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Welcoming a new member to your family is an incredibly exciting time in your life, so you’ll naturally want the best care available during your pregnancy. With so many health insurance options to choose from, it can be a daunting process to decide which private health insurance policy to choose for your cover for your pregnancy and childbirth.
Savvy can help make your choice easier by enabling you to compare free, no-obligation online quotes side-by-side. Just answer a few simple questions about the cover you’re after, and soon you’ll have quotes to compare from our partner’s panel of respected Australian private health insurers. Get your free quote started through Savvy today.
How does private health insurance for pregnancy work and do I need it?
In Australia, the Medicare system can cover the basic costs of pregnancy, including the cost of antenatal care and childbirth in a public hospital as a Medicare patient. However, not all costs will be covered and many expectant mothers prefer the luxury treatment and wider choices that can come with private health insurance.
Basic Medicare treatment will cover the following aspects of pregnancy and childbirth:
- routine ultrasounds at 12 and 20 weeks
- blood tests
- pregnancy counselling
- care from midwives
- care from obstetricians
This coverage will allow you to receive treatment as a public patient in a public hospital or maternity ward. However, if you wish to receive care as a private patient, either in a private or public hospital, you’ll need health insurance which covers pregnancy and obstetric care.
What can be covered with private health insurance during pregnancy?
Pregnancy health insurance can offer you cover for a wide range of maternity services and treatments, including the following:
- your choice of midwife, doctor and obstetrician (meaning you’ll have continuity of care during your pregnancy, rather than seeing whichever midwife is on duty as a public patient)
- giving birth in a private hospital or birthing suite
- theatre and labour ward fees
- a private room in either a public or private hospital – where you may be able to have your partner stay with you (depending on availability and the relevant terms and conditions of the policy you buy)
- intensive care cover for your baby during and after birth
- access to a special intensive care nursery if your baby is premature, or has health issues at birth
- cover for the cost of hospital-administered pharmaceuticals
- the possibility of access to a mother-baby sleep school and other post-natal support services following birth
What may not be covered by pregnancy hospital cover?
There are additional costs that may not be covered by your hospital cover during pregnancy. These may include:
- the cost of visiting your GP for check-ups during pregnancy
- other specialist outpatient appointments (part of the cost may be covered by your extras policy if you also have this type of health insurance)
- the cost of IVF or other assisted-fertility treatments (depending on your chosen policy)
- food for your partner and children while they're staying with you in the birthing suite or maternity hospital
What waiting periods can apply if I’m taking out private health insurance for my pregnancy?
Almost all private health insurance (hospital) policies have a 12-month waiting period for pregnancy-related services, so if you’re planning to add a baby to your family, you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you’re eligible to claim when you’re pregnant and when your baby arrives.
Will there be a waiting period before my baby’s health costs are covered?
It’s also important to think about health cover for your baby once he or she arrives. Naturally, all health insurance policies differ when it comes to the rules for adding a newborn onto your health insurance policy. Some family policies automatically include cover for the cost of your baby’s health treatment.
However, if you currently have a singles health policy, rather than a family policy, it may not always be possible to add a newborn without waiting periods applying, which is why it's very important to compare policies and plan your health insurance well in advance of falling pregnant wherever possible.
You can compare a range of quotes for couples and family health insurance which include pregnancy cover from our partner’s panel of trusted insurers today. You can have a range of quotes to consider instantly, so get your health insurance sorted out for your pregnancy here through Savvy.
How do I compare health insurance for pregnancy?
Under the Australian government’s health insurance legislation, a gold level hospital cover policy is the only tier of health cover required by law to offer cover for pregnancy and birth (as well as assisted reproductive technologies such as IVF). However, there are other ways you may be able to access pregnancy cover, which is why it’s important to compare your health insurance options. Some of the key areas to consider when comparing health insurance include:
Check the policy level and inclusions
While gold cover will typically offer pregnancy as an inclusion, some lower-level hospital insurance policies come with the ‘plus’ classification to denote they offer coverage beyond the mandatory minimum, such as pregnancy and birth. For example, a ‘silver plus’ policy will offer all the clinical categories required by legislation for a silver level policy, plus may also offer pregnancy and birth cover. Therefore, if you’re looking for cover during pregnancy, you’ll need to take the time to determine which policies can offer protection where you need it.
Check what’s included in your extras policy
Hospital cover will only assist with the cost of treatments received while you’re in hospital. However, many of the obstetrics services you’ll require before giving birth will take place whilst you’re an outpatient. While Medicare can cover some of the costs of visiting your midwife and obstetrician prior to birth (and having necessary scans and tests done), private health extras cover may also assist with some of these costs during pregnancy. Compare the cover offered on different extras policies and look for inclusions and policy limits associated with antenatal care to help you find a policy which offers the maximum coverage for the key additional health services required before and after giving birth. For example, after birth, you may wish to attend postnatal classes or require physiotherapy or psychology services to help you get your body and mind back to a healthy place.
Naturally, everyone wants the cheapest health insurance policy, particularly when you’re also facing the additional cost of pregnancy. However, be aware that a cheaper policy may not always offer the best level of cover and may come with more limits and restrictions which could affect your choice of care during and after your pregnancy.
Compare the excess and co-payment requirements
You’ll be able to choose the size of the hospital excess payment you’re required to contribute when you decide which health insurance policy is right for your needs. The maximum excess allowable is $750 for singles and $1,500 for couples or families. The lower the excess you choose, the higher the cost your insurance is likely to be overall. In addition, compare whether you’ll be required to make a co-payment when you are admitted to hospital or if you can also set this at a desired level.
This comparison information is available through Savvy today just by answering a few simple questions about the cover you’re after. If required, a health insurance specialist can give you a call to help you with your choice and make sure that your purchase or switch to a new policy goes through smoothly.
Types of health insurance
This can help you pay for medical treatment if you need to be admitted to hospital. It can help cover the cost of your admission or accommodation and the fees charged by doctors, surgeons and anaesthetists. It can also cover other costs associated with a stay in a private hospital.
This helps cover the costs of health care treatments outside a hospital setting which aren’t covered by Medicare. This can include major and minor dental treatment, orthodontics, hearing aids, physiotherapy, glasses, contact lenses and podiatry (in most cases with annual limits).
This is a standard health insurance policy designed for a single person, rather than being tailored to cater to the needs of a couple or family. It may include hospital cover plus extras, or either of these types of insurance on their own, depending on what you're after for your health cover.
A family health insurance policy is designed for a family unit including dependent children who may reach up to 31 years of age with some insurers. It offers private health insurance suitable for the whole family and may include shared limits for all members included in your policy.
A health insurance policy aimed at seniors is designed to appeal to people who are in the second half of their life. These are often specific Silver Plus policies that offer the same cover as other health insurance policies, with the exception that pregnancy and childbirth cover may not be included.
Visitors who are in Australia on a temporary basis for travel, work or study may be able to take out Overseas Visitors Health Cover (OVHC). Many visas issued in Australia come with a requirement to take out this type of insurance, which covers visitors who may not be covered by Medicare.
Ambulance cover is generally available either packaged into your private health insurance or on its own as a separate policy or subscription. By having this protection, you could be covered for all eligible ambulance travel in Australia (subject to your insurer's terms and conditions).
The cheapest and most barebones form of private hospital insurance, this can include cover for rehab, in-hospital psychiatric services and palliative care. Having this policy will enable you to avoid paying the Medicare Levy Surcharge (MLS) and Lifetime Health Cover (LHC) loading.
Bronze hospital cover is a step up from basic insurance, including 18 further clinical categories such as ear, nose and throat, bone, joint and muscle, digestive system, joint reconstructions, gynaecology and chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy for cancer.
Silver hospital cover is the second-most expensive type of policy and offers the second-most clinical categories. On top of what's offered by basic and bronze cover, it also includes heart and vascular system, lung and chest, blood, hearing device implantation and dental surgery.
The highest level of private hospital insurance available in Australia, gold policies can offer cover for pregnancy and birth, weight loss surgery, assisted reproductive services and insulin pumps on top of all the categories provided by silver, bronze and basic hospital insurance.
Why compare health insurance through Savvy?
Frequently asked questions about health cover during pregnancy
Helpful health insurance guides
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Read one of our helpful guides on a range of different ailments and potential hospital or extras treatments to help you find out if they're covered.
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