalization expenses. To confirm the overhead, you MUST ask your provider about the coverage details before availing of the plan.

  • Hospitalization charges
  • Room rents
  • Coverage for 2 deliveries/pregnancies
  • Pregnancy complications that comprise - eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, and miscarriages (any of the two - based on the policy and provider chosen)
  • C-section and/or normal delivery expenses

2.  For the Newborn

In the case of newborn treatment expense coverage, this varies from one insurance provider to the other. In case the insurer offers financial assistance, here are a few optional perks that you might have access to

  • Congenital illnesses
  • Hospitalization benefits
  • Vaccinations

The features seem lucrative enough, doesn’t it? And they are instrumental in helping you cover the increasing costs of childbirth. So, should you be opting for these covers? Let’s find out -

Maternity Insurance Covers - To Avail or Not To Avail?

One look at the estimated expenses related to childbirth, and you are sure to seek out options that aid with your impending financial burden. And pregnancy insurance coverage seems like a pretty great option -

  • They offer insurance coverage for the baby from day 1 (depending on the policy opted for)
  • They ensure financial coverage for hospitalization charges
  • You can pay premiums for the plan that helps you save for childbirth in installments rather than all at once.

But here’s the other side of the coin -

  • HIGHER PREMIUMS:

Premiums for maternity health insurance are higher because the chances of payout are much higher than for health insurance, where the chances of payout are much lower.

This is also why insurance providers are reluctant to offer this plan either as a standalone or an add-on.

  • EXTENSIVE WAITING PERIOD
  1. Are you thinking of availing of the plan while you are doing your family planning? That's great, but keep in mind that the cheapest and most affordable plan on the market has a minimum waiting period of 2 YEARS.
  2. Now about this 2-year waiting period - most insurers demand that both parents undergo the waiting period. What usually happens is that a couple often thinks of these financial backups during their family planning, and in such cases, more than often, surely doesn’t wait for 2 years to have their baby.

So, if you do plan to avail of such plans, you have to avail it much before you have even started thinking about family planning. This, frankly, more than often becomes a dealbreaker for these policies.

EXCEPTION: Star Comprehensive Insurance Policy - The couple can each individually avail of this policy prior to their marriage, cover the waiting period for 2 years, get married, and avail the policy without any more added waiting period.

This policy ousts the requirement of a floater policy and the mandatory requirement that couples be married during their waiting period.

  1. Most maternity coverage plans in the market do indeed offer financial aid for 2 pregnancies. However, here’s the thing: once you have made your first claim, the second waiting period kicks in.
  • Caps on the coverage and the features offered

Insurance providers offer a much lower cap on the overall coverage offered, which might often fall short when compared to the expected billed amount during childbirth. The companies usually have caps for c-section deliveries too.

So, the question here is: will you be paying a premium that is much higher than the true cost of childbirth?

Before we answer that, here’s a look at the difference between premium payment and your personal spending with an insurance policy that offers maternity coverage and with an insurance policy that doesn’t offer maternity financial aid.

35 year old with 30 year old Spouse
Features/ Details Plan with Maternity Benefit Plan without Maternity Benefits
Plan Name Niva Bupa- Health Premia Gold Niva Bupa- Reassure
Coverage ₹10 Lakh ₹10 Lakh
Premium ₹30,805 ₹14,057
Waiting period for maternity 2 years NA
For ease of comparison, we have kept the profile of the user for both scenarios the same along with the insurance company.

Now, whether you will avail the maternity coverage should be determined by the following factors -

  1. If your financial backup is strong enough to pay the consolidated amount during childbirth (say 1 lakh or 1.5 lakhs)
  2. Is it convenient for you to set aside the said amount over yearly premiums, hence causing less strain on your annual budget?
  3. Do you find the difference in premium paid (between an insurance cover that offers maternity coverage and one that does not) in the aforementioned table to be a challenge?

In this case, make sure to consult a financial advisor who will guide you toward the best possible option. Also, considering that now you have an idea of the comparison between the coverages and know the determiners to choose a plan - you are no longer walking blindfolded.

Having said all of that, here’s something that is one of the most crucial and unique features offered by this policy - coverage for newborns from day 1.
And while we always hope for the best possible scenarios, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared for the worst.
So, in case your newborn has any health complications, this maternity plan offers a financial safety net, ensuring that you can solely focus on your child’s well-being and premium treatment options.

What are the best Health Insurance Maternity Covers Available in the Market?

While not many insurers across the market offer maternity coverage, the majority that offer demand unreasonably high premiums and extended waiting periods.

After careful market research, we have come up with the following providers whose plans are affordable, with lower premiums, and offer extensive coverage.

  1. NIVA BUPA (MAX BUPA) Health Premia Silver/Gold/Platinum
  2. STAR HEALTH Comprehensive
  3. TATA AIG Medicare Premier
  4. Care - Care

Go ahead and compare the plans to find one that suits your financial and medical requirements.

Also, make sure to ask your insurers or Ditto expert advisors some relevant questions that will help you have a better understanding of the policy that you’re about to avail.

What might those questions be? Here are some of the questions that you, as policyholders, can ask to ensure that you have chosen the best possible maternity insurance coverage!

How Should You Choose Your Maternity Insurance?

When it comes to availing of any financial product, one of the primary issues is having recurring doubts in the back of your mind about whether this is the product for you, whether you are making a good financial decision, or one that will further burden you in the future.

This is specifically true when it comes to health-related financial coverage for your newborn and your life partner. The only way to dispel any iota of doubt regarding the product is by asking the relevant questions regarding the plan.

Do not walk in blindfolded. Know the ins and outs of your soon-to-be-availed plan.

Here are a few questions that you should be asking your insurer regarding the maternity insurance plan -

  1. What are the premium and sum insured coverage for maternity plans?
  2. What is the waiting period for such plans?
  3. What kind of pregnancy complications are covered under this plan?
  4. What will the coverage details be for my newborn - the treatments covered?
  5. Can I port my maternity plan to a standard health insurance policy after 1 pregnancy?
  6. Does the plan cover alternative treatments for pregnancy - IVF or surrogacy?
  7. Are vaccinations for my newborn covered under this plan?
  8. What is the term period of coverage for my newborn?

Wrapping Up (in a bundle of joy)

By the time you have the answers to these questions and have shown the insurer your calculation of the difference in premium between a plan that offers maternity coverage and one that doesn’t, you’ll have your answer as to whether this plan meets your future medical, financial, and family goals.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can I get a maternity health insurance plan with the confirmation of my pregnancy?

Yes, you can. However, not all insurers offer maternity health coverage sans a waiting period of a minimum of 2 years.

Furthermore, even with a two-year waiting period, the premiums are already higher than those of commonly available health insurance policies; therefore, if you want to opt for a shorter waiting period, you will undoubtedly face an exorbitant premium.

2.  Which maternity insurance plan will be best for our newborn?

When comparing your maternity health covers, look out for the following features as far as the financial coverage for your newborn is concerned:

  • The term of the coverage offered for your child.
  • The kinds of treatment covered for the newborn in complications from birth.
  • Vaccination coverage
  • Jaundice treatment coverage (since it’s one of the most common complications with newborns).

These will help you access the cover that’s best suited for your baby.

3.  When should I avail the maternity insurance plan?

The minimum waiting period on any maternity health insurance coverage is 2 years, and the 3rd year will be the time you spend enjoying the expectancy period.

So, it would be best if you kept a minimum buffer time of 3 years and availed of the maternity plan before you conceived.

4.  Can I add my newborn to my health insurance policy in India?

Yes, you can usually add your newborn to your health insurance policy. Many insurance companies allow you to add your newborn to your policy within a certain time period after the child's birth.

5. Do all health insurance plans in India cover maternity expenses?

No, not all health insurance plans in India cover maternity expenses. Some plans may offer maternity coverage as an optional add-on, while others may not offer it at all. It is important to carefully review the coverage offered by a health insurance plan before purchasing it to ensure that it meets your needs.