Health Insurance

Prenatal or Maternity Insurance Plans in Singapore: Are They Worth Buying?

prenatal insurance maternity insurance

Lynnette Goh

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As new parents, having your first child is like taking a bungee jump. You’re excited to experience this whole new stage of life, yet you’re tremendously afraid something might go wrong, even before they come out into the world! It’s clear insurance companies recognise the plight parents go through, with new prenatal insurance plans catering to pregnant mothers popping out (pun intended) in recent years.

Since they’re still a new concept, are these prenatal insurance plans really good for securing comprehensive coverage for your child?

 

What is prenatal or maternity insurance?

A prenatal insurance plan is a term insurance that provides you with a financial cushion in the event you suffer any complications during your pregnancy. You’re also covered if your baby suffers from a congenital disorder.

Depending on the policy you choose, it may also include hospital care benefits. For example, you can get an allowance during your hospital stay.

Maternity insurance plans therefore complement regular medical insurance plans.

 

What maternity insurance covers 

Pregnancy complications

Pays out a lump sum of money and/or hospital benefits if a pregnancy complication occurs. Depending on insurer, different pregnancy complications may be covered. But they usually include these standard 8:

Stillbirth Amniotic Fluid Embolism
Pre-Eclampsia/ Eclampsia Fatty Liver of Pregnancy
Abruptio Placentae Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation
Placenta Increta/Percreta Postpartum Haemorrhage requiring Hysterectomy

Your newborn

Medical reimbursement or lump sums if your baby is born with any of the following standard 18 congenital illnesses:

Anal Atresia Transposition of Great Vessel Cleft Palate/ Cleft Lip
Congenital Cataract Truncus Arteriosus Cerebral Palsy
Congenital deafness Atrial Septal Defect Clubfoot
Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Ventricular Septal Defect Congenital dislocation of hip
Infantile Hydrocephalus Spina Bifida Retinopathy of Prematurity
Tetralogy Fallot Absence of two limbs Down’s Syndrome

Otherwise, some insurers provide options to convert to a life insurance plan upon birth, which could be cashed out later in your child’s life.

 

What maternity insurance does not cover

Regular pregnancy bills

Your normal pregnancy bills will not be reimbursed if you got pregnant. The only time this will happen is if you got an international health insurance plan way before you got pregnant. But these usually come with much higher premiums.

 

When should I purchase a prenatal insurance plan?

To purchase a prenatal insurance plan, you’ll need to be:

  1. Between the legal and possible ages of childbearing (18-45 years old)
  2. For obvious reasons, an expectant mother of a minimum of 16 weeks (depending on insurer)

 

Is prenatal insurance worth it?

To answer this question, we should first look at these factors:

Risk

Most people wouldn’t think of prenatal insurance as a necessity, since a pregnancy only lasts 9 months, most deliveries go smoothly, and they do not believe in converting their plans to an investment-linked life policy after it ends.

In ICA’s Birth & Death Statistics, numbers of neonatal deaths have been increasing. In 2016, 57 babies had neonatal deaths, while 124 babies had perinatal deaths. Which means out of all the babies delivered last year, 57 died within 28 days after birth.

Cost

Most prenatal plans are priced at a one-time premium of $300-700, depending on your choice of insurer and coverage plan.

Payout

If a pregnancy complication/congenital illness or death happens, you’ll get a one-time payout of around $5,000 (for basic plans) and/or medical reimbursement for your baby’s hospital bills.

If your pregnancy is smooth sailing, there will not be any cash outs or returns. And you can choose to either:

1) Terminate the plan (And consider your one-time premium as good money spent for a protection product). Or,

2) Continue the plan by converting it to an investment linked policy/ whole life insurance plan for your child. Since you bought the plan before your child was even born, he/she will get to enjoy the healthiest premium rates and coverage from day one.

 

Conclusion

If you don’t have $300-$700 to spare and you’re already struggling to make ends meet, nothing is ever worth the additional spending unless you terribly need it. In which case, you don’t.

However, if you have the spare budget for it after factoring in all other expenses, buying a protection like this can be pivotal if anything happens. We’ll go back to the rule of insurance – you never know what’s going to happen in the future.

Are rates of pregnancy complications and congenital illnesses low in Singapore? Sure. They might be increasing but they’re still low.

Is there still a risk your pregnancy might be one of the suay 54 or 124 cases in Singapore? Yes.

Regardless, maternity insurance plans are still a great idea to giving yourself that additional security during the unpredictable pregnancy period if you can afford them. It’s always better to be covered so you wouldn’t regret the high medical costs in the event anything happens.

Do you think prenatal plans are worth their premiums? Comment and let us know!

 

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Lynnette Goh

Spoilt kid turned free-spirit, I’ve struggled finding and funding myself taking a road less travelled. These days, I enjoy writing lifestyle topics that bring value to life and its future, injecting humour to otherwise boring topics. Who said personal finance can’t be fun? In my free time, you can find me chasing American dramas, and having the occasional glass of wine over conversations with friends.