Maternity Cover: Is Pregnancy Covered by Health Insurance?

The Importance of Health Insurance in the UK

Pregnancy and health insurance: Just what are you covered for? You may be surprised to learn that a lot of providers have some rather strict policies when it comes to this. If you’re planning to have children, it’s best to know exactly what you can claim.

pregnancy health insurance

Strictly speaking, pregnancy is not covered by health insurance in the UK.

Most providers deem it a “lifestyle choice”.

They view pregnancy in the same manner as cosmetic surgery (to improve appearance) and gender reassignment surgery.

If you plan to have children, keep reading.

However, there can be exceptions. Some providers may call it “pregnancy insurance” or “maternity cover”.

Pregnancy and health insurance policies in the UK: Which ones refuse cover?

Regarding pregnancy, health insurance policies in the UK generally don’t cover its routine aspects. However, you may be covered should any complications arise while you’re carrying the child. The same also goes for childbirth, particularly if you have used that insurance provider for a certain amount of time – so it’s good to be aware of this.

Parents-to-be who are moving abroad may also receive cover. Pregnancy insurance is provided by insurers who specialise in international services. This includes routine aspects, as well as childbirth. Usually, treatment is given in private hospitals of the country you’re living/working in. But, be aware: Usually, you’ll have to pass a “qualifying period” before this treatment can be given.

What is a “complication”?

During pregnancy, private insurance could cover any issues or complications that happen. You may ask what exactly is meant by “complications” – that usually depends on the provider, but generally speaking many will cover for what’s on the following list:

  • Miscarriages and stillbirths: as well as the trauma that comes with them.
  • Ectopic pregnancy.
  • Hydatidiform mole.
  • Eclampsia and pre-eclampsia.
  • Retained placenta.
  • Gestational diabetes.
  • Caesarean sections – this of course depends on the clinical circumstance.

You’ll have to take a close look at your insurance to see what pregnancy complications are covered. Each provider is different.

Pregnancy insurance – Are there limitations on complications?

The serious complications that arise from pregnancy may be covered by insurance, but those considered “minor” usually are not. It is also probable that there could be limitations on out and in-patient treatment – even if a pregnancy complication is being treated. Your provider may only cover the costs up to a certain amount. Should you be charged more, it’ll have to come out of your pocket. These limits could also apply to your out-patient cover.

As always, make sure to read through your policy! The last thing anyone wants is to be caught out by their insurance, especially during pregnancy!

Why isn’t routine pregnancy covered?

When it comes to pregnancy, insurance providers consider it a “deliberate” choice of lifestyle. However, don’t forget: if you’re about to give birth, the NHS will see you immediately in a private room. This negates the benefits you get from avoiding queues or getting your own room.

What about time limits?

If you experience complications with your pregnancy, insurance providers will require a “cover period” before you can claim for them. A good example is Aviva: you have to be under their provision for at least 10 months before claims on pregnancy-related conditions can be made.

Are there any other benefits?

Other benefits may be offered by insurance providers in relation to pregnancy:

  • You may receive a cash benefit from your provider when the child is born.
  • Although providers tend not to cover IVF and other fertility treatments, some may offer certain benefits related to covering infertility.

Maternity cover is therefore not all that common and pregnancy tends not to be covered by insurance.