Having a great care plan for your pregnancy is very important to ensure that both you and your baby remain healthy until the baby’s birth. Thus, planning for pregnancy health covers should begin at least a year before. Most health insurance policies impose a 12-month waiting period before you could claim any pregnancy and birth benefits.
Pregnancy care needs you’d need insurance coverage for
You’d need a variety of services before, throughout, and after your pregnancy.
- Visits to obstetricians or gynecologists would likely start as soon as you start planning for a baby. You want to find a specialist you feel comfortable with who can support you and your partner throughout the entirety of the pregnancy.
- Some couples may need assisted reproductive services to get pregnant. These could include In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT).
- Ultrasounds and blood tests throughout the pregnancy are also common care needs for pregnant couples.
- Birthing classes could be of interest to many couples such as Lamaze class or yoga to relax your bodies while carrying your baby.
- Intrapartum care (during labour/birth) is a critical part of your care and will be delivered by a team of midwives or doctors and nurses. Some women may need to have a c-section. Hospital stays will also be required starting from before your labour starts and until you and your baby are healthy enough to return home.
- If using epidural during labour, there will be additional costs of administering that drug which can be covered by your health fund.
- Lactation consultation is popular with new mums who want to make breastfeeding easier for their newborn baby. It is a niche service which will likely only come at extra cost.
- Some mums receive post-birth care at home where midwives visit to ensure you are adjusting well and you feel comfortable with all the care requirements for your newborn baby as well as for yourself. In some scenarios, you and the baby may both need to be in intensive care due to any complications.
- Multiple births could incur additional costs depending on the health insurance provider.
- Premature birth or other complications could require medical services beyond what a pregnancy cover alone offers. Make sure that both you and your baby will be insured in these scenarios.
- Paediatrician consultation might also be needed after your child is born. This visit may not be covered if your child is not insured in advance.
In order to choose a doctor of your choice and access all the necessary and desired care services, you should get a private hospital cover and extras cover to set you up for the right pregnancy journey.
The private hospital covers could cover doctors visits, assisted reproductive services, intrapartum care, and some even post-birth care. The extra covers could include nice-to-have benefits such as birthing classes and lactation consultations. Private hospital covers often do not include out-of-hospital tests such as ultrasounds and blood tests which can actually be accessed through Medicare.
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Your family’s medical needs after the birth of your newborn
If you are on a couples or individual health plan, you’d also want to make sure that your baby can have sufficient health insurance coverage before he/she is born. Adding a dependant and the benefits he/she may be entitled to depend on each provider so you should have a conversation with your provider early on when you start planning for a family.
For unexpected or rarer situations such as giving birth prematurely (where your baby will need to be in specialist care for a prolonged period of time) and having multiple births (i.e., twins or triplets), your out-of-pocket costs could be greater so be sure to go over how you’d be covered in these scenarios as you evaluate various health insurance providers.
Another option is to potentially upgrade to a family plan to ensure your baby will have access to all necessary medical needs without waiting periods or other limitations.