Monday, February 18, 2013

Maternity Health Insurance - Fill Gaps With Additional Coverage

Many health insurance plans with maternity coverage come with unexpected holes. Group plans often come with hospital deductibles or co pays. Starting or growing a family is expensive enough without these extra bills. Hospital indemnity insurance is a great way to plug these holes. It pays a cash benefit directly to the insured for her normal labor and delivery, and may pay additional benefits in case of a hospitalization prior to delivery, due to delivery complications, for premature birth, and more.

As group health insurance premiums continue to spiral ever higher, employers look for ways to keep health insurance premiums in check. One of the favorite tricks is to introduce hospital deductibles and co-pays. The thought process works for the majority of employees. In a typical year 90% of employees or more will never step foot inside a hospital. Everybody enjoys slightly lower health insurance premiums, and only a handful of employees get stuck paying the hospital deductible or co-pay.

One group ends end feeling the pinch the most: couples planning a pregnancy. It's a normal step in many families' lifecycle. Even when mom and baby are perfectly healthy, a hospital stay comes as part of the package, and along with that comes a hefty deductible or co payment. Ouch!

But not every pregnancy goes as smoothly as hoped. Many pregnancies experience complications requiring mom to be hospitalized prior to her delivery, possibly adding to left over expenses. One out of eight babies is born premature, and may require a stay in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Many deductibles have individual limits, coupled with higher family limits. Just when you think you've satisfied your hospital deductible with mom's stay, your infant's stay bumps it even higher. And what if you have multiples confined to the NICU? Depending upon the policy, the extra costs can really add up.

Hospital Indemnity Insurance is a great way for couples planning a pregnancy to fill these holes, and rest easier at night. The programs pay a cash benefit directly to the insured for mom's hospital stay for her normal labor and delivery. Some programs pay a single lump sum per hospital admission, while others will also pay an additional benefit based upon the total days of hospital confinement. The benefit for normal delivery may greatly exceed the premium paid if timed well.

In addition, hospital indemnity insurance may also pay additional benefits if mom is confined to the hospital prior to delivery. Many policies will contain exclusions if you are re-admitted to the hospital for the same or similar condition within a specified number of days. A policy with a ninety-day exclusion might pay benefits for a hospitalization in during two different trimesters in addition to normal delivery.

Hospital indemnity coverage shines through when premature birth is taken into account. Your infant's hospitalization is often automatically covered during the first thirty days of birth. The extra benefit will really help out if you encounter some of the deductible scenarios noted above. In addition, multiple pregnancies often are delivered early. Pre term deliveries are most likely to result in a NICU stay. Your hospital indemnity policy may pay an additional benefit for each infant.

Make sure your coverage begins before getting pregnant.

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