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The Importance of Maternity Insurance Before Planning to Start a Family

STARTING a family requires a lot of planning on different levels, including emotional, financial, and physical. While emotional and physical strength can be built with time, one cannot leave the financial aspect for later. Embracing parenthood is also synonymous with embracing responsibilities, so preparing for it well ahead of time is crucial. If you're planning for a child after a few years, now is the best time to invest in a maternity cover because you'll have to pass the waiting period (which is generally 2 to 3 years) before you can avail of its benefits.

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For those who aren't aware, maternity health insurance is an add-on that can be purchased with family floater plans or individual health insurance. It covers the policyholder against maternity expenses arising during delivery. Since maternity-related costs are rising rapidly with time, having this insurance gives parents much-needed peace of mind. But it isn't the only reason people opt for maternity insurance before starting a family. If you're having double thoughts on investing in maternity insurance, the following points can help you make a better, informed decision.

1. Build a Financial Backbone with its Many Features

Whether you're heading for normal delivery or C-section delivery, it will cost you a lot of money. Parents that did not plan in advance are often the worst hit in this case. But if you're covered under maternity insurance, things can be different.

Maternity insurance acts as a safety net with its various offered features. It covers the policyholder for delivery and labor expenses, C-sections, medically necessary terminations, infertility treatment, hospital and room rent, pregnancy complications, and more.

2. Delivering at Private Hospitals is No Longer Draining

While deliveries in government hospitals are mostly free, the same is not the case with private hospitals, especially the ones in urban locations. If you're going ahead with normal vaginal birth, it may cost you anywhere from Rs.15,000 to Rs.75,000. On the other hand, C-section delivery can cost you anywhere from Rs.25,000 to Rs.2,00,000. The cost will always vary significantly, depending on the private hospital's reputation, location, and amenities. If you have maternity insurance, you can claim this amount from the insurer.

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3. Get the Baby Covered from Day 1

Most standard family health insurance policies or individual health insurance policies don't cover newborns until they are 90 days old. But maternity insurance ensures your newborn gets covered from day one. So, if there are any complications after birth, the policyholder can rely on maternity coverage to cover the expenses. The vaccination expenses are also covered under this insurance policy.

4. Prepare Yourself for any Complications

Not all maternity cases are alike, and one can witness complications like premature childbirth. If a child is delivered before the expected delivery date, the newborn will be kept in an incubator for at least 20 days. The expense for every single day in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can be on the higher side for many parents. Such situations contribute nothing but stress while draining much of the parents' savings.

If you don't want yourself entangled in such situations, investing in maternity insurance at the earliest can help. This insurance can compensate a significant portion for expenses arising from childbirth complications, ensuring safety for the newborn and peace of mind for the parents.

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5. Least Risk of Premium Loading

Many working professionals who prefer to get married in their 30s and plan for a child a few years later should start creating a maternity fund early. Although completing the waiting period at the right time is one reason behind it, paying a comparatively lower premium is another. Younger adults in their 20s will have to pay a relatively lower premium outflow compared to their older counterparts in their 30s and beyond. After compounding over a period, this differential amount can be reinvested into building substantial family assets.

If you're willing to invest in maternity insurance but are unsure of the approximate premium you'll have to pay, you can take the help of a medical insurance premium calculator. Once you fill in the accurate details required by the calculator, you will get a near accurate premium figure that can be used to help you pick the ideal maternity insurance from the right insurer.

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What's Not Covered Under Maternity Insurance?

Before you invest in maternity insurance, you should be clear about the things that are not included in the coverage. Although the exclusions may vary from one insurer to another, there are some standard exclusions that you need to be aware of. It will help you set clear expectations from day one.

For example, pre and post-natal expenses are not covered, unless they lead to hospitalization. Expenses arising from harvesting and storing stem cells are also not covered. However, we'd suggest visiting the respective insurer's website and going through the exclusions explicitly mentioned there for better clarity.

Start a Family without Financial Strain

Starting a family is beautiful, but many people tend to stay on the back foot because of the associated expenses. Maternity expenses are not cheap in India, and one can expect these costs to rise with time. If you want to enjoy the joyful maternity phase without worrying about the associated expenses, you should invest in good maternity insurance. It will act as a cushion against significant maternity-related expenses, ensuring the parents don't drain their savings.

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