Because pregnancy is a very expensive time in a women’s life, most medical aids will be reluctant to take on a pregnant women and pay for all costs immediately. Some medical aids may charge a penalty for covering pregnant women while other medical aids might let you join but will not cover any costs relating to the pregnancy. Yet other medical aids may make you wait several months after joining before they will cover any costs, and by that time, it is likely that your baby will be born and there will be no more pregnancy costs to cover.
Why do pregnant women need medical aid?
From the beginning of a pregnancy, there are many expenses that need to be covered, and these can escalate and compound so that by the time the baby is born, the total cost is astronomical. The costs include regular visits to a gynaecologist to make sure that the baby is healthy and the pregnancy is progressing properly. Some pregnant women also want to test their amniotic fluid to see if the baby has any defects and to see whether the baby will be born healthy. This is a further expense. Other expenses include prenatal vitamins and other medication as well as the hospital stay for the birth of the child and any care after that.
Many new born babies require medical care immediately after birth as well as vaccines and medication. You want your child to be covered immediately from birth onwards to make sure that his or her health is not overlooked.
Medical aids that cover pregnancy immediately
Most medical aids do not cover pregnancy if the individual joins while she is pregnant. Some medical aids do accept pregnant women but will make them wait for a period of three to 12 months before they will cover any costs. Other medical aids will charge a penalty for pregnant women joining. Many medical aids used to offer immediate cover for pregnant women or one of the above penalties or waiting periods, but they often change their processes and the way they handle things. Because of this, it is always a good idea to contact medical aids and find out what their latest specifications are.
Recently, Medihelp was accepting pregnant women and covering them immediately, but as stated above, most medical aids have begun moving towards non-cover for pregnant women and it is thus a good idea to check first whether they still cover pregnant women or not.
Other options to consider
There are several other options for handling the costs of your pregnancy, however you must be aware that none are as convenient as having a medical aid cover all the fees and expenses. It is, however, a good idea to know what your options are. Even if a medical aid imposes a waiting period, it is a good idea to register yourself and your child for a medical aid plan as your child might need medical services soon after birth and you do not want to be unprepared for this.
If you are paying for your pregnancy expenses yourself, it may be a good idea to go for cheaper care. Government hospital offer much cheaper services and medicines. However, there is a definite difference in the standard of care at government hospitals compared to private hospital and medical care.
Another option, if you do not want to use the public medical system, is to take out a personal loan with a reputable financial service provider to cover your medical expenses during pregnancy. Be sure to use a financial service provider that has a large base of happy and satisfied customers. Read the fine print and make sure that you can afford the monthly payments.