If you’re planning a trip – and expecting a baby – you’ve likely wondered how much travel insurance can do for you in the event of complications or early labour. Thinking about it is a step in the right direction, but asking questions and informing yourself ahead of time will help ensure your coverage doesn’t fail you when you need it most.
You’re pregnant and travelling? 5 things you need to know
- Pregnancy, like any other health condition, will always be subject to some limitations and exclusions. Even though you and I both know that pregnancy is not an illness, insurers are concerned with the fact that it is a stage of life that influences your health. This means that similar to what would happen if you had a heart condition or diabetes, insurers need to place limitations on the coverage you will receive – otherwise they are taking on too big of a risk. So find out what those limitations are before buying your insurance… or before even booking your next trip!
- The best time to travel is during your second trimester. Both doctors and insurers would agree that there are certain times during your pregnancy when you just shouldn’t travel. The risks involved with travelling up to the 14th week are low energy, morning sickness, and even miscarriage. Travelling past your 36th week (or 28th if you are being extra cautious) is most risky due to the chance of early contractions or premature labour. And, just as importantly, certain insurers will not cover you past a certain number of weeks, so check your policy – and your calendar – before booking your flight!
- No travel insurance company will cover the cost of delivering your baby if she or he is born near enough to the expected delivery date. Because labour is an inevitable part of any healthy pregnancy, insurers will not cover a routine delivery while you are travelling. Remember that travel insurance covers unexpected medical emergencies. So just like a diabetic’s insulin would not be covered out of country, nor would the cost of delivering a baby around your due date. However, exceptions do occur in certain cases of premature birth. It is important that you read your policy carefully to find out if your travel dates (and due date) will exclude you from coverage or not.
- Most travel insurance policies will not cover newborn babies under 15 days old. Newborn babies may be cute and cuddly, but they are also at much higher risk of needing medical care. Because there is a higher probability of complication during the first 15 days of life, medical treatment is, for the most part, expected and thus not covered by most travel insurance companies.
- Even if your travel insurance doesn’t cover medical expenses associated with your pregnancy, a good insurance company will still provide you with the emergency assistance services you need. If your condition is stable enough that you can travel home for continued care, for example, your insurer should be able to organize this on your behalf. Although the costs of returning home may be more than you’d like to pay, they may prove insignificant when compared to your medical bill after a week or two at an overseas hospital.
So, if you go into delivery earlier than expected – as was the case with the Australian couple and their million-dollar baby – you, too, could find yourself with an exorbitant medical bill if you fail to do the proper research before your trip. Keep that in mind when planning your next trip.
In situations where you plan to live overseas for school or for work for an extended period of time, there are coverage options where the benefits exceed those available to you through regular travel insurance. Visitors to Canada and international students have the option of paying a higher premium for more comprehensive coverage. Expatriates do too, but – before deciding to start a family while living overseas – they need to familiarize themselves with all the different expatriate health insurance plans and how maternity benefits vary from plan to plan.
Take a look at what is (and isn’t) covered below:
|Visitors to Canada||International Students||Expatriates|
|Pre-Natal Care||Not Covered||Covered*||See note below.|
|Early Labour||Not Covered||Covered|
|Routine Delivery||Not Covered||Dependent on the plan|
|Delivery due to Complications||Covered||Covered|
|Care for Premature Baby||Not Covered||Not Covered|
Some expatriate health insurance plans only provide coverage for expenses related to a complicated pregnancy, but will not cover a routine pregnancy. Other plans can provide more comprehensive maternity coverage (often under a Maternity Rider, which must be added for an additional premium), but each plan will have unique waiting periods and exclusions for expenses related to pregnancy and labour. Make sure to review policy materials carefully when determining which expatriate health insurance plan will provide the most appropriate maternity coverage for your needs. Or, call Ingle’s highly trained customer care representatives for expert help in finding the right insurance package for you and your future baby!
Policy terms apply in all cases.
*Subject to all limitations, exclusions, and any other provisions of the selected policy
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