What is Waiting Period
When starting a family, securing your financial future is perhaps the single most important commitment you need to make. Every expecting mother deserves special care, and having a good maternity insurance plan is the first step. An important factor to consider in every insurance policy is the waiting period. A waiting period in health insurance is defined as the time period that must pass before the full benefits of the coverage can be availed.
Is there a Maternity Insurance Plan with No Waiting Period?
Unfortunately, there are no policies that offer health insurance with maternity coverage that has no waiting period. It is important to strike a balance between your budget and the maximum period for which you can wait before it becomes necessary to claim the insured amount.
The waiting period ranges from nine months to six years when it comes to maternity insurance. This means that planning ahead is not only hugely beneficial but also necessary when signing up for a maternity policy.
Types of Waiting Periods
There are mainly four major types of waiting periods:
- Maternity waiting period: Insurance policies often provide basic coverage for the delivery of the child, and there are also certain policies that go the extra mile to cover additional hospital costs. The common theme, however, is the waiting period, which varies based on policy. In all cases, it is always advisable to get maternity insurance, while planning a family.
- Initial waiting period: The initial waiting period defines the number of days an individual must wait after buying the policy to become eligible to claim the insured amount. Generally, any illness contracted within the first 30 to 90 days from the day the insurance cover begins, is not insured. This is a precautionary measure that ensures that buyers do not misuse the policy. Although illnesses are subject to waiting periods, any accident or mishap is almost always covered if the patient has been hospitalized for 24 hours.
- Pre-existing condition waiting period: Generally, there is a clause for any pre-existing condition that the insured may have, for which the coverage can be limited or excluded for a particular period of time. Typically, the waiting period varies from 12 to 48 months in such cases.
- Ailment specific waiting period: Every insurance policy has a list of specified diseases that will not be covered during the first 1-2 years from the start of the policy. There might be ailments that are almost immediately covered after the purchase as well. Reading the fine print and knowing the waiting periods for various illnesses is an essential aspect of choosing the right policy.
Does Waiting Period Differ Based on Insurance Policy
While there might be differences in the type of waiting period imposed, almost all policies have a general mandate on the duration of the waiting periods.
- The standard initial waiting period tends to be around 30 days, and for pre-existing condition waiting period might extend up to two years or more.
- A group health plan is an insurance policy that has no waiting period, requires little to no examination. You may, however, have to pay higher premiums to waive off the waiting period.
- However, that there is no maternity insurance coverage with no waiting period. Typically, the waiting period ranges between three to four years.
Can Waiting Period Be Reduced?
Yes, waiting period can be cut short by paying a higher premium. Another way to reduce or completely eliminate the waiting period is by switching from a group health insurance to individual health insurance post your exit from a company, and you will not be required to serve a waiting period. There is also a clause called the pre-existing condition waiver. This is typically given in travel insurance, where the medical expenses on your pre-existing conditions are waived by the insurance company during your travel.