Won’t Medicare cover me for pregnancy?
Yes, Medicare will cover some aspects of your pregnancy if you don’t have private health insurance.
- Some of your antenatal care costs are partially covered such as GP consults, obstetrician visits, blood tests, ultrasounds, and other specialised tests.
- A partial payment of in-hospital costs including baby delivery and anaesthetic fees.
- Some of your postnatal care costs are partially covered such as postnatal health visits and paediatric check-ups.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a Newborn Upfront Payment or Parental Leave Payment from Medicare. This can increase your family tax benefit and help provide financial assistance for up to 18 weeks when you’re off work to care for your new baby.
Will ultrasounds be covered under private health insurance?
Private health insurance in conjunction with Medicare pays for a large portion of your in-hospital treatment. If your policy has a no-gap scheme, you’ll be insured with no out-of-pocket expenses.
Private health insurance, however, doesn’t cover the costs of services and treatments required outside of the hospital setting. These outpatient services include diagnostic testing including ultrasounds, X-rays, and pathology, and specialist consultations. If these services are covered by Medicare, they can generally be bulk-billed by the provider.
Will fertility treatments be covered?
Two fertility treatments that are commonly covered by private health funds include in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT). This is welcome news for many as assisted reproductive services can be expensive and usually several attempts are required to conceive, although there is no guarantee of success.
If offered by your health insurer, there is generally a 12-month waiting period for fertility treatments. It’s important to note that to be covered by these services you need to have a Medicare item number and require admission to the hospital.
We recommend you speak with your fund prior to considering these services to ensure you’re covered for as much of the costs as possible.
Will my baby be covered under the pregnancy insurance policy?
Obstetrics insurance is designed to provide you with private health cover during your pregnancy and birth of your child. Depending on your health fund and individual policy, your baby may not be covered when he or she is born.
That means if you’re on a singles or couples policy with pregnancy coverage, in most cases your baby won’t be protected. It’s worth considering switching to family cover before your baby is born.
It’s important to note, some funds will require you to upgrade to family cover at least a few months before the birth of your child. With this in mind, comparing policies as early as possible is recommended.