Heartland Boy doesn’t like to take chances in life. Generally, he sees himself as having quite a risk-averse personality. This is most evident from his stop-loss strategy when it comes to investments. Not long after finding out that Heartland Girl was pregnant, he swung into the thick of things by researching about insurance for pregnant woman. Having conducted extensive research online, here is his review of the best maternity insurance policies in Singapore. More importantly, he also explains why he bought maternity insurance for his pregnant wife.
What Is Maternity Insurance
Maternity Insurance is a term insurance that can be purchased during pregnancy. The premium is typically a one-off lump sum payment. Think of it like a travel insurance policy. You pay a one-time premium to cover for an event – travel (in this case, it is pregnancy). In Singapore, most of the maternity insurance comes in a bundle package- it is compulsory to acquire other types of insurance products together with the insurance plan. Examples would be AIA’s Mum2Baby, an investment-linked plan that comes with the AIA Baby Protector rider. This is extremely unpalatable to Heartland Boy as it forces him to consume products that he may not necessarily need at that juncture. Thankfully, NTUC and Great Eastern stand out amongst the competition as they provide standalone maternity insurance policies. And that is exactly what Heartland Boy needed. Indeed, he bought not one, but both policies as a sign of extreme risk aversion. Don’t judge as even this bewildered his financial advisor.
Compare NTUC Maternity 360 and Great Eastern Flexi Maternity
As the only local and private providers of standalone maternity insurance policies in Singapore, NTUC and Great Eastern would appeal to those looking for a simple, fuss-free plan offering protection for both mother and child. Here is how their respective policies compare.
|NTUC Maternity 360||GE Flexi Maternity Cover|
|Premium for 28-year old (not Heartland Girl’s age)||$763||$869|
|Protection For The Mum||Coverage||Amount||Coverage||Amount|
|Duration||Can commence from the 13th week of pregnancy and ends at the end of 3rd policy year||Can commence from the 13th week of pregnancy and ends 30 days after childbirth|
|Pregnancy Complications||10 types||$10,000||8 types||$10,000|
|Death & TPD||TPD is excluded||$10,000||Only due to pregnancy complications listed||$10,000|
|Hospital Care Benefit||Due to 8 types of insured events listed requiring hospitalisation within 42 days after childbirth||1% of sum assured (=$100)/day, up to maximum of 30 days and capped at $3,000||Only due to pregnancy complications listed and requiring ICU/HDU stay||$200/day up to 30 days|
|Protection For The Child||Coverage||Amount||Coverage||Amount|
|Duration||Starts from birth until end of 3rd policy year||Starts from birth until end of 3rd policy year|
|Congenital Illnesses||23 types||$10,000||18 types||$10,000|
|Death||Death within 30 days after birth and live birth||$10,000||Only due to congenital illness listed||$10,000|
|Hospital Care Benefit||Only due to 7 insured events requiring ICU/HDU stay||1% of sum assured (=$100)/day, up to maximum of 30 days and capped at $3,000||Only due to congenital illness listed and 6 other insured events requiring ICU/HDU stay||$200/day up to 30 days|
|Others||Outpatient phototherapy treatment due to severe neonatal jaundice within 30 days from birth||1% of sum assured (=$100)/day, up to maximum of 10 days and capped at $1,000|
*Lower coverage for sum assured of $5,000 is also available
Do note that while the premium for GE’s Flexi Maternity Cover may be higher, there is a complimentary premium voucher worth $108 that can be used to offset the cost of a future GE policy purchased (such as an eligible plan under the GIB option- more on that below). Do note that this voucher must be used within 12 months of the issuance date of the GE Flexi Maternity Cover.
GE’s Flexi Maternity Cover is open to pregnant woman who is either a Singapore Citizen, Singapore Permanent Resident or a foreigner holding a valid Employment/Dependent pass.
Why Are Maternity Insurance Necessary?
1. Integrated Shield Plan Not All Encompassing
Even if the mothers-to-be have existing Integrated Shield Plans, not all pregnancy complications will be covered. In such cases, hospital expenses for uncovered pregnancy complications will not be eligible for reimbursement. Therefore, purchasing a maternity insurance extends the width of coverage to provide greater assurance for the family.
2. Subsidise Against Preterm Deliveries
According to World Health Organisation, rate of preterm birth ranges from 5% -18% of babies born across 184 countries. In such instances, the baby is considered premature and at risk of some health problems.
Depending on the situation, the gynaecologist may recommend that the newborn be warded in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) for observation and treatment. This will be additional expense added to the cost of delivery. Beyond the dollars and sense, preterm deliveries can also cause undue parental stress. During such emotional situations, the hospital cash benefits will come in handy and help to offset the hospital bills.
3. Guaranteed Insurability For The Newborn
Private insurers commonly exclude certain pre-existing medical conditions to ensure that their insurance schemes remain sustainable. In the case of newborns with congenital anomalies, some insurers may choose to have a waiting period or decline coverage completely. As a result, they become “un-insurable”. This can be mitigated by exercising the “options” provided by maternity insurance policies.
For example, GE Flexi Maternity Cover provides Guaranteed Insurability Benefit for the newborn and/or mum provided that this option is exercised within 90 days of the child’s birth. GE provides parents the option to purchase an eligible Whole Life, Investment-Linked or Endowment Plan that provides cover for Death, Total Permanent Disability, Terminal Illness or Critical Illness for a sum assured up to S$150,000 without the need for medical underwriting.
The NTUC Maternity 360 offers a similar valuable option which expires in 60 days although a simple underwriting is required for the child. This simple underwriting consists of a declaration by the policy holder that the insured does not have Critical Illness, Total Permanent Disability or any of the congenital conditions listed in its Maternity 360.
4. Early Coverage During The Pregnancy
NTUC’s Maternity 360 and Great Eastern’s Flexi Maternity Care are suitable for woman who are already pregnant. As long as they are more than 13 weeks into their pregnancy, coverage is effective immediately once the policies are incepted. There is no waiting period save for the time it takes to administer your acceptance. In fact, once Heartland Girl entered her second trimester, her insurance agents are already on hand with the documents for her to sign.
Intangible Benefit Of Maternity Insurance
Even though the premiums are not cheap, having maternity insurance for pregnant woman simply provides greater peace of mind. The premiums are high relative to the sum assured but peace of mind could be invaluable when you are a nervous first time parent-to-be such as Heartland Boy. He hopes that he never have to experience the claim process and only wish for both mother and baby to be safe and healthy. Post pregnancy, his daughter was hospitalised on Day 9 for high fever. Read more about his traumatic experience and whether maternity insurance came in handy.[Here is a related article on the tax savings that working parents may be eligible for. First-time parents should be excited at the slew of tax benefits waiting for you!]