Why expat women in Asia shouldn’t wait until they are pregnant to put maternity cover in place
Written by Carl Turner on October 26, 2016.
If you are a career orientated expatriate woman living in Asia, chances are you think that maternity cover is surplus to requirements for you at present but it is something that you should consider even if babies are not on your radar right now. The problem is that trying to buy fully comprehensive maternity cover when you are already pregnant is like closing the barn door after the horse has bolted. You can’t do it.
That means that just because you’re not planning on getting pregnant right now doesn’t mean that you can dismiss maternity cover out of hand. Accidents do happen, when circumstances can change very quickly. That’s why if you are a woman and think that you might like to have children at some time in the future, now is the time to consider getting some cover.
Waiting until you have a child on the way can mean having to foot the bill for pregnancy and childbirth from your own pocket and that can be extremely expensive even if you sail through both, which often isn’t the case. With pre-natal scans and gynaecologist appointments to think of, costs can soon add up, and that’s before the baby decides to make an appearance.
Once you get into childbirth, the bills can spiral out of control. You will need to pay for an obstetrician, midwives, a hospital bed, drugs to ease the pain and possibly a caesarean section. A basic caesarean package in Singapore’s Gleneagles Hospital for example will set you back a cool US$13,000, not including post-natal care for mum and baby. If there are complications with the birth that sum could rise significantly.
There are a few points you need to consider before taking out maternity cover:
1. Waiting period
This is the amount of time an insurance company stipulates must pass between you taking out cover and getting pregnant and is the main reason for planning ahead. In most cases the waiting period is between 10 and 12 months but this can be more.
Pregnancy and childbirth is a messy business and often involves complications for the baby and/or mother. Babies can be born premature, need a stay in intensive care or suffer from hereditary or genetic disorders which could need specialist care. A mother may also experience complications related to labour and childbirth which need extra treatment. You need to check what is and isn’t covered on a policy and how payouts vary.
3. Limits on cover
Often insurers will impose a total maximum amount of cover after which you will be personally liable. Pregnancy and childbirth is an unpredictable business so go for the most comprehensive cover that you can afford.
4. Lowering premiums with co-insurance
If premiums are high some insurers offer the option of splitting the cost so that they pay a certain percentage and you pay the rest, for example a 90:10 split in your favour. Doing this could enable you to have better cover at a lower cost. A professional broker can talk you through the various options.
5. Fertility treatment
Young women worry so much about getting pregnant accidentally that they often don’t consider that they may need assistance to conceive even though many women do. Fertility treatment is phenomenally expensive so you might want to include this in your cover.
Forward planning is key for young, expat women in Asia who think they might like a family at some point in the future. For the peace of mind of knowing you have adequate cover in place well before you’re going for that first scan why not talk to us today about expat maternity cover?