Maternity insurance is a prenatal insurance policy that parents-to-be should consider even before pregnancy. It can be a single-premium standalone or a bundled plan with a life insurance component. The main reason most took up this insurance is for its coverage of unexpected pregnancy complications affecting either the mother or the child. However, there are many new parents-to-be who debate over getting this insurance as it does not cover the cost of your delivery or hospitalisation bills.
In a nutshell, maternity insurance provides coverage for 10 – 19 pregnancy complications and a list of 18 – 26 congenital illnesses the newborn could have. These illnesses include cleft lip, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, and more.
And if you do not know it yet, maternity insurance benefits go beyond childbirth.
Guaranteed Option for Child’s Life Insurance
Perhaps one of the most essential components of maternity insurance is the guaranteed option to convert it into or buy a life insurance policy for the insured child.
This is extremely crucial for parents whose newborns are born with congenital illnesses. The guaranteed option to purchase a life insurance policy meant that pre-existing conditions prior to the purchase of this life plan will be included in the coverage.
Some providers, such as Manulife, AXA, Great Eastern, AIA, and Singlife with Aviva, offer a guaranteed coverage for newborns without medical underwriting. Hence, if the newborn is uninsurable, such as premature birth, NICU admission during delivery, or other reasons, parents can still buy into life insurance thanks to this guarantee.
While each of these maternity insurances has its own exclusions or terms and conditions, removing the need for medical underwriting can give parents reassurance amid uncertainties when their child is diagnosed with any illnesses. It is important to note that some providers offer this option within the first 60 days, while others, 90 days. Parents, especially if their newborn is diagnosed with any conditions, must make sure they do the policy conversion before the deadline to be eligible for the life insurance plan.
Conversion to Life Insurance for Mother
Carrying a baby is extremely taxing and exhausting for the mother. Many mothers find their health deteriorating during pregnancy, with conditions such as hypertension and gestational diabetes arising during this period. Many times, these conditions do not go away with childbirth and instead bother the mother for the rest of her life.
These additional health issues can make it difficult for the mother to take up a new life insurance plan after childbirth. In these cases, they should convert the maternity insurance into a life insurance policy for the mother. This is especially helpful if the infant is without illnesses and can easily buy a fresh insurance policy for coverage. Parents who want to make sure that they protect their newborn early can look into AXA, which provides whole life insurance for an infant from the age of one month.
Coverage for Juvenile Conditions
On top of coverage for congenital illnesses in the newborn, some maternity insurance such as Great Eastern’s Great Maternity Care, also covers juvenile conditions in the insured child. This gives parents peace of mind should there be any undetected illnesses in their child after childbirth.
These juvenile conditions can include Insulin-Dependent Diabetes mellitus, Addison’s disease, Sanfilippo Syndrome, and Kawasaki disease.
Hospitalisation Cash Benefits
For both mother and infant, should either require extended hospitalisation because of childbirth and pregnancy complications, the maternity insurance will provide daily hospital cash payout for up to 30 days. For the newborn, the hospital cash payout can also be because of Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease and other infectious diseases, depending on the provider’s list of inclusions.
The hospital cash benefit ranges from $100 to $300 daily, with some providers offering a direct amount while others giving a specific percentage of the sum assured daily. Nevertheless, this can, hopefully, give new parents a small financial respite should they need to take extra time off to care for their child or spouse.
Developmental Delay Benefit
Having a child is a lifelong journey, and the worries do not end when the baby and mother are discharged from the hospital. In some young children, they might show signs of developmental delay as they grow up. For parents, this can be a period of uncertainty and stress.
Provided as part of Singlife with Aviva and AXA’s maternity insurances, Developmental Delay Benefit pays out when the child cannot perform certain tasks by 28 months from their date of birth or before the end of their maternity policy.
For Singlife with Aviva’s MyMaternity plan, they categorise development delay as either the inability to walk without aid over a distance of two metres or speak and say simple words such as “papa” and “mama”. The inability needs to be confirmed by a certified paediatrician.
Three to Four Years of Coverage
Maternity insurance coverage does not end with childbirth. With the exception of NTUC Income, which provides four years of coverage, the other insurance providers’ maternity insurance covers the mother and baby for three policy years.
Benefits that are on the payout schedule can include psychological consultations for the mother, outpatient phototherapy, major organ transplant, and more for the newborn.
Furthermore, AXA’s maternity insurance also offers free AXA Shield Plan B cover to meet the child’s first insurance needs. The newborn gets free first-year health insurance coverage without the need for medical underwriting. New parents can have peace of mind knowing that their newborn can get hospitalisation coverage for any illnesses even if it is not covered in the initial maternity insurance.
If you are wondering what is the most suitable maternity insurance for you and your family, check out Planner Bee’s Best Maternity Insurance Policies piece, which is regularly updated to reflect the latest maternity plans. Alternatively, let us help you compare plans and find the best policy for you. Reach out to us via our app, available on both iOS and Android, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!