Short term disability insurance is a great way to create maternity leave pay, while also protecting your income in case of complications, accidents, and illnesses. Your benefit for normal delivery can greatly exceed the premium you pay when you time the start of coverage properly. Unfortunately, most women wait until it's too late to apply for coverage, and miss out on a golden opportunity. Consider your projected date of conception, the possibility of pre-term labor, and the chances of suffering an accident or illnesses.
Use Disability to Create Maternity Leave Pay
Short term disability insurance is a great way to create maternity leave income. It pays a six week benefit for your normal vaginal delivery, and an eight week benefit for your normal c-section delivery - less the elimination period. Your benefit for normal delivery can greatly exceed the premium you pay, thereby creating maternity leave income. For example, a woman earning $54,000 per year qualifies for a $3,000 per month benefit. Her benefit for a c-section delivery would be $4,100 compared to a monthly premium around $150. A pretty sweet insurance bargain for something you were planning to do anyway: have a happy healthy pregnancy and new baby!
Apply for Coverage at the Right Time
Coverage needs to begin before getting pregnant in order to qualify for the benefit for normal delivery. Most policies contain a nine month exclusion for normal delivery. Plus, pregnancy is considered a pre-existing condition. If you wait until you are already pregnant to apply for coverage you will miss out in two ways: you will not qualify for the benefit for normal delivery, and any missed work due to pregnancy complications will not be covered. Avoid missing both of these important benefits by applying for coverage before conception. Don't wait until it's too late.
Another nuance that many women overlook is the possibility of pre-term labor and delivery. As mentioned above, most policies contain an exclusion for normal delivery during the first nine months of the policy effective date. It is possible for your policy to begin before getting pregnant, but for your normal delivery to occur inside the nine month exclusion. If this happens you may miss out on your benefit. For example, you conceive during the first week after your policy becomes effective, and you deliver two weeks early. Your normal delivery just occurred inside the nine month exclusion - no maternity leave benefit. Avoid this dilemma by applying for coverage several months before your expected date of conception. Your return on premium paid will still be well into the positive range.
Remember Accidents and Illnesses
The amazing part of buying short term disability insurance to cover your pregnancy and maternity leave is that it also protects your income in case of accidents and illnesses. You could get sick or hurt at almost any time. Should this happen, you will be very happy that you applied for coverage.
So if you think you may be getting pregnant anytime soon, apply for coverage now. An accident or illness could occur to any of us at any time. Don't wait until after getting sick or hurt. Not only will you miss out on the income protection benefit, you may no longer qualify for coverage.