Advice To Newly Weds : Cost Of Pregnancy And How Can I Prepare For It
What a relief to have all that big expenses all over and done with. Now is finally the time when your lifestyle and finances are back to normal. So what is next?
Many people often overlook the next big item or should I say, the biggest investment in their life; expanding the family headcount to PLUS 1.
This biggest investment upcoming next on the checklist will start even way before they officially come out into this world.
Costs Involved In Pregnancy
1. Routine Maternity Care Expenses
This includes the obstetrician fee, scans, tests and supplements that will be prescribed during the course of pregnancy
2. Pregnancy Complication Expenses
These are expenses related to problems encountered during the course of pregnancy; E.g. Experiencing bleeding during pregnancy, low lying placenta.
List of Pregnancy Complications
1. First trimester bleeding
2. Antepartum hemorrhage (bleeding)
3. Pre-term Labour (PTL)
4. Pre-term premature rupture of membranes (PPROM)
5. Hypertensive disorder of pregnancy/ pre-eclampsia
6. Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)
7. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Infection
8. Asthma in Pregnancy
9. Bell’s Palsy
10. Macrosomia (Big Baby)
11. Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR)
12. Abnormalities of the Amniotic Fluid Levels
13. Decreased Fetal Movements
14. Overdue Babies
15. Cord Round Neck or Cord Accidents
Table 1 List of Pregnancy Complications1
The above are some common pregnancy related complications. A personal experience of mine; I was hospitalized during the pregnancy of my younger son in the first trimester due to food poisoning. Due to the persistent vomiting and diarrhea, I had to be admitted for 3 nights in Mount Alvernia Hospital to monitor the safety of my boy and the total bill was almost $3,000.
These are expenses that we cannot foresee and usually involves additional cost to the whole pregnancy journey due to more medication, more visits to the gynae or may even involve an unexpected stay in the hospital for the safety of both mummy and baby.
3. Delivery Charges
These includes inpatient room, anesthetist, obstetrician and surgeon charges.
Below is the estimated bill size for normal and caesarean section birth in public and private hospitals.
For the purpose of the following 2 Tables, please refer to the above Legend as per abstracted from https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/fee-benchmarks-and-bill-amount-information/DetailsByHospital/SI836U–1–Inpatient on 15-Jan-2019
Table 2 Fee Benchmarks and Bill Information for Normal Birth2
Table 3 Fee Benchmarks and Bill Information for Caesarean Birth3
4. Post-natal expenses
These refers to the post delivery check-ups.
How Can I Finance These Costs?
1. Routine Maternity Expenses which includes pre- and post-natal expenses
These expenses can be covered by:
A. Employee medical benefit – Depending on the individual employee medical benefit offered by your employer, portion of the pre- and post-natal expenses may or may not be covered.
B. CPF -Medisave Funds can be used for pre-natal medical expenses, however it is capped to a limit of $9004.
2. Pregnancy Complication Expenses
These expenses are covered by:
A. Depending on the cause of admission, integrated shield plans may be able to cover for the hospitalization bill. Different integrated shield plans provide for different pregnancy complication conditions.
B. CPF-Medisave Funds and/or Cash
3. Delivery and Hospitalization Charges
These charges can be covered using:
A. Medisave Maternity Package
Apart from using the CPF-Medisave Funds for pre-natal expenses (which is subjected to a cap), you can also use your Medisave Maternity Package for delivery.
Abstract from Ministry of Health Website4
B. International Health Insurance Plans
Having seen the estimated costing of the expenses involved for delivery and the CPF-Medisave Funds usable and also your own Employee Medical Benefit, one can safely conclude that there is still a substantial amount that you need to come out of your own savings.
Assuming a normal delivery with 2.2 days stay in Mount Alvernia Hospital (taking the 75thpercentile charges incurred) :
|Total Bill (A)||$9,384|
|Medisave Maternity Package|
|Ward Charges||$450 / day||$1,350|
|Total CPF Claimable (B)||$2,100|
|Amount Payable (A – B)||$7,284|
This is where international health insurance plans will help in relieving the stress in your pockets.
You may have heard from many friends who have given birth that integrated shield plans do not provide coverage for pregnancy delivery except for those which involved pregnancy complications that meet the policy term and conditions.
But there is on the other hand, plans that provide coverage for normal delivery and even delivery due to pregnancy complications, for example, Emergency Caesarean Delivery due to Breech Position of the baby or in the event that mummy is exhausted from normal delivery and the situation is unfavorable to both mother and child.
However, such plans usually have a waiting period for the coverage to be effective before it covers for pregnancy delivery.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Planning For Pregnancy Related Expenses
1. When do you wish to start planning for a baby?
Remember that plans, including your integrated shield plans have waiting period of at least 10 months before they cover for pregnancy complications that meet the policy terms and conditions.
2. Identify your preferred choice of hospital/ class of ward
a. Being in a private hospital increases the cost of delivery by easily 1.5 times
b. Do you wish for your spouse to be room in with you after you have delivered? Remember, only single-bedded wards allow for spouse to stay overnight5.
3. What is your threshold of pain?
a. High – Normal Delivery is an option you would want to opt for
b. Low – Caesarean Section is probably your choice of delivery
4. Would there be a preferred date and time for delivery?
In my line of business, I have clients who chose specific date for delivery as they have consulted a professional on the auspicious date.
5. Is my company covering me for my delivery?
Maternity benefits is often something that everyone will only take note of when you sign your employment contract. After that, it is happily shelved away at the back of our brain. We do not remember if there is any maternity coverage or not.
Set Up Your Insurance Plans Early For Pregnancy Preparation
Pregnancy is one event that I strongly believe is not within our control. Some people have tried and only managed to have the precious little life years after. Some are blessed by the God of Love without much effort. But either way, one thing is for certain. The cost of having this little life form is no small amount.
To help you get started in the financial planning journey for your pregnancy, you can use this “Guide to Insurance for Pregnancy Related Medical Expenses” to get a better understanding of what can be covered in your integrated shield plans.
Being financially prepared is better than being caught unprepared.
Article by Pamela Chong
1. (SG), M. o. (2018, March 28). Pregnancy Complications. Retrieved Feburary 25, 2019 , from https://www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg/parentingresources/web/Pregnancy/PregnancyWell-Being/DailyCare/Pregnancy_Complications?_adf.ctrl-state=5seggg22h_4&_afrLoop=7384040586519435&_afrWindowMode=0&_afrWindowId=5seggg22h_1#%40%3F_afrWindowId%3D5seggg22h_1%26_afr
2. HEALTH, M. O. (2019, JAN 15). Retrieved FEB 26, 2019, from FEES BENCHMARK AND BILL AMOUNT INFORMATION: https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/fee-benchmarks-and-bill-amount-information/DetailsByHospital/SI836U–1–Inpatient
3. HEALTH, M. O. (2019, JAN 15). FEE BENCHMARKS AND BILL AMOUNT INFORMATION. Retrieved FEB 26, 2019, from https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/fee-benchmarks-and-bill-amount-information/DetailsByHospital/SI834U–1–Ward—C
4. Health, M. o. (2019, Feb 26). Marriage Parenthood Scheme. Retrieved Feb 26, 2019, from https://www.moh.gov.sg/cost-financing/healthcare-schemes-subsidies/marriage-and-parenthood-schemes
5. Hospital, M. A. (2017). Mount Alvernia Hospital Singapore – Costs & Financing. Retrieved Feburary 26, 2019, from https://mtalvernia.sg/cost-financing/