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Starting a family? What you need to know about pregnancy cover
Posted 5 February 2019
Thinking about starting a family? While becoming a parent for the first time can bring plenty of joy and excitement, it often also comes with a range of challenges, adjustments and expenses.
As one of the most significant transitions you’ll go through in your lifetime, it’s worthwhile investing a little forethought to your pregnancy health cover now so you know you’ll be covered when you do start trying for a baby.
Whether the prospect of starting a family is top-of-mind, or you’re merely considering it as something you may want a little further down the track, here are a few things you need to know about pregnancy cover so you know what to expect before you’re expecting.
Sign up sooner rather than later
If you’re planning to start a family and don’t already have private health insurance which includes cover for pregnancy and birth related services, the sooner you sign up for it the better.
When you take out private health insurance with maternity cover, you’ll need to serve a 12 month waiting period before you can claim on any pregnancy and birth related services, meaning you’ll need to sign up at least four months before you start trying for a baby to ensure you’ll be covered.
Many couples simply assume they’ll be able to take out maternity cover once they’re pregnant, without realising that by then it will be too late and they’ll be left with no other option than to have their baby in a public hospital or cover the full cost of having their baby in a private hospital themselves.
The benefits of signing up for pregnancy cover also extend beyond the birth of your baby—while in an ideal world you wouldn’t have any difficulty falling pregnant once you start trying, that’s not the case for many couples. In fact, it’s reported that one in 25 Australian babies are now born via IVF, so the likelihood of needing assisted reproductive services may be higher than you think.
If you do happen to find yourself in that situation, provided you took out maternity cover including assisted reproduction services early, you’ll be able to start investigating alternative options like IVF sooner and can claim once you have served your 12 month waiting period.
Know what your cover includes
It’s also important to understand what your options are and what your cover includes—starting with where you plan to have your baby.
The decision to have your baby in either a public or private hospital will depend on a range of factors, however, if you want the flexibility to select where you have your baby, to choose your Obstetrician and to stay in a private room while in hospital, you’ll need private health insurance with maternity cover.
When selecting a policy, make sure you check what’s included as some policies (such as ‘restricted cover’ policies) may only cover you to be treated as a private patient in a public hospital.
Provided you take out an appropriate level of cover (like our Gold Hospital), we’ll cover the cost of giving birth in a private hospital, as well as your accommodation for the duration of your stay. You’ll also be able to access our Newborn Support Program which provides a range of additional support, advice and benefits to assist you to care for your new baby.
What many people don’t realise is that your health insurance won’t cover other costs associated with the birth of your baby, such as any gaps charged by your Obstetrician (including any antenatal appointments and labour/birthing fees), ultrasounds, prenatal screening or diagnostic testing, so you’ll need to factor these expenses into your planning.
Update your cover when baby arrives
Once your baby arrives, you’ll also need to upgrade your singles or couples’ health insurance policy to a family policy to ensure your newest arrival is covered. Just make sure you do this within 60 days after their birth, to make sure your baby is covered in the case they experience any health issues at birth and need to be admitted to the special care nursery for specialist treatment.
This is also particularly important if you’re having a multiple birth/twins—while the first-born child will be classified as your ‘boarder’ and not as an admitted patient, any additional babies will be considered as an admitted patient and will need to be covered under your family policy.
We've got you covered
At Health Partners, we’ve helped thousands of couples through the transition to parenthood so we know what they value most from their health insurance—that’s why we’ve specially designed our Gold Hospital cover to provide couples who are thinking about starting a family with affordable, comprehensive health cover including maternity benefits with an excess to keep premiums down.
It only takes 30 seconds to complete a quick quote and find out how much it will cost to cover yourself for pregnancy, so get started now so you’re prepared for when you do find out you’re expecting!