While pregnancy is a beautiful experience, it can be financially challenging. As couples try to handle expenses that crop up during a pregnancy, an adequate health insurance cover with maternity benefits can ease the burden on excess expenditure.

Health insurance with maternity benefits are designed for couples between 20 and 35 years of age. Maternity coverage can be bought with a health insurance policy, as an add-on -- both in family or individual policies.

Experts suggest that customers should opt for maternity plans as soon they get married so that the waiting period under the policy term is over by the time a couple plans for a baby.

"Most of these plans come with a long waiting period," says Amit Chhabra, Head of Health Insurance at Policybazaar.

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Nonetheless, there are some insurers that offer lower waiting period, but in return charge additional premium.

Inclusions in maternity coverage

While coverage may vary from one company to another, these policies broadly cover 30 days expenses prior to hospitalisation and 60 days post hospitalisation. They also covers pre and post natal expenses, delivery expenses, coverage for new born up to expiry of current policy and ambulance charges for emergency transportation to hospital.

Exclusions in maternity coverage

According to Chhabra, some of the common exclusions of the maternity cover under a health insurance policy include treatment arising or traceable to any fertility, sterilization or birth control procedure. Moreover, expenses incurred in respect of harvesting and storage of stem cells is not covered by insurers.

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The procedure of harvesting cells is generally done as a preventive measure against possible future illnesses and voluntary termination of pregnancy.

Key things to consider before buying these policies

Apart from waiting period, customers should consider the coverage limit and sub-limits for normal and caesarean section delivery. Some other popular benefits to consider include ancillary features like coverage for new-born baby from day one, vaccination benefits and their individual limits, Chhabra adds.

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"It is equally important to understand them so that they can be utilized in the best possible way," he explains.

(Source: Policybazaar)

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Health insurance with maternity cover: All you need to know about features and inclusions - CNBCTV18

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