Giving birth overseas is a big decision and whether you are planning a child or not, if there is a chance you could fall pregnant you should arrange maternity cover. Expat Insurance News catches up with Natalie Drummond, Private Client Advisor at Expat Insurance to discuss Maternity insurance for expats living in Singapore.
Question: Can I get Maternity insurance for myself and my unborn child once I fall pregnant?
Natalie: Unlike in your home country, you can be charged a lot for maternity care overseas, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars. We are often contacted by expats who are already pregnant, at which point it is too late to get cover for your delivery, but we do have solutions for your new born. The best course of action is to purchase a comprehensive plan, or an international health insurance plan which offers maternity cover well before falling pregnant. Plans can differ greatly so it’s important to understand what level of cover you need.
Question: Is pregnancy by assisted means such as IVF and IUI covered by Maternity insurance in Singapore?
Natalie: Assisted conception not only means IVF and IUI but any vaccination or medication that induces ovulation. Most insurers in Singapore will exclude new born cover for babies born via assisted means for the first 90 days, but we can discuss the options. This means that you are at financial risk for the first 90 days of your baby’s life if baby is born prematurely or is in need of medical care in this period. Insurers may also cap any cover for complications to mum, if the pregnancy is as a result of assisted conception.
Question: How much will my pregnancy, delivery and post-natal care cost in Singapore?
Natalie: Singapore is among the most expensive places to give birth overseas without insurance. According to the Singapore Ministry of Health, giving birth in Singapore and staying in a ward for three days can cost between SGD$4,000 and SGD$12,000.
For a C-section, you might expect to pay SGD$20,000 – Bills for a complicated pregnancy or pre-mature birth can reach upwards of $20,000 to $200,000. Typically, treatment for complications of pregnancy is included in your main health insurance policy. As coverage varies widely across products, we ensure you understand how your coverage will respond should you experience complications during the course of your pregnancy.
You could encounter costs at any stage of the pregnancy; from pre-natal care to aftercare for yourself and your baby. This is why it is vital that you buy an international medical insurance plan that includes the costs of maternity and childbirth, if there is any chance you could become pregnant while living overseas.
Question: What factors should I consider when purchasing my Maternity insurance?
Natalie: The five key factors to consider when purchasing Maternity cover are;
Waiting periods – This is the length of time you must wait between purchasing your policy and making a claim. For pregnancy cover this is usually 12 months, but can be as long as 24 months.
Plan limits – Some maternity plans have a limit on the level of cover they provide. For example some plans may only pay part of the procedure, leaving you to pay the rest of the costs.
Complications – Complications during childbirth can seriously increase the cost of care. You should establish whether your plan covers complications.
Co-insurance – This means that the cost for any treatment is shared between yourself and your insurer. For example you could pay 10 percent of any charges while your insurer pays 90 percent of them. This is a good way to lower your premiums providing you are willing to pay towards the cost of care.
Fertility treatment – is it covered and what effect will this have on other benefits?
Whether you are living abroad and there is a chance you could become pregnant, or you are already pregnant and wondering how to cover your new born from birth; contact the expert team of international medical insurance advisors at Expat Insurance who are there to guide you through your options.
Expat Insurance, ABF Insurance Asia Awards 2016 Domestic Broker of the Year is a fully independent broker and their service is 100 percent free. They provide professional insurance advice on a complete portfolio of products for Individuals and Companies including: Medical and Health Insurance, Home and Contents Insurance, Travel Insurance, Motor, Personal Liability Protection, Corporate Employee Benefits Programmes and Business Insurance.
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Testimonial written by Ms. Brynie Bahar McBurney
“I have been a client of Expat Insurance for 3 years and in that time, not only did they spend so much effort finding the best health insurance policy for my expanding family – which is very crucial with the exorbitant medical costs that can be faced in Singapore! – but they continued to prove their commitment by addressing my needs throughout the relationship. Across the 3 years, I have had 2 births and Expat Insurance made the application and claiming process so much easier. This especially is important as a mum that needs to focus their attention on their family.
I didn’t have to spend any time speaking to the insurer directly – where there is a significant time difference – when there were questions or errors to address as Expat Insurance took full control. My Private Client Advisor certainly kept me sane on many occasions! I must say, I wouldn’t think to deal with anyone else.”
Expat Medical Insurance – Private Client – Maternity
Ms. Brynie Bahar McBurney
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Frequently Asked Questions About Maternity Insurance
Is it worth getting maternity insurance as an expat?
Yes it is! Take into account that high healthcare costs in Singapore. Having a comprehensive maternity insurance plan in place can thus ease the financial burden on your family. Should there be any complications during your pregnancy, you can have peace of mind and focus on recovery without worrying about the medical bills.
What is a maternity waiting period?
A waiting period refers to the amount of time that must pass before your maternity insurance policy can take effect for you to receive its benefits. As waiting periods are usually 12 or 13 months long, you will need to plan well in advance in order to claim your maternity expenses promptly when the time comes. As such, procuring the right maternity insurance in advance can help to cover the costs incurred from prenatal care and delivery.
If I’m planning on going back to my home country to have my baby, will maternity insurance cover me?
Some policies may cover this but it requires you to have the right policy in place. If you need advice on which policy best suits your needs and the level of benefits required to cover an overseas birth, speak to our team of advisors at Expat Insurance. To protect you and your newborn in your next stage of life, you will want to secure your maternity insurance as early as possible. With Expat Insurance, our team of advisors can assist you with your maternity insurance and combine it to your existing medical insurance policy. Get in touch with us today to find out more.