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Waiting Period in Maternity Insurance

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What is Waiting Period

When starting a family, securing your financial future is perhaps the single most crucial commitment you need to make. Every expecting mother deserves special care, and having a good maternity insurance plan is the first step. A vital factor to consider in every health insurance policy is the waiting period. A waiting period in health insurance is defined as the time that must pass before one can avail of the full benefits of the coverage.

Is there a Maternity Insurance Plan with No Waiting Period?

With parenthood come many responsibilities, including financial planning, which is crucial at this stage. To access the best medical care, one should opt for adequate maternity cover, considering the high cost of maternity care in India. Opting for a health policy will ensure a safe pregnancy by covering a range of expenses such as delivery costs, pre and post-hospitalization medical costs, ambulance charges, and the new-born cover.

Unfortunately, there are no policies that offer health insurance with maternity coverage that has no waiting period. Usually, the waiting period ranges from nine months to six years when it comes to maternity insurance. Hence, it is crucial to strike a balance between your budget and the maximum period for which you can wait before it becomes necessary to claim the insured amount for pregnancy-related expenses..

TNow that we know it is impossible to get maternity insurance in India that has no waiting period. Hence, it means that planning much ahead for pregnancy is not only hugely beneficial but also necessary when signing up for a maternity policy.

Types of Waiting Period in Pregnancy Health Insurance

There are mainly four major types of waiting periods:

  • Maternity waiting period: Health insurance policies often provide basic coverage for the delivery of the child, and there are also certain policies that go the extra mile to cover additional hospital costs. The common theme, however, is the waiting period, which varies based on policy. It is also essential to keep in mind that it is difficult to get pregnancy health insurance with no waiting period. Thus, in all cases, it is always advisable to get maternity insurance, in advance while planning a family.
  • Initial waiting period: The initial waiting period defines the number of days an individual must wait after buying the policy to become eligible to claim the insured amount. Generally, any illness contracted within the first 30 to 90 days from the day the insurance cover begins is not covered. It is a precautionary measure that ensures that buyers do not misuse the policy. Although illnesses are subject to waiting periods, any accident or mishap is almost always covered if the patient has been hospitalized for 24 hours.
  • Pre-existing condition waiting period: Generally, there is a clause for any pre-existing condition that the insured may have, for which the coverage can be limited or excluded for a particular period. Typically, the waiting period varies from 12 to 48 months in such cases.
  • Ailment specific waiting period: Every insurance policy has a list of specified diseases that will not be covered during the first 1-2 years from the start of the policy. There might be ailments that are almost immediately covered after the purchase as well. Reading the fine print and knowing the waiting periods for various illnesses is an essential aspect of choosing the right policy.

Does Waiting Period Differ Based on Insurance Policy

While looking for maternity insurance, already pregnant Indian women in India may find it difficult to get coverage with no waiting period as many insurers do not offer this option. The reason is that an insurer considers pregnancy as a pre-existing condition and beyond coverage. So, it means that maternity insurance plans do come with a waiting period..

  • The standard initial waiting period tends to be around 30 days, and for pre-existing condition waiting period might extend up to two years or more.
  • A group health plan is an insurance policy that has no waiting period, requires little to no examination. You may, however, have to pay higher premiums to waive off the waiting period.
  • However, there is no maternity insurance coverage with no waiting period. Typically, the waiting period ranges from three to four years.

Can Waiting Period Be Reduced?

Pregnancy is a crucial phase in a woman’s life, and prior planning is the best way to safe motherhood. Since finding pregnancy health insurance with no waiting period policy may not be possible, it is necessary to plan much ahead as there is a waiting period clause.
Yes, the waiting period can be cut short by paying a higher premium. Another way to reduce or completely eliminate the waiting period is by switching from a group health insurance to individual health insurance post your exit from a company, and you will not be required to serve a waiting period. There is also a clause called the pre-existing condition waiver. It is typically offered in travel insurance, where the medical expenses on your pre-existing conditions are waived by the insurance company during your travel. 
Since one cannot opt for maternity insurance for already pregnant Indian women, it is essential to plan for the investment early in life. It is a crucial step everyone should take for their family’s well-being. The policy will enable the insured to get quality maternity care with benefits like cashless hospitalization, new-born baby cover, and tax benefits.

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