Plan for maternity insurance
3/8/2012 9:00 PM Thursday
Expectant mothers have enough uncertainty and stress without having to worry about incurring a substantial financial burden. Women remain at risk of complications throughout the duration of their pregnancy, and need to protect themselves from unexpected health issues and related expenses. While it is true that no prospective parent wants to consider the potential health risks when awaiting the birth of a child, they would also not want to be distracted by financial concerns should any additional care be necessary for the mother or infant. Here is where maternity insurance steps in.
Until a few years ago, maternity insurance was only included in group health policies purchased by companies for their key employees and their families. More recently, however, some insurers have started selling individual and family floater policies that reimburse maternity expenses as well. If you are one of those who are planning the addition of a little one to the family, you need to understand the nitty-gritties before you buy such an independent health policy. Here are some points that should not be ignored at any cost.
For starters, health insurance plans that include maternity coverage come with a pre-specified sub-limit. For example, for a total health cover of say, Rs 3 lakh, the maternity expenses that you will be eligible for will be a much lower sum. The typical insurance cover is Rs 15000-25000 for normal deliveries, and slightly higher for c-section deliveries at Rs 25000-50000. For higher value policies with a sum assured of over Rs 10 lakh, the maternity cover could even touch Rs 90000 to Rs 1 lakh.
The pregnancy-specific insurance amount is higher in group insurance. The average sub-limit in 2011 has been in the Rs 35000-40000 range for normal deliveries and Rs 45000-50000 for caesarean deliveries. While employers are increasingly looking at different sub-limits for normal and caesarean deliveries, some of them continue to have similar sub-limits for both procedures.
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