Becoming a parent is a joyous occasion one which also marks an important milestone in your life. While you might want to provide the best facilities to your child, insuring a newborn baby under a health insurance policy is also important. The policy would cover any medical emergency that your child might face when growing up and provide you with financial relief.
It is recommended to cover your newborn right from the start, i.e., from the day that they are born. But can you do that?
Yes, you can. Let’s understand how.
Health insurance for newborn
Almost every family floater health insurance plan allows coverage for newborn babies. You can include the baby in the policy and pay an additional premium for availing of coverage. Some of the important aspects of such coverage are as follows –
- Under many plans mid-term inclusion is possible. This means that you can cover the newborn baby under your existing plan during the coverage duration. You don’t have to wait for renewals. This coverage is allowed when you pay a proportionate premium for the baby’s coverage for the remaining term of the plan.
- Under some plans, on the other hand, the inclusion of the newborn is available only at the time of renewals.
- Whether mid-term inclusions or not, most health plans allow coverage if the baby is at least 91 days old. Some plans, however, do not restrict the coverage based on the baby’s age. They allow coverage from 0 days or the 16th day itself.
- Many plans have an inbuilt newborn coverage wherein the baby is covered from the first day of birth up to 90 days or renewal, whichever is earlier
- Many plans provide an inbuilt newborn cover with maternity coverage. Such plans also cover the newborn from birth till 90 days or renewal, whichever is earlier
- Some plans allow the newborn cover on an optional basis. You have to pay an additional premium to avail of the coverage
- Individual health insurance plans are usually not available for newborn babies. Such plans usually have a minimum entry age of 5 years. Moreover, either the parent should be insured under the plan to avail of individual coverage for the child.
Best health insurance plans
Now that you know the coverage aspects of newborn babies, the question arises – which is the best health insurance policy.
There are dozens of health insurance plans available in the market that allow coverage for newborn babies. To choose the best from the rest, you need to keep certain parameters in mind. The plan that proves its worth on these parameters would be the best health insurance plan for the newborn.
The parameters are as follows –
Inbuilt or optional coverage
The first thing to check is whether the plan offers newborn coverage as an inbuilt benefit or on an optional basis. If you are planning your family and/or you are expecting a child in the near future, opt for plans that offer coverage as an inbuilt benefit. On the other hand, if you want the flexibility of adding the coverage as and when needed, choose a plan that offers the newborn coverage as an optional feature.
You can sometimes miss out on the optional coverage but if the plan has built the coverage into its features, you will be able to avail the same. As such, the inbuilt feature is better.
Additional Read: What does a health Insurance policy not cover?
The terms of inclusion of the baby
Check if the plan offers mid-term inclusions or coverage at the time of renewals. If you want to cover your baby immediately after birth, choose plans with the benefit of mid-term inclusion. However, if you don’t mind the wait till the renewal date, you can go for plans that offer coverage on renewals.
Both mid-term and non-mid-term inclusions have their respective pros and cons. It all boils down to your requirements. If the plan has a 90-day waiting period, i.e., the coverage is allowed after the child completes 90 days, it is better to wait up to renewals for including the child. Mid-term inclusions would not make a difference in such cases.
The scope of coverage
Check the scope of coverage offered with respect to the newborn baby. While all plans cover the cost of hospitalisation and treatments if the baby suffers an illness or injury, some plans go the extra mile and offer coverage for the following –
- First-year vaccinations
- Congenital diseases
- Birth defects
Choose a plan that offers a wider scope of coverage so that your newborn is covered comprehensively and your out-of-pocket expenses on the child are reduced.
First-year vaccinations and coverage for congenital diseases or birth defects are usually covered up to a specified limit. If you are opting for a plan providing their coverage features, look for the coverage limit. Choose a plan that offers higher limits because the medical expenses are higher than the coverage allowed.
The premium is another important parameter to check because the health plan should be pocket-friendly and charge competitive rates. So, compare different plans on the basis of their scope of coverage vis-à-vis the premium charged. Choose a plan that offers the best coverage at the lowest premiums.
Also, check the restrictive clauses in the policy when comparing like sub-limits on coverage, entry age of the child, etc. The policy should have minimal restrictions for a wider scope of coverage.
The maximum coverage age for the newborn
While you can avail coverage for the newborn, you also need to check for how long the coverage is available for the dependent child. Most family floater plans allow floater coverage till the child reaches 21 or 23 years of age. Some plans, however, allow coverage for up to 25 years too. Choose a plan with the highest cover ceasing age to cover your child under your floater plan at cost-effective rates.
If you want a wider scope of coverage for your child, you can insure your child under individual health insurance plans after your child attains 5 years of age. Such plans do not have a cover ceasing age and provide coverage lifelong. However, either you or your spouse should be insured under the same plan on an individual basis to make your child eligible for the coverage.
Lastly, check the network of cashless hospitals. The more, the merrier. A large network of hospitals would allow you to make easy cashless claims and make the claim process smoother.
You can use the hospital locator option and locate the list of hospitals in your city. Find out if the insurer has a tie-up with the hospital of your choice.
Buying a health plan for your newborn is not difficult provided the range of plans available on the market. However, understand the terms of the coverage and use the aforementioned parameters to find the best plan. Compare the available plans on these parameters to choose the best from the rest and secure your child under a suitable plan.