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Planning a pregnancy one day? It might be time to upgrade your health care cover

18 May 2018

Midwife Emma Cook explains what you can do if you want private maternity care.

Did you know that if you are interested in giving birth in a private hospital or, even if you just want to keep your options open, you will need to upgrade your health cover at least one year in advance to include obstetrics?

This comes as a surprise to many expecting parents, who can find themselves disappointed they don’t have the choice to go to a private hospital.

What to consider when considering private health insurance for maternity care 

If you are thinking about having a baby, it’s never too early to investigate your insurance cover options.

You need to allow for a 12-month waiting period from the time you join or upgrade your private health insurance before you can claim on hospital and medical costs for childbirth.

Take care when choosing your policy:

  • If you want to have your baby delivered in a private hospital, you will need to have a policy that covers you for this. Otherwise, you risk out-of-pocket expenses if you don’t have adequate cover.
  • Make sure your baby is included on your policy from their birth, in case they need to be admitted to a special care nursery for extra care after birth.

Get a clear view on what costs to expect:

  • Check with your hospital, health fund and obstetrician to obtain quotes and find out what you are (or might soon be) covered for and what out-of-pocket expenses you might incur.
  • Make sure you know what additional services your health fund may cover including home visits, parent education classes and outpatient lactation appointments.

You may want to consider checking if your policy covers other services that may be beneficial during your pregnancy such as yoga, Pilates, nutritionist consultations and physiotherapy.

For more information

St John of God Health Care Emma Cook
Emma Cook - Director of Nursing

Emma Cook has almost 20 years’ experience in a variety of clinical and nursing executive roles at St John of God Mt Lawley Hospital.

Emma is a registered nurse and midwife and holds a Bachelor of Science (nursing) and Diploma in Midwifery as well a Masters in Health Care Services and a Graduate Certificate in Leadership and Catholic Culture.