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What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

Are you planning on getting pregnant?

Do you want to have the choice of your own doctor and a private room? Then looking for a health insurance policy that offers pregnancy cover is essential.

It is also something you need to look for as soon as you’ve decided you want to start a family.

When should you get cover?

Most health insurance policies have a 12-month waiting period for pregnancy-related issues. This means if you want to have cover for obstetrics, you’ll need to get health insurance before you start trying to get pregnant.

What are the benefits of having private health cover?

Private hospital cover can protect you from various out-of-pocket costs throughout the various stages of your pregnancy:

  • Antenatal care. Check to see if your policy covers antenatal care. You may have cover for birthing classes, which will teach you how to care for your baby, breastfeeding techniques, exercises, what to expect during labour and more.
  • Having private health insurance allows you to choose your own doctor and hospital. Depending on your policy, you may even be able to get a private room.
  • Postnatal care. Adding your child to your policy is easy. You should be able to just give your health fund a call with your baby’s name and they’ll add your newborn to your policy.

What services won’t your private health insurance cover?

While private health insurance has its benefits, there are some out-of-pocket costs. Depending on your policy, this may include the following costs:

  • Visiting your doctor (GP)
  • Having an ultrasound
  • Getting a blood test
  • Visiting your obstetrician for a check-up

Does private health insurance cover IVF?

Depending on your policy, you may have some cover for the costs associated with assisted reproductive services like IVF treatment and gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT).

Your private health insurance can also provide you with cover for services that require your hospitalization. Procedures covered include the following:

  • The collection of eggs
  • The transfer of embryos

The public versus private debate

Choosing to go public or private is an important decision and one that you shouldn’t make lightly. Each choice has its pros and cons:

Private hospital pros and cons

Pros

  • Choose your doctor
  • Get a private room (where available)
  • Choose the hospital
  • Don’t get rushed out

Cons

  • Out-of-pocket expenses
  • Care may be limited to network hospitals

Public hospital pros and cons

Pros

  • No out-of-pocket costs for childbirth
  • Free or subsidised antenatal services

Cons

  • Shared accommodation
  • No choice of obstetrician
  • Shorter hospital stays

At the end of the day, it’s completely up to you whether you choose to take out private health insurance for your pregnancy, but make sure you’re aware of the factors involved if you choose not to.

To get the best value for money, jump online and compare policies to find one that gives you the best value. Having a baby is an exciting time, so don’t stress about it! Good luck and enjoy.

Richard Laycock

Richard Laycock is an Insurance Expert at finder.com.au.

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