While mothers are known for being the epitome of strength that shapes the foundation of a family, they often neglect their own well-being in the process. They seamlessly juggle multiple responsibilities and play every role simultaneously — right from being nurturers to breadwinners. The modern woman dons all hats and works tirelessly. This makes it all the more important for them to take care of their health and be armed with the safety of a robust health insurance.

Health insurance is the shield that provides coverage for medical expenses, ensuring that individuals have access to quality healthcare without facing excessive financial stress at the time of a medical exigency. It’s important to note that health insurance needs continue to evolve at different ages and life stages, which women should factor in.

This Mother’s Day, let’s give every mother the much-needed nudge to prioritise her own well-being and choose an adequate health insurance policy.

Maternity plans for expectant mothers

Expanding one’s family is a phase that brings joy and excitement. However, it also brings additional financial responsibility. Having a child spells additional expenses, including newborn care, nutrition, medicines, vaccines, etc. As per estimates, a standard or C-section delivery can cost anywhere between ₹1 lakh and ₹15 lakh, especially in metro cities.

Hence, it is important to start planning your finances in advance. It should be taken into account that maternity coverage won’t be provided if you are already pregnant. The perfect time to avail this coverage is when you get married or at the time of your health insurance policy renewal. Earlier, the waiting periods in these plans could range between two and three years. The good news, quite literally, is that the waiting periods in new-age maternity plans have been reduced to as low as ninemonths, which makes family planning far more practical.

These plans offer sum assured ranging between ₹2 lakh and ₹2 crore, assigning definite amounts for maternity-related hospitalisation, legal and medical procedures, vaccinations, ambulance fees, and expenses related to the infant, from birth up to 30-90 days.

There are two types of maternity insurance: standalone policies and maternity coverage with a health insurance plan. Standalone maternity insurance specifically offers coverage related to childbirth. Maternity coverage with a health insurance plan provides coverage against maternity costs as part of the overall health insurance plan.

Comprehensive health insurance for young moms

For mothers with young kids, it can be challenging to look after their health. In today’s world, women need to actively prioritise their well-being with robust health insurance. For instance, a mother needs a lot of time to recuperate from the impacts of childbirth.

A comprehensive health insurance policy can offer extensive coverage for medical emergencies, ensuring lifetime renewability. It provides financial assistance to address various medical costs, including hospitalisation expenses, day care treatments, road ambulance charges, and more. Young moms can opt for health insurance plans that offer flexibility to add their child. They should also look for plans that safeguard them against illnesses predominantly affecting women.

Critical illness cover for elderly moms

At a later stage of life, elderly women are more prone to risks from critical illnesses. Conditions such as cervical cancer or breast cancer affect millions of women every year. Women should secure themselves against such life-threatening diseases, especially in their old age. Critical illness plans provide coverage against life-threatening illnesses that need expensive treatment, such as cancer, heart diseases, renal failure, etc.

In fact, mothers nearing 40 years of age should get an early grip on their health insurance needs and buy a plan that secures them for the long term. The cost of treatment for critical illnesses has been rising day by day. For instance, a lung transplant can cost anywhere between ₹14 lakh and ₹16 lakh and a liver transplant between ₹25 lakh and ₹36 lakh. Managing these expenses can be daunting and may result in depletion of savings.

Hence, having a critical illness cover is essential, especially if there is a family history of critical illnesses. Most insurers offer critical illness as a rider to health insurance plans in exchange for payment of additional premium by policyholders or standalone covers too.

Health insurance is a vital need for mothers and having the protection of comprehensive health insurance that caters to their needs at various stages of life is essential. But it’s pertinent to evaluate every aspect of the policy — such as waiting period, exclusions, extent of coverage, etc., before making a decision.

The writer is Chief Business Officer - Health and Travel Insurance, Policybazaar.com