Here are some quick facts about pregnancy.
Between 1990 and 2015, maternal mortality rates worldwide dropped by about 44%.
However, more than 50,000 women in the USA continue to suffer from severe maternal morbidity.
Whether you view these statistics with a glass-half-full or half-empty mentality, there is one thing that we can be certain about.
Pregnancy complications are very real.
Getting ready for pregnancy
Parents-to-be are often caught unprepared.
For those trying for a baby, it is often realised that many attempts are needed before succeeding.
Somehow, the fertility rate seems much higher when one is not planning for a baby.
We are not able to tell you the best way to take care of your foetus since we are insurance educators, not doctors.
However, what we can do is arm you with information about plans that may help you tide over the difficult parts of pregnancy.
Differentiating the plans
If you are not yet pregnant, there are some medical plans that cover pregnancy.
For obvious reasons, insurers will require you to buy their medical insurance at least 10 months before you are eligible for the maternity benefits.
Hence, if you fall into the group that is trying for a baby, you may wish to insure yourself early.
However, if you find that you are expectant, it is still possible to cover yourself against pregnancy complications.
At the same time, you are also protecting your child against the cost of congenital illnesses.
In this article, we are looking only at the latter – maternity insurance.
The Maternity Plans
From our findings, there are two main types of maternity insurance.
The basic plans are Great Eastern’s Flexi Maternity Cover and OCBC’s MaxMaternity Care.
These two plans are identical, which is not surprising, given that Great Eastern is the insurance subsidiary of OCBC Bank.
We will talk about the coverage of these basic plans later.
The second genre of maternity insurance is the bundled package.
AXA’s Mum’s Advantage, AIA’s Family First Baby and Prudential’s PRUfirst gift are some examples of these insurance plans.
On top of the basic maternity plan, these insurers are making you buy an Investment-Linked Product (ILP) or an endowment plan at the same time.
In our opinion, this is akin to buying a certain brand of toothpaste for the freebie bowl.
However, you cannot buy it as a stand-alone item, so you have to purchase that brand of toothpaste.
We shall leave it to our discerning readers to interpret the rest of the message.
The Policy Coverage
Whether you are buying the basic plans or the bundled ones, they provide you with 3 major maternity benefits.
They cover for the mother’s pregnancy complications and congenital illness for the baby.
Hospital cash benefit is thrown in as well.
Frankly speaking, these benefits are the only reasons you may want to purchase a maternity insurance.
These are special conditions that are usually not covered or excluded from the usual insurance plans out there in the market.
Check your Personal Accident or Hospital Cash policy and you will find that pregnancy is almost always excluded.
For pregnancy complications, please do not mistake it as an all-encompassing coverage.
All previously mentioned plans specified 7-10 different pregnancy complications.
You may check out how comprehensive the plans are from our table.
Pregnancy Complications Benefit Table
|PRUfirst gift||Flexi Maternity Cover||MaxMaternity Care||Family First baby||Mum’s Advantage|
|Amniotic Fluid Embolism||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Fatty Liver of Pregnancy||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Postpartum Haemorrhage requiring Hysterectomy||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-Eclampsia or Eclampsia||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
The same goes for congenital illness – not all are insured.
All but one insurer covers the same 18 congenital illnesses.
However, PRUfirst Gift does not include Truncus Arteriosus which is a rare type of hereditary heart disease where a single blood vessel (instead of the usual 2) comes out of the right and left ventricles.
For both pregnancy complications and congenital illness, you may receive a lump sum claim compensation.
The sum payable varies from insurer to insurer and depending on whether you have enhanced the benefit.
Hospital cash benefit is usually $100/day, up to a maximum of 30 days.
Likewise, some insurers allow you to upgrade the plan for superior compensation.
You may take note that this is payable on specific conditions only (such as premature birth, congenital illness, etc.)
Other Matters To Take Note
The entry age for most maternity policy is 18.
Prudential only accepts 19-year-olds and older.
All expecting mothers are eligible for maternity plans until they are above 45 years old.
You may start insuring with Great Eastern or OCBC in your 13th week of pregnancy and onwards.
For AXA, it is the 16th week and for the rest of them, the 18th week.
For pregnancy complications, there is usually a waiting period before you can make a claim.
As for congenital illness, it must be diagnosed within a specified period after birth.
Thus, you may want to check the terms and conditions of the policy before committing.
Pregnancy is a joyous yet stressful period for the family.
Taking care of the mum, getting baby products and learning parent roles are some of the things that parents-to-be need to do.
Taking up a maternity insurance will not save you the hassle of having to perform any of the above-mentioned tasks.
However, it may provide an assurance that you are financially capable to handle any unforeseen events during the gestation and post-delivery periods.
Are you ready to take the next step into parenthood?
Share your story with us!
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