From Two to Three - Couples Health Insurance for Pregnancy


Tammy George

Happy couple holding newborn baby, emphasizing the importance of private health insurance for pregnancy and new parents' healthcare needs.

Starting a family is often a big step with lots of exciting, joyful, and magical moments, but also a time of unknown, challenging, and uncertain ones. A little planning in advance can help ease you into parenthood (as much as that’s possible!). 

One of the earliest actions to take is ensuring you have the right health insurance coverage for pregnancy. You'd be surprised by the number of couples that dive into this life moment without insurance or the wrong policy to cover mum and bub. Review your options and take one step closer to a stress-free pregnancy.

Understanding the Importance of Couples Health Insurance

Waiting after you get pregnant to get private health insurance is too late. All health funds have a 12-month waiting period for obstetrics, so this means you won’t get your choice of private obstetrician or private hospital to deliver your baby. And on waiting periods, this also applies to assisted reproductive technology if you find you have trouble falling pregnant. Taking out health insurance and then serving a waiting period before starting infertility treatment can be daunting and pose unnecessary stress at this stage of your life.

Health Insurance for Couples: Planning for Parenthood

Couples can choose from a range of different levels of hospital cover to suit their lifestyle and budget. However, when you start planning a family, you'll need Gold Top Hospital to cover pregnancy and birth. If you have a lower level of coverage, you can upgrade your hospital coverage with a simple step - you can choose the per-person excess, which alters the cost of the premium. A higher level of coverage means you're covered for more types of treatments, not just obstetrics.

With Gold Top Hospital cover, your baby is automatically covered from the moment they’re born, so if bub needs any medical treatment at the same private hospital as you, you'll have nothing to worry about. You will need to contact HIF within two months of the baby’s arrival to add them to your policy, and then there is no waiting period to serve if they require treatment at a private hospital. 

If you’re not in a relationship, you can take out the same HIF Gold Top Hospital cover for individuals and get the same pregnancy and birth coverage.

Benefits of Dedicated Health Insurance for Couples

If you don’t have hospital cover, you may be paying the Medicare levy surcharge, depending on your income level. By taking out private hospital cover, you can avoid the 1%, 1.25% or 1.5% levy payment on your taxable income.
Some couples planning to start a family may have two individual health insurance policies. To avoid keeping track of two separate health insurance policies, opt for a couples policy and have everything in one place - one payment and one set of benefits to understand and live by.

When your baby is born, you can easily convert your couples policy to a family one. Best of all, with HIF there is no additional charge to hospital cover premium. You can have a tribe of children, all covered by your family hospital cover premium policy and not pay any more than the equivalent couple's policy.

Couple in hospital during ultrasound, highlighting the need for comprehensive health insurance for pregnancy and couples' health needs.

Private Health Insurance for Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

There are a few simple things to know about health insurance costs for pregnancy and obstetrics:

  • Your Gold Top Hospital health cover will allow you to claim part or all of the hospital costs. 
  • Obstetrician and other specialists’ costs (such as the anaesthetist) in the hospital, will be part or fully covered. 
  • Antenatal obstetrician appointments in obstetrician’s rooms during pregnancy aren’t covered by private health but part of the cost is covered by Medicare.

When it comes to delivery, if you want it to be at a particular private hospital, find out which obstetricians work at that hospital, and during early pregnancy, make an appointment with one of them. Most private hospitals allow the non-patient partner to stay at the hospital, while public hospitals rarely have rooms designed to accommodate a partner staying the night. 

Partner meals and drugs aren’t covered by private health insurance and will need to be paid directly to the hospital.

In most cases, a private room is available to mothers after delivering at a private hospital. However, there may be times when all private rooms are occupied, and mums must share a room. Make sure you contact the hospital to confirm accommodation details in advance. 

Moreover, if you have a particular obstetrician you want to see, you will need to give birth at the private hospital they work at. Note that sometimes obstetricians work in more than one hospital, allowing you to choose the location. 

Check the list of contracted hospitals here or call HIF to ensure the hospital is listed as a HIF-contracted hospital. Remember, you will be attending several antenatal appointments, so check if the obstetrician’s location is convenient from work or home.

Waiting Periods

Obstetrics is expensive, so most funds have a 12-month waiting period to serve before the hospital admission date (even when the baby is born earlier than their due date). On the bright side, if you add your bub to your membership between two months and four years of the date of birth, they will be covered by their parent’s health insurance, meaning they don't serve a waiting period. 

Assisted reproductive technology is also expensive, so health funds also have a waiting period. At HIF the waiting period is 2 months or 12 months for pre-existing conditions. Please refer to your corresponding product factsheet in combination with our health cover guide to find full details on applicable waiting periods.

Understanding HIF's Pregnancy and Birth Cover

Planning your new family is an exciting time. For some parents-to-be, not knowing what the journey to parenthood will look like can be stressful. But with HIF's comprehensive Pregnancy Health Insurance coverage, you can reduce some unknowns leading up to delivery day.

Choosing Hospitals, Obstetricians, and Specialists

With HIF Pregnancy Health Insurance, you can choose which obstetrician you would like to care for you during pregnancy and to deliver your baby. A friend or family member may have recommended their obstetrician, or you may choose your doctor based on the hospital you want to attend. Regardless of the reason, having a choice for a moment of such magnitude and meeting the doctor at your prenatal appointments is reassuring for many expectant mothers. Make sure you contact the obstetrician directly to confirm the details and availability. 

Benefits of Private-Room Accommodation in HIF-Contracted Hospitals

Many people like the idea of having a private room after giving birth for several reasons. For starters, you don’t need to consider the mother on the bed next to you if your newborn is crying at night, and likewise, you won’t be disturbed by their baby. Your conversations with the nurses and doctor will remain private, as well as the ones with your partner (if present). There is also privacy and a full sense of comfort while you’re learning to breastfeed, and your visitors can stay for a chat, knowing they aren’t disturbing any other patients.

Expertise in Covering Births and Supporting New Parents

Most private hospitals provide additional services for new mothers. The range of services differ from private hospital to hospital, but some of the services include:

  • Lactation consultant
  • In-home support program for mothers who want an early discharge
  • Antenatal physiotherapy
  • Postnatal physiotherapy 1:1 or in group sessions
  • Mothers group in weeks following birth
  • Baby care education 

Mother and newborn baby in hospital room, showcasing benefits of private room accommodation in top-rated health insurance for couples.

FAQ: Common Queries About Pregnancy and Birth Cover with HIF

Here are some of the most common questions about pregnancy and birth coverage. 

What does HIF's Pregnancy and Birth Cover include?

Pregnancy health insurance includes assisted reproductive technology like IVF, a private room in a HIF-contracted hospital plus your partner can stay with you in the hospital at no extra cost, hospital fees covered should your baby require intensive care or an operation, choice of hospital excess to reduce your premium, and HIF Second Opinion. 

Are there any waiting periods for pregnancy-related services?

Yes. All health insurance funds have a waiting period for pregnancy and obstetric services. The waiting period protects existing members of health funds because rebates for these services are costly. All health funds have a strict waiting period of 12 months before being admitted to the hospital, so it’s important to take out insurance or upgrade your level of coverage well before falling pregnant.    

How can I choose the right hospital and specialists under HIF's cover?

One of the main benefits of having pregnancy health insurance is being able to choose your obstetrician and the hospital where you would like to deliver your baby. You’ll have peace of mind of knowing the doctor you will have for the delivery. Public obstetric patients may see different obstetricians at their prenatal visits and can’t choose which will deliver their baby.  

Can I upgrade my existing HIF plan to include pregnancy coverage?

Yes. If you already have HIF hospital cover, you can upgrade your level of coverage to include pregnancy. Gold Top Hospital is required as it's the only one that includes pregnancy and birth coverage. 

There’s a lot of uncertainty when it comes to pregnancy and childbirth. It’s easy to feel like you don’t have control because bub can have their agenda. But having health insurance means you can reclaim some of the control around giving birth. Take the next step towards securing comprehensive coverage for your pregnancy journey by exploring your options and making informed decisions today. 

Choose HIF for Pregnancy Health Insurance and expert guidance on health insurance to ensure peace of mind when you need it most!

Tammy George

Please note: Tammy's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic please consult your healthcare professional.

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