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A Big Issue for Mothers-to-Be: Maternity Insurance Waiting Periods

Many parents-to-be are caught off guard when it gets close to time for baby to come and they realize that they will be unable to get maternity insurance coverage. Why is this? Usually it's because of waiting periods. Find out more about them here.

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 by Travis Jones

So you think that you’re all set. After careful planning and biding your time, the stars have aligned and you have successfully become pregnant with a new baby. Your doctor’s appointments have been made, you’ve got the maternity clothes you will need, and plans for the baby shower are already underway. Did you forget something, though? Did you forget something that may have a major impact on the health of you and your baby? In this case, what we’re alluding to is Maternity Insurance.

“Oh yes,” you may say. “I plan on getting Maternity Insurance well before my due date. There’s nothing to worry about.” Well, unfortunately, in this case you are incorrect. If you are already pregnant and without maternity insurance, you likely have plenty to worry about when it comes to covering costs related to your pregnancy, labor, and delivery. One more headache that can be added to this list is waiting periods, a popular feature on Maternity Insurance plans.

 

Do you need maternity insurance in Singapore?

The answer to the question posed can be answered differently based on your legal status in Singapore. Just look at the perks you have access to as a Singaporean citizen:

  • Benefits for assisted conception.
  • Use of Medisave funds at subsidized public healthcare facilities.
  • Medisave Maternity Package: Allows for funds to be used on normal deliveries up to $2,550 and C-sections up to $4,400 in either public or private hospitals.
  • Medisave Grant for Newborns: A $4,000 grant that provides infants with funds for medical expenses from birth.
  • Medishield Life insurance: Coverage for major illnesses for infants from birth.

However, despite all of the attractive programs above, expatriates in Singapore will not have access to various schemes and programs that are available to Singapore natives (and, to an extent, to Singapore PRs). Due to this, new expats in Singapore who will become parents are likely going to want to obtain their own private maternity insurance to cover both mother and child. This is because, if there are complications with labor, delivery, or post-natal care, the costs could easily soar into the tens of thousands of dollars and put a serious strain on finances.

 

Maternity waiting periods

Whatever type of insurance you may buy, waiting periods are a feature common to them. Waiting periods are a mechanism put in place by insurance companies to prevent the abuse of certain types of coverages. With a waiting period, a pre-determined amount of time must pass before benefits will be paid on claims. Virtually all maternity insurance policies will feature waiting periods.

So, as an expat in Singapore, there is a great chance that you will want to have your own private Maternity Insurance plan well before the conception of your new baby – either as a standalone policy or as a rider added to an existing health insurance policy – in order to avoid waiting periods. 

“How long are waiting periods on maternity plans,” you ask?  Well, they’re not something you can just pop off and get a month or two before you are due. In fact, you will likely want to have a plan in place months before the conception of your child. This is because Maternity Plans are generally saddled with a waiting period of at least 10 months.

If you already have health insurance that includes maternity coverage, check your policy documentation for details on whether or not there is a waiting period, as well as if you have already passed it or not. For those that do not already have maternity coverage, it would be in your best interest to talk to a qualified and knowledgeable insurance professional soon, as you will no doubt not only want to have your labor and delivery covered, but also have coverage provided for pre-natal care throughout the course of your pregnancy too.

 

Where to buy

Health insurance companies all over Singapore will have Maternity Insurance plans on offer. The real question to ask is, “Which one is right for me?” In order to simplify the process of obtaining Maternity Insurance, it is often a good idea to go to a source that can offer plans and pricing from a number of insurers.

Pacific Prime Singapore is an insurance broker in Singapore through which expats who need access to maternity coverage can obtain answers to all of their questions. Not only can Pacific Prime Singapore analyze your current policy to make sure benefits are adequate, they can also provide you with plan information and comparisons from major insurers in Singapore, and even provide you with a free price quote. Contact them today for more information abot insurance for baby.

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