Maternity care and childbirth services provided before and after your child is born are essential health benefits. For this reason, it is important to understand the fine print in your health insurance cover, especially if you are planning to have a baby. Here are a few things to look out for while you plan for this blessing.
- From wedding carriage to baby carriage.
First off, once you get married; if your employer allows you to add your spouse to your health cover, then you need to do so immediately. Marriage is a qualifying life-event that allows you to make changes to your employer’s health insurance plan.
- Know your waiting period.
As a mum-to-be, it is advisable to check your private health insurance cover at least a year ahead to avoid being caught short with potential waiting periods. Often, parents make the mistake of thinking they can take out pregnancy cover any time before the baby is due. The fact is, they need to get covered at least 12 months ahead of the birth. This is because there is a 10-12 month waiting period on maternity benefits. We encourage parents to call their insurance provider to ensure they are aware and are covered by the date of the delivery.
- NHIF benefits your cover.
Keeping that in mind, it is also important to note that the insurance will pay your bill less what NHIF should pay. This, therefore, translates to ensuring that your NHIF contributions are in order, otherwise you may have to top up what is left and that could really dampen the mood that a newborn brings to the environment.
- Natural or C-section, make a plan for both.
Having a natural birth is admittedly more affordable and most mums hope for this outcome. But there still is a chance that you might fall under the percentage that needs an emergency Cesaerian Section performed on them. It is therefore important to find out how much the procedure costs in your preferred hospital, what your policy states in this eventuality and most importantly how much will be covered.
- Track your cover limits.
Finally, while at the hospital, keep tabs on the medical bills. This is just to ensure that you do not exhaust your cover before and during childbirth. This way if you happen to require any specialized care afterwards, you won’t have to dig deep into your pockets.
PS: Once your little bundle of joy arrives, ensure to sign them up for family cover so that they are insured in case of any health service requirements since based on the type of fund, dependents tend to be covered up until they become working adults.