Expat Maternity Insurance
You also need to consider maternity insurance as part of your policy. Are you planning to start a family or add to your existing family? If you are then you need to be able to plan medical care accordingly. Maternity cover as part of your policy can save you a great deal of money.
It is actually very expensive to have a baby. When you take into consideration the regular visits to your doctor, the cost of delivery, pre-natal care and post-natal care, the costs can be rising all the time. You also need to factor in possible costs if there are unforeseen complications. Bills can run to thousands of US dollars. The majority of pregnancies have no complications but it is very important that you have the right protection just in case.
Degrees of Maternity Insurance
A number of international healthcare policies will have maternity care as a standard section on the plan but they vary in cover. Some will only offer a certain level of cover and anything over that amount you cannot claim for. If this is your policy you will need to consider a separate policy which will cover more requirements during your pregnancy. You will have to pay the hospital or clinic yourself but can then claim the costs back through this policy. You can also purchase an individual policy that will cover all hospital fees, care before and after the birth, the cost of a midwife, care of the new-born baby and some will even offer healthcare for the first month of the baby’s life.
Maternity Insurance Waiting Periods
Waiting periods are an important aspect of maternity cover on an international healthcare policy. Most insurance have a minimum waiting period before they will pay out any maternity-related costs, so it may be that if you are planning to add to your family then you need to wait a minimum of 10 months before you are able to do this on your existing policy. Some require a 12 month wait. You can pay higher premiums if you want to begin claiming on this earlier. If this is a major part of your plans then you need to figure out how it is going to work for you.
There are two ways in which a waiting period can be applied to your plan. This could be from the start of the plan so if you do become pregnant during the waiting period, you will be responsible for any costs incurred until the end of the waiting period. The other option is a waiting period that runs until the conception, so if you become pregnant during the waiting period you will have to cover all the pregnancy healthcare costs, even if the waiting period comes to an end while you are pregnant. Make sure you are fully aware of which type of maternity cover is applied to your plan.
Extent of Coverage
You also need to take into consideration the extent of maternity cover that you get on your policy. This refers to how much you are able to claim for hospital quality and facilities for both pre-natal and post-natal care. You need to be sure that the policy you have is one that you are going to be comfortable with and one that will offer you the range of care that you need. You need to check if your policy is one that requires that you cover the costs and then claim them back later. This is often because many people will change services part-way through the pregnancy. The insurance company can often have problems if you want to upgrade services or just change facilities in the middle of treatment. Paying yourself and claiming costs back later is now standard practice.
What if you are already pregnant?
The bad news is that if you are already pregnant then you are going to find it difficult to get any medical coverage for the actual birth. We are not aware of any medical insurance company that will offer any coverage for delivery. However, you may be able to get some coverage for other aspects of pregnancy healthcare, so you may be able to get, for example, a policy that will offer cover for any complications that might occur.
You should also be aware that new-born cover is usually a separate policy. This will cover your new baby if there is any injury or illness for the first few days after birth. For anyone who is already pregnant it is important to look at the various options available, even if coverage is only limited. It is far better than not being covered at all by a policy.
A medical insurance policy is important for your pregnancy and you need to make sure that you plan carefully. Pre and post natal coverage is important and it can offer you peace of mind when you need it most. Speak to one of our advisors and we will be happy to explain your options to you. You can also get a free, no-obligation quotation by completing our quote form online.