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5 Things You Should Know Before Getting Maternity Insurance

Bringing a child into the world is a journey filled with anticipation. At the same time, protecting oneself through getting maternity insurance can be a far less joyful issue to contemplate, given how it can be laden with uncertainties. This is especially given that in Singapore, healthcare is advanced and comprehensive, and that means the necessity of maternity insurance is often questioned. 

What is maternity insurance 

Maternity insurance, a prenatal insurance policy recommended for potential parents, provides coverage for 10 to 19 pregnancy complications and 18 to 26 congenital illnesses for newborns. There are many misconceptions surrounding what exactly maternity insurance covers, and many individuals debate getting this insurance. 

In this article, we look into addressing five misconceptions about maternity insurance that many often have. 

Misconception 1: Maternity insurance is unnecessary

It’s not uncommon to find people who feel that maternity insurance is an unnecessary expense. After all, unlike health insurance, maternity insurance is not mandatory in Singapore. Additionally, MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plans do provide some coverage for pregnancy complications and hospitalisation expenses. It leads to the assumption that basic procedures are already covered by these existing plans. 

But it should be noted that pregnancy involves many inherent risks and potential complications. Even with regular prenatal care, unforeseen circumstances can arise. Maternity insurance acts as a vital financial safety net to protect against these unexpected events. 

Consider the scenario of a premature birth. This scenario is not as uncommon as you might think: the World Health Organisation estimates that 5% to 18% of babies are delivered before their due date globally. In the event of a premature birth, the newborn may require an extended stay at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Without maternity insurance, a parent would need to fork out up to S$750 for each day the child spends in the NICU, excluding costs for check-ups and medication. However, with a comprehensive maternity insurance plan that offers a hospital care benefit, a significant portion of the daily hospitalisation cost can be covered. This coverage is crucial in mitigating the financial strain associated with unexpected medical expenses.

Check out our comprehensive guide on maternity insurance for an in-depth comparison of maternity plans.

Misconception 2: Maternity insurance is only for high-risk pregnancies 

Another misconception many people have is that maternity insurance is needed only if the pregnancy is deemed to be high-risk. In other words, individuals might think that maternity insurance is reserved for those with conditions that increase the risk of either the mother or the infant developing health issues.

Even if you do not have pre-existing conditions, it should be noted that any pregnancy can encounter unforeseen complications. It is not uncommon for the mother’s health to worsen during the pregnancy. Complications during pregnancy can range from gestational diabetes to preeclampsia. These conditions may lead to increased expenses. Not to mention, complications such as unexpected Caesarean sections (C-sections), infections and other medical issues can also occur. In the event of an emergency C-section, delivery costs could escalate to up to close to S$20,000. Maternity insurance can provide financial relief in these unexpected situations, ensuring that the financial burden does not add stress to an already challenging situation.

Misconception 3: All maternity insurance plans are the same 

As with any insurance plan, maternity insurance plans also differ in the kind of coverage they provide. In Singapore, a broad range of insurers provide maternity insurance. Each plan differs in terms of the coverage, premiums and any additional benefits they offer. Some plans cover a greater number of pregnancy complications, while others offer more coverage in the number of hospital conditions covered (for example, including admission into the NICU).  

Additionally, there are various types of maternity insurance plans that parents-to-be can consider. Maternity insurance comes in the form of standalone or bundled plans. Standalone plans are plans that contain the maternity rider only, where premiums are paid once for the rider. These are in contrast to the bundled plans, which requires another plan to be purchased in addition to the maternity rider. Premiums for bundled plans are paid over the duration of the agreed term period (which is typically more than 10 years). 

There are many factors that parents-to-be must consider before deciding on a particular maternity insurance plan because of the variations each plan offers. It is essential, therefore, to carefully compare plans to find one that aligns with your specific preferences. To obtain a detailed and tailored comparison of maternity insurance plans, request a quote from Planner Bee today! 

Misconception 4: Maternity insurance is too expensive 

While some may perceive maternity insurance as expensive, it is important to weigh the potential costs of pregnancy-related medical expenses without this protection. The financial burden of sudden complications, extended hospital stays, or NICU care can far exceed the cost of maternity insurance premiums. 

Without maternity insurance, individuals may find themselves struggling with large out-of-pocket expenses for medical procedures and hospital stays. The lack of financial coverage in these situations could compromise the quality of care given to both the mother and child. Standalone maternity plans provide a more affordable alternative, allowing soon to be parents to pay a one-time premium for the maternity rider. This option enables the budget conscious to secure crucial coverage without the financial commitment associated with bundled plans. Exploring standalone plans is a good way to strike a balance between comprehensive maternity coverage and affordability. 

Read more: A Parent’s Guide to Childcare Subsidies in Singapore

Misconception 5: I can buy maternity insurance at any stage of pregnancy 

Another common myth is the belief that individuals can purchase maternity insurance at any stage of their pregnancy. Expectant mothers can acquire maternity insurance between 13 to 36 weeks of pregnancy. The premiums paid remain the same whether the plan is purchased at 13 weeks or 36 weeks. Therefore, it is a good idea to get protected earlier to maximise the benefits. This ensures a more extended period of coverage, offering financial protection for a broader range of scenarios. Waiting until the later stages of your pregnancy may result in limited coverage for certain conditions or procedures. This can leave you inadequately protected during critical stages of pregnancy. It is important to secure coverage early to guarantee comprehensive protection throughout the entire pregnancy journey. 

Read more: Maternity Insurance’s Benefits Beyond Childbirth

The bottom line 

Navigating parenthood is no easy feat. Dispelling misconceptions that surround maternity insurance is not only a matter of being financially prudent. Rather, it is an important step toward ensuring the wellbeing of both mother and child.

Take charge of your maternity healthcare today by exploring suitable insurance options with Planner Bee. Request your personalised quotes here.

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