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While it’s true that healthcare in the UK is freely available through the NHS, many pregnant people opt for private healthcare to give them an extra layer of security. Throughout pregnancy and the birth of your child, you want to make sure you have access to the best care available

Furthermore, some new or experimental treatments are not available on the NHS. You may also want to be able to choose your preferred facilities and specialists. Private treatment provides you with these options—and also allows you to avoid long NHS waiting lists.

But what exactly are the benefits of health insurance for pregnant people? Are routine pregnancies covered by health insurance plans in the UK? And what treatments can be paid for using medical insurance policies? This article answers these questions and more.

Can You Get Pregnancy Insurance Cover?

If you are pregnant, you can certainly get a pregnancy insurance plan. A maternity insurance plan can also cover certain types of medical treatment and care if you get pregnant in the future.

Simply put, pregnancy insurance gives you some extra security if you are expecting a baby or plan to in the future. While these types of policies don’t typically pay for routine treatment, they can help towards emergency care for health complications as a result of the pregnancy.

How Does Health Insurance Work?

Maternity insurance policies work in the same way as other kinds of health insurance policies. With private health insurance, you pay a monthly premium agreed upon at the beginning of your policy. The cost of your premium will be determined by how much coverage you’d like; including more options in your plan will increase the price of your plan.

If ever you need to make a claim on your insurance, it will pay out a lump sum towards your treatment. It should be noted that policies only cover a specific range of treatments. Make sure that you are clear on what treatments are included in your plan before you agree to it.

With free healthcare already available in the UK through the NHS, why do people choose private care? There are a few benefits that might convince someone to opt for it:

  • A wider variety of treatments.
  • A wider selection of facilities and specialists.
  • No long waiting lists.

Why Don’t Health Insurance Policies Cover Routine Pregnancies?

Health insurance policies don’t cover routine pregnancies because they are generally a deliberate choice. Furthermore, when you go into labour, you will immediately be treated on the NHS in a private room, regardless of whether or not you have health insurance.

That said, private health insurance policies can cover emergencies and complications as a result of pregnancy or childbirth.

What Can Pregnancy Insurance Pay for?

As stated above, routine pregnancy is not covered under private health insurance as it is viewed as a lifestyle choice. Some emergency treatments are covered by insurance, however, as well as any complications related to pregnancy.

This section will elaborate on what treatments can be paid for using pregnancy insurance.

Treatments related to pregnancy

Pregnancy can often prove a traumatic event for the body. Oftentimes, unforeseen difficulties and complications can arise as a result of pregnancy or birth.

Some emergency treatments covered under pregnancy insurance are:

  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Eclampsia.

Some insurers also offer a cash bonus of £100 if you become pregnant after having taken out your insurance agreement. This bonus is known as a maternity cash benefit, childbirth benefit, or pregnancy benefit.

Treatments unrelated to pregnancy

As well as helping to pay for emergency treatments and care for pregnancy complications, private health insurance can also help cover a wide variety of other conditions. For the most part, these insurance policies only cover acute, curable conditions, as opposed to chronic or pre-existing ones.

Before signing up for a private health insurance policy, you should always double-check with the provider what exactly it covers and what it doesn’t.

What Treatments Are Not Covered by Pregnancy Insurance?

As we’ve already mentioned, routine pregnancy is not covered by health insurance. But what precise treatments are not covered by private medical insurance policies? Here is a short list to give you an idea:

  • Treatments for conditions that commonly occur with pregnancy (e.g., morning sickness, aches, and pains, etc.).
  • Private maternity healthcare (e.g., access to a private hospital, independent midwives, etc.).
  • Fertility treatment (e.g., IVF, IUI, etc.).

What is a ‘complication’ in pregnancy?

Complications associated with pregnancy are usually covered by pregnancy insurance policies. But what qualifies as a ‘complication’?

Most insurance providers in the UK accept the following conditions as complications related to pregnancy:

  • Miscarriages and stillbirths.
  • Ectopic pregnancies.
  • Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
  • Hydatidiform mole.
  • Retained placenta.
  • Gestational diabetes.

Every insurance provider is different. Make sure that you thoroughly check the terms and conditions of your insurance plan so that you can be sure which treatments are covered and which aren’t.

What Limitations Are There on Pregnancy Complications?

As mentioned above, there are certain conditions related to pregnancy that are not included in private health insurance—for example, bodily pains and morning sickness. While unpleasant, these conditions are not serious.

These aren’t the only limitations placed on your policy, however. Even when dealing with complications associated with your pregnancy or your child’s birth, your insurance plan can only cover a certain portion of your doctor’s fees. If you are charged more, then you might have to pay the remainder out of your own pocket.

Both in-patient and out-patient treatment can be subject to these limits.

Before you agree to an insurance policy, make sure you carefully review what it covers and what it doesn’t. Make sure that you understand how much your insurer will cover from the outset. If you have any doubts or don’t understand part of your policy, don’t hesitate to ask your insurer or your broker for advice.

Can I Get Health Insurance if I’m Currently Pregnant?

While you can get medical insurance while pregnant, it’s unlikely that you will be entitled to a payout if the policy was made active after you became pregnant. For this reason, timing is crucial.

If you need help understanding policy timing, you can always reach out to your broker or a financial advisor for assistance.

How Long Do I Have to Wait Before I Can Claim on my Insurance Policy?

With most insurance policies, you will have to wait for a given period before you can make a claim for any complications related to your pregnancy. This is known as the waiting period, which is the minimum amount of time the cover must be active before you’re able to make your claim.

Many insurance providers have a waiting period of roughly ten months. However, this differs from insurer to insurer, so make sure that you double-check the exact period with your broker or insurance provider.

A waiting period is standard procedure in the insurance industry. As such, you should always plan to have to wait before making a claim. Take this into account early on if you have plans to start a family, and make sure you start looking into private insurance options as soon as possible.

Is Private Health Insurance Worth it for Pregnancy?

So, is private pregnancy insurance worth it? Really, that depends on you. If you think you would benefit from having some peace of mind, knowing that you and your newborn baby will receive the best of care, then having extra protection from health insurance could be helpful.

The best way to decide whether or not you should get private health insurance is to carefully weigh the pros and cons, comparing different plans. However, when you already have to deal with the stress of pregnancy and family planning, it can be difficult to commit to that kind of research.

That’s where Healthplan can help. We can assist you in finding a healthcare plan for you, making sure you get your family started on the right foot. If you’re interested in finding out more about how we can help, get in touch today!

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