The six questions every mum-to-be needs to ask.

health insurance for pregnancy

It’s been a while between babies for me.

That is to say, between my baby who is now 12, and my future babies, which my husband and I dearly want to have. When my next pregnancy does finally roll around, there’ll be a lot I’ll do differently. I learned the hard way during pregnancy #1 that all this baby-creating business costs a bomb, for example. So next time, I’ll be investing in health insurance. Specifically, health insurance for pregnancy.

I’ve done my research on this, and here’s what I’ve found are the six important questions to ask when it comes to health insurance and pregnancy.

1. Do I even need private health insurance, anyway?

If you want to choose your own obstetrician or midwife, or choose a hospital location, plus increase your likelihood of a private room, then basically – do it.

Some private health insurance funds will also offer extras cover (sometimes included as part of a package) that goes beyond cover for your pregnancy in hospital, and provides access to childbirth and parenting education classes, as well as additional support after your baby is born to help with things like breastfeeding.

(Bupa’s Growing Family hospital and extras package has been designed to meet the needs of families planning to add to their brood, so that’s what I’ll be investing in).

health insurance for pregnancy
“If you stay at Members First hospitals, Bupa members can also benefit from a private room or money back guarantee, a daily newspaper and free-to-air TV at no additional cost.”

 Just as an FYI, you should know that this is an advertorial for Bupa.

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If you stay at Members First hospitals, Bupa members can also benefit from a private room or money back guarantee, a daily newspaper and free-to-air TV at no additional cost.

With the all the demands of the early days after birth, these kinds of extra supports are likely to make a big difference to your experience.

2. When should I get cover for pregnancy?

Bet you’ve never heard of this: you need to allow for a 12-month waiting period from the time you join or upgrade your health insurance before you can claim on hospital and medical costs for childbirth.

So if you’d like to have your baby as a private patient, and avoid the risk of large out-of-pocket expenses, it’s best to investigate your insurance cover options well before conception.

Got it?

health insurance for pregnancy
“Reading fine print might sound like a drag, but it’s always worth looking into the details of health insurance policies”

3. What kind of health insurance do I need?

Reading fine print might sound like a drag, but it’s always worth looking into the details of health insurance policies.

That’s because some lower-cost policies may only cover minimum benefits for ‘obstetrics’ (that’s pregnancy to you and me), or may only cover you as a private patient in a public hospital.

It’s also important to factor in what your policy covers you for once your baby is born, in case they require immediate hospital care.

Most singles policies won’t cover your baby, so shop around for a family package.

4. What happens if there are complications?

Obviously you never want to plan for the worst — but it’s important to realise that not all private hospitals have emergency departments, adult intensive care units or neonatal intensive care units. So in the unlikely event of needing intensive care, you and your baby may have to be transferred to a public hospital.

health insurance for pregnancy
“There’s something so special and exciting about the thought of planning to have a baby with my husband, as it’s something I didn’t get to experience the first time around.”

5. Where will my partner stay?

There’s something so special and exciting about the thought of planning to have a baby with my husband, as it’s something I didn’t get to experience the first time around.

So it’s really important to me that I have my husband with me not only during the birth but also in those precious days with our brand new baby.

I’ve discovered that depending upon what cover you choose, you’re more likely to get a private room where a partner or family member may be able to stay overnight with you. Some private hospitals are able to arrange accommodation in a nearby hotel for you and your partner after your baby’s arrival as a part of your overall delivery stay, as long as your doctor considers it medically appropriate.

Sounds good to me.

6. What will it cost me?

Like many people, I assumed that private health insurance would cover the majority of costs associated with having a baby. But I’ve learnt that health insurance only covers inpatient services – so, costs incurred while you’re admitted to a hospital.

Outpatient costs, including GP visits, midwife or obstetrician check-ups and some tests and scans, can only be claimed through Medicare, where Medicare benefits apply and you have to cover the gap. There are lots of great sources of information out there to help clarify things about the health system when it comes to childbirth.

A good place to start is Bupa Beginnings,  a free and interactive guide with lots of helpful information, and you don’t need to be a Bupa member to use it. Visit bupa.com.au/bupabeginnings.

 

What is your biggest query when it comes to health insurance?

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bupa logoWhether you’re adding to the family or your kids are growing up, Bupa has a family package to suit. Depending on what cover option you choose, you’ll have access to antenatal and postnatal services, you won’t have to pay hospital excess for kids until they’re 25, you’ll be 100% covered for selected optical packages and if you are ever admitted to hospital you’ll get a private room (or money back guarantee).

Thinking of switching to Bupa from another insurer? The good news is that you won’t have to re-serve waiting periods if you switch to an equivalent or lower level of cover. Talk to a Bupa consultant today on 134 135.

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