Are you welcoming a new member into your family soon? Having your first baby can be an extremely joyous moment but at the same time it can be financially overwhelming. In fact, the average total cost of 9 months of prenatal care can be over S$6,000 and delivery cost can range between S$8,000 to S$13,000. That doesn’t include miscellaneous costs like hosting a baby shower, setting up a nursery, and purchasing maternity clothing.
What’s more, there is always the possibility of encountering a complication which can easily escalate the cost of your pregnancy unless you’re financially prepared. This is where having the right pregnancy insurance could be a silver lining. While pregnancy insurance may not be as commonly known as health insurance or life insurance, it can surely provide comprehensive coverage to safeguard both the mother and infant against unexpected risks.
Why Buy Pregnancy Insurance?
One important reason to buy pregnancy insurance is to protect yourself against pregnancy complications and congenital diseases that can be fatal for both you and your newborn. It also ensures that the baby can get an insurance plan with the same insurer without a medical check-up, if the insurance is purchased within the first 90 days of birth. This is especially important if the child is born with health conditions that may make signing up for an insurance plan a lot more challenging in the coming years.
Some may think that MediShield and Integrated Shield Plans should suffice. However, these plans only cover basic pregnancy complications and do not protect against a number of conditions that may arise from maternity mishaps. More specifically, the complications that are covered by MediShield and Integrate Shield usually do not overlap with the ones covered by pregnancy insurance plans.
What Does Pregnancy Insurance Cover?
Typical pregnancy insurance should cover both mother and baby in the same insurance policy. Every insurer will have its own level of coverage but in general, the coverage should span from 13 weeks of pregnancy to the third year of the child's life. Here’s a basic guide of what you can expect from such policies.
Coverage For The Mother
Maternity insurance does not cover regular prenatal and postnatal check-ups, delivery or vaccinations. It is mainly to protect against a wide range of complications that could occur during the pregnancy. Such complications include Abruptio Placentae, Amniotic Fluid Embolism, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation, Fatty Liver of Pregnancy, HELLP Syndrome, Placenta Increta, Postpartum Haemorrhage requiring Hysterectomy, Pre-Eclampsia or Eclampsia, stillbirth, and uterine rupture. Pre-eclampsia is one of the most common complications affecting 1 in 10 pregnancies and one in five first pregnancies. Besides covering these complications, compensation for hospital care and total permanent disability are also sometimes included.
Coverage For The Baby
Newborns will receive coverage for 18 to 23 congenital illnesses and 5 to 7 illnesses under the hospital care benefit if the condition requires Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or High Dependency Unit (HDU) admission.
|Covered Congenital Illnesses|
|Covered Conditions Under Hospital Care Benefit|
In the event of pregnancy complications or congenital illnesses, a one-time payout will be granted after the condition is detected.
When Should You Buy Pregnancy Insurance?
Both mother and infant should be covered by maternity insurance as soon as a pregnancy is detected. If you are able to incur the cost of pregnancy insurance which usually ranges from S$300 to more than S$1,600, consider signing up earlier than later since complications can arise at any point during the pregnancy. It is always better to cover yourself early so you can benefit from the insurance sooner. Generally, you’ll be eligible to sign up for pregnancy insurance as early as the 13th week to as late as the 40th week of your pregnancy. In most cases, you’ll also need to be between 18 to 45 years old. Every insurer has their own criteria, so read the fine print to ensure that you are qualified.
What To Consider When Buying Pregnancy Insurance
Pregnancy insurance is not a must-have but it is a good precaution especially if you have concerns about complications due to existing health issues, genetic problems or if you're an older mother. If these factors are giving you a push to purchase pregnancy insurance, here are some tips to help you get the best coverage.
1. A Standalone Pregnancy Plan Or Insurance-Linked Pregnancy Plan
Do you need a standalone plan or one that is coupled with a life insurance component? These are the two types of pregnancy insurance plans that are available in Singapore, even though the latter seems to be more common. If you prefer standalone pregnancy insurance with more coverage, you can always consider adding on a maternity rider to make it more comprehensive for you and your baby.
2. Compare Pregnancy Insurance Plans From Different Insurers
When it comes to pregnancy insurance, there is no one-size fits all. Consider your options before signing up for the pregnancy insurance that is right for you. For instance, some insurers may offer coverage for more congenital illnesses while others may give additional benefits such as mental wellness and childbirth medical negligence protection. Additionally, some insurers may exclude (or charge extra) for In vitro fertilization (IVF) induced pregnancies.
3. Consider Your Age
As mentioned earlier, pregnancy insurance typically covers pregnant women between 18 to 45 years old. If you are older or younger, you’ll need to consult an insurance agent to clarify if the insurer will extend the offer to you. Also, if you’re an older mother conceiving in your 40s, you may want to consider higher pregnancy insurance coverage since such pregnancy can come with higher risks such as:
- One-in-100 chance of a down syndrome baby
- One-third odds of a miscarriage
- Two times the risk of stillbirth
To help you stay protected throughout your pregnancy, our research analysts have reviewed dozens of data points across all the pregnancy insurance plans in Singapore. View our top picks for the best maternity insurance plans and learn how to identify which plan will work best for your needs.