Planning a family is a pivotal moment in any couple's life, and one that requires serious forethought.
Among the factors you should be considering is how private health insurance can help the mother through pregnancy and beyond. In this article, we'll explore the role that a good plan can play in covering the costs of medical care, allowing you choice over your obstetrician and making life easier as the due date gets closer.
1. Pregnancy and child birth cover
If you're thinking of starting a family in the near future, it's crucial that you choose your health insurance plan with this in mind, and tailor it accordingly. As of April 1, 2019, health funds categorise their products according to gradations ranging from 'Basic' to 'Gold', and it's worth noting that it's usually only the 'Gold' policies that will cover childbirth.
The out of pocket costs of public system pregnancy care and childbirth can be anywhere up to $1,500 for those with a Medicare card, and much more for those without, according to Birth Choices. Alternatively, if you wanted to give birth in a private hospital, with private health insurance the costs can generally be anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000 (BellyBelly) or higher. Therefore, making the right choices can amount to significant savings when it comes time to give birth.
Usually only 'Gold' insurance policies will include coverage for childbirth.
It's also vital that you don't leave getting insured until the last minute. When it comes to childbirth, all insurers have a 12-month waiting period – if your baby is born within that time, you won't be covered, and no fund will have options to waive this condition.
2. Choosing your obstetrician
The out of pocket costs of seeing your obstetrician can add up over the course of your pregnancy. Indeed, an obstetrician can charge a pregnancy management fee which is generally in the range of $2,000 to $5,000 (BellyBelly). If you're paying these amounts, you should be completely confident in the person treating you, and this is another advantage of private health insurance. If, for any reason, you want to change doctor, you can – it's as simple as that, and you will remain covered throughout.
Importantly, before you begin treatment, make sure you receive a quote from your obstetrician for any out of pocket expenses you're going to incur. This is known as "informed financial consent", and will help ensure you're not hit with any unexpected costs later on.
3. Comfort and convenience
As you progress through pregnancy, comfort and convenience become increasingly important. Private health insurance has a number of key benefits that will make your life easier:
- Continuity of treatment – The same doctor will treat you throughout your pregnancy, allowing them to gain a comprehensive understanding of your needs.
- Local hospital – With private health insurance, you'll be able to choose your local and most convenient private hospital for appointments and childbirth.
- Private rooms – Both parents will benefit from the intimacy of a private room, away from the disturbances of the hospital around you.
Hopefully this article has demonstrated the importance of having private health insurance when planning a family. To take the next step, get in touch with the team at HICA today. We have access to a range of policies that offer competitive coverage for pregnancy and child birth, and can help you find one that suits your needs as you embark upon this exciting journey.