Updated: December 09, 2019

Private Health Insurance and Pregnancy

Looking for private healthcare cover for pregnancy? We explore which pregnancy-related conditions are covered, and how to find the right policy for you

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Richard Angliss

Author: Richard Angliss - Finance Expert

Updated: December 09, 2019

There are many reasons for wanting access to private health care during pregnancy and childbirth. Although you’re entitled to NHS treatment, If any complications arise, such as needing a C-section, you’ll want to ensure you have access to the best possible health care.

Some forms of treatment may not be available on the NHS, or you may want the treatment immediately, without being placed on an NHS waiting list. A private hospital and medical team often offers extra comfort and more attentive care.

Setting up the right health insurance policy ahead of time can save you thousands of pounds which you’d otherwise have to cash out if you need private postnatal treatment, giving birth, or for special postnatal care.

Can I get private health insurance for pregnancy and childbirth?

Private health insurance can offer financial support during pregnancy, childbirth, and in some cases postnatal care should you face any unexpected medical conditions.

In most cases, even at the highest levels of insurance, pregnancy and childbirth is not covered unless there is a problem.

However, if you have any problems and need medical intervention, this could be covered by your private health insurance.

For example, if you need an operation related to pregnancy or need to see an osteopath for pregnancy-related health problems – your insurer could make a payout.

What about after my pregnancy?

Private antenatal care will ensure you are well looked after, monitored, and cared for with sufficient pain relief if you are in any pain. Many women report an excellent experience with private postnatal care.

However, most health insurers won’t offer cover for antenatal appointments unless you have a special health condition or emergency.

If you’d like more information on antenatal care, it’s best to speak to an insurance advisor.

You can get help in finding the best pregnancy health insurance by using one of the insurance advisors we work with.

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How does it work?

Having private health insurance will often give you a greater choice of treatments and facilities. It also means being able to skip potentially long NHS waiting lists.

With health insurance, you will pay an agreed monthly fee for your policy. This enables you to budget for your medical needs in advance, rather than being hit with unexpected health costs which could leave you thousands of pounds out of pocket.

Your health insurance will pay out a lump sum should you need any of the treatment your policy covers.

Each insurer sets their own charges and terms, so getting health insurance when planning a family is only worthwhile if you can find a policy that includes cover for everything you may need.

What does it cover?

Many health insurance policies can cover the cost of private health care needed for emergencies or complications related to maternity.

Some insurers will cover you for complications that may arise from pregnancy or childbirth if you’ve taken out cover with the insurer for a specific period of time ahead of making a claim.

Pregnancy-related emergencies covered by insurers include…

Caesarean sections

Eclampsia

Miscarriage

Gestational diabetes

Stillbirth

Retained placenta

Hydatidiform mole

Ectopic pregnancy

Breech

Ruptured membrane

It’s worth paying careful attention to which conditions are on the providers’ coverage list, as you won’t be covered for any childbirth-related complications not included in the policy.

Contact us if you’d like expert advice on getting private health insurance for childbirth.

What’s not covered?

While there’s plenty that private medical insurance will cover for pregnant women, there are also a few things that most policies would exclude.

See below for more information.

Routine check-ups and antenatal care
Maternity care and IVF
Obstetrician cover

Many health insurance policies in the UK will not cover routine pregnancy needs such as check-ups. This is because insurers generally view pregnancy and childbirth as a lifestyle choice, rather than a medical condition.

Private health insurance can’t pay for most routine care and treatment throughout your pregnancy including your ultrasounds and antenatal care. It’s designed to cover pregnancy health complications and emergency treatment.

However, if you have an international health insurance policy and are looking to move abroad, your insurance may be able to provide cover for routine check-ups and medical needs during pregnancy.

If you’d like advice on getting benefits related to pregnancy cover, speaking to an expert advisor can ensure you find health insurance that covers all your needs.

Most insurers won’t cover you for health conditions that are usually connected to pregnancy such as morning sickness, backaches, or other aches and pains.

If you experience these problems you can visit your NHS, GP, or midwife. In addition to this, if you want your birth to be handled by private maternity healthcare, you need to pay for it directly as it’s usually not covered by health insurance. IVF and other fertility treatment is also not covered by most health insurers.

Obstetricians are available on the NHS and privately, however, many policies will not cover obstetrician fees.

This is because many private medical insurance policies only cover complications and emergencies, so even if you have a complicated pregnancy, you will most likely see an NHS obstetrician.

For private patients – if you’re willing to pay the fees – you can see the same doctor for your first few appointments and they will also oversee your labour. This isn’t necessarily the case for NHS patients.

How do I get private health insurance in the UK which covers pregnancy?

To select your top provider for UK private health insurance during and after pregnancy, you’ll first need to work out what health conditions, potential complications, and types of treatment you want to have covered.

Search the market to look into a range of providers and compare what they offer in their policies.

Here are a few tips for comparing quotes and policy offers:

  • Check the policy covers all the conditions you’d like to be insured against
  • What’s the cost of your monthly premiums?
  • What is the limit on how much your policy will payout?
  • Is there a qualifying period? (the amount of time you have to have insurance before you can make a claim.)

You’ll need to provide the insurer with your full medical history by filling out a declaration when you apply for health insurance.

Contact us to speak to an insurance advisor who can help you find cover for any specific needs or pregnancy-related conditions you’d like to get health insurance for.

Can I get cover if I’m currently pregnant?

Timing is important when taking out insurance: it is possible to get health insurance when you are already pregnant, but in many cases you’ll need to have secured the policy in advance of being pregnant to be eligible for a payout.

A financial advisor will understand the details of policy timing, can do an in-depth comparison of insurance cover, or help you change insurance provider to get health cover that includes pregnancy.

How much does it cost?

The cost of your monthly premiums will vary depending on the private health insurance provider and how extensive your cover is. Finding your best price is a matter of selecting the cheapest policy that includes the cover you need.

Some policies will include limits on how much they pay out in a year, or per condition, or type of treatment needed.

Each insurer will have their own set of rules on which medical conditions and treatment they cover and how much they charge in premiums.

It’s worth speaking to an expert advisor to ensure you only pay for policies you need and which will pay out if you make an insurance claim.

How long do I have to wait until I can claim on insurance?

Most insurers will require you to hold a policy for a set period before you are eligible to claim for pregnancy-related complications.

This is the waiting period, or minimum amount of time you need to have had cover for before making a claim.

A waiting period of 10 months is not uncommon, but the exact period will vary from one provider to the next.

This is more or less an industry-standard policy, and it means it’s worth investigating your insurance options well in advance if you’re planning a family.

Speak to an expert advisor

Adding up the costs of private care for maternity can be daunting, with estimates for private hospital childbirth ranging from £15,000 to £30,000.

But private health insurance helps families get the funds needed to pay for private care for any medical emergencies.

An insurance expert can help you understand the details of the policy and what is or isn’t covered so you’ll have the peace of knowing you’ll get quality health care when you need it most.

Contact us on 0808 189 0463 or make an enquiry and we’ll put you through to an experienced private health insurance advisor.

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Richard Angliss

Richard Angliss

Finance Expert

About the author

Richard Angliss has made a career in financial services which stretches over 40 years.

His early career was spent learning about the various financial products and applying them to prudent advice, working for one of the largest life assurance and investment firms. After that he joined the financial services arm of a very well-known firm providing independent advice to their 8 million customers.

For the last 20 years he has been involved in building software solutions that help Advisers and clients work together to achieve good financial outcomes and helping to set up three independent advisory firms. He also has written many articles for financial services publications and provided commentary for newspaper journalists.

At an early stage in his career he realised the great satisfaction that comes with being able to help people achieve their goals and protect their families. “Regulation of financial services has hugely impacted on ensuring people get appropriate advice. The issue these days is access to that advice and just as importantly regular reviews to make sure that everything stays on track”.

With the growing development of online resources such as Online Money Advisor he sees a great future for people to access advice to make their pension and investment work harder for them.  Plus, of course, to ensure they have insurance products in place that will be required when unforeseen events happen.

He knows getting that balance right is crucial to prudent financial planning and the wellbeing of individuals and their families.

FCA Disclaimer

*Based on our research, the content contained in this article is accurate as of the most recent time of writing. Lender criteria and policies change regularly so speak to one of the advisors we work with to confirm the most accurate up to date information. The information on the site is not tailored advice to each individual reader, and as such does not constitute financial advice. All advisors working with us are fully qualified to provide mortgage advice and work only for firms that are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. They will offer any advice specific to you and your needs.

Some types of buy to let mortgages are not regulated by the FCA. Think carefully before securing other debts against your home. As a mortgage is secured against your home, it may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments on your mortgage. Equity released from your home will also be secured against it.

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