A Guide To Maternity Insurance For Mums-To-Be (And Panicky Dads-To-Be)

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Maternity insurance is one of the many things you’ll need to purchase when your baby bump starts to show. Here’s a handy guide to help with your baby steps into parenting.

In the latest addition to the various grants and subsidies parents in Singapore can receive  , Mummies and Daddies of Singaporean babies born between 1 October 2020 and 30 September 2022 will receive a one-off $3,000 Baby Support Grant. This grant supplements the existing Baby Bonus cash gift, to help couples defray the cost of raising a child during the COVID-19 pandemic – a big concern for couples delaying childbearing plans.

If you’re a Mum-to-be (or a concerned, loving husband), here’s what you need to know about maternity insurance. 

What is maternity insurance 

Maternity insurance (also known as pregnancy insurance or prenatal insurance) is a single-premium insurance that provides coverage for both the mother and the baby during the course of the pregnancy – and even shortly after birth. This coverage comes in the form of a lump sum payout or daily hospital cash to offset additional medical costs.

While maternity insurance will not cover the cost of your delivery or your hospitalisation bills, what it does provide is additional coverage specifically for pregnancy complications or congenital illnesses the newborn might have. Examples of congenital illnesses include Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome and congenital deafness. 

Maternity insurance lasts the entirety of your pregnancy and continues for 30 days after childbirth. The coverage provided for the newborn could last longer, depending on the plan you purchase. 

The cost of maternity insurance can range from $300 to $1,600, depending on the coverage offered as well as the age of the mother — the younger you are, the lower the premiums. 

When should you buy maternity insurance?

You should purchase your maternity insurance as early as possible, so that the plan can help to protect against any complications that might arise throughout the course of the pregnancy. 

The earliest you can purchase maternity insurance is typically the 13th week of your pregnancy. The 13-week mark is the end of the first trimester – when the pregnancy is more stable – as up to 80% of miscarriages occur in the first trimester. This is also the time when couples announce the happy news to their friends and family! 

There is also an upper band to this limit. You can purchase maternity insurance up until the 35th to 40th week of pregnancy, depending on the insurer. Keep in mind that age is also an eligibility criteria, with insurers requiring the mother to be between the ages of 18 and 45. 

Another reason to purchase maternity insurance sooner rather than later: you pay the same premiums whether you apply for the insurance at the 13-week mark or towards the tail end of the pregnancy.

Do you need maternity insurance? 

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of maternity insurance plans and what they cover, you should first get a better understanding of what MediShield Life and our Integrated Shield Plans provide. 

#1: What does MediShield Life cover for pregnant women? 

MediShield Life is a basic health insurance plan all Singpaoreans and PRs have. It helps pay for large hospital bills and selected outpatient treatments that may be costly. All Singapore Citizen babies are automatically covered by MediShield Life, for life (no pun intended), including those with congenital and neonatal conditions.

When it comes to pregnancy-related coverage, should you encounter complications, MediShield Life helps to defray these unexpected expenses. It covers inpatient treatments for serious pregnancy and delivery-related complications, including eclampsia, postpartum haemorrhage and more. 

Here’s the list of serious pregnancy and delivery-related complications covered by MediShield Life for inpatient treatment. 

#2: What do Integrated Shield Plans (IP) cover for pregnant women? 

Your IP also provides coverage for pregnancy complications. However, this coverage only applies if it is a listed pregnancy complication condition, such as pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. Your IP also does not cover the newborn and you can only apply for insurance for your baby when they are born. 

With MediShield Life and IPs providing a degree of coverage, it begs the question: do you need maternity insurance? 

It can be seen as an additional insurance type that supplements your existing health insurance and life insurance policies. 

Like what was mentioned earlier, maternity insurance covers you for pregnancy complications or congenital illnesses. More importantly, maternity insurance can help to guarantee insurance coverage for your newborn. This means that your baby can get an insurance plan with the same insurer, without a medical check-up required, provided the plan is purchased within the first 90 days of birth. 

This is particularly important if your child is born with health conditions, which could lead to them being rejected for insurance plans in the future. On the flip side, if your baby is perfectly healthy, you can easily purchase insurance plans for them in the future, subject to medical underwriting. 

What should your maternity insurance cover?

Here’s what you can expect to find when looking for a maternity insurance plan, though the coverage varies depending on the insurer. 

Coverage provided for the mother:

  • Pregnancy complications: Complications that arise from the pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia and eclampsia 
  • Death or total & permanent disability benefit (TPD): Lump sum payout upon death or TPD
  • Hospitalisation benefit: Daily cash benefit for each day you are hospitalised due to pregnancy complications

Some insurance plans also offer additional benefits for the expecting mother, such as mental wellness benefits. It could also cover components such as childbirth medical negligence.

Coverage provided for the baby:

  • Congenital illnesses (the number of congenital illnesses covered differs depending on the insurance plan)
  • Death benefit: Lump sum payout upon death
  • Hospitalisation benefit: Daily cash benefit for each day the baby is hospitalised due to congenital illnesses
  • Outpatient phototherapy benefit due to severe neonatal jaundice: Cash benefit for each day the phototherapy machine is rented

Exclusions to take note of: Some policies do not cover pregnancies as a result of In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or other Assisted Conception Procedures. If you have used IVF to conceive, you can specifically look for plans that do not exclude IVF, such as the Aviva MyMaternityPlan and Manulife ReadyMummy.

While maternity insurance plans do provide coverage for twins, some maternity insurance plans exclude mothers that are expecting more than two foetuses, such as triplets or quadruplets. From an insurer standpoint, these pregnancies could carry higher risk and are hence excluded. Again, there are still plans in the market that still provide coverage for these special bundles of joy. 

Which are the best maternity insurance plans available? 

There are two types of maternity insurance plans: standalone maternity insurance plans and maternity insurance that is coupled with an investment-linked plan. 

This article will only look at standalone maternity insurance plans, for pregnancy related complications and congenital illnesses.

Here are some of the best maternity insurance plans for your decision-making. 

Plan nameKey featuresPremium*
Aviva MyMaternityPlan– Covers as many as 4 babies in a single pregnancy, even for IVF cases
– Coverage for developmental delay of child
– Coverage for stem cell transplant surgery
$638 
(For sum assured of $10,000)
Great Eastern Flexi Maternity Cover– Coverage available for purchase from 13th week to 40th week of pregnancy
– Coverage for child till end of 3 year policy term
– Guaranteed Insurability Option to buy whole life, endowment or ILP for mum or child (within 90 days)
$869 
(For sum assured of $10,000 on the Enhanced Plan)
Manulife ReadyMummy– Covers 14 pregnancy complications
– Psychotherapy treatment benefit
– Covers pregnancies by Assisted Conception Procedures with additional premium
Not available on website
NTUC Income Maternity 360– Hospital care benefit based on 1% of Sum Assured
– Covers 10 pregnancy complications and 23 congenital illnesses
– Mother is covered for the entirety of the policy
$390.55
(For sum assured of $5,000)

*Premiums are illustrated based on a 30 year old pregnant mother

Aviva MyMaternityPlan: Covering IVF, stem cell transplant and developmental delay

This plan covers as many as 10 pregnancy complications and 23 congenital illnesses.

Aviva MyMaternityPlan stands out for its coverages that plug the areas where other maternity insurance plans lack. Aviva MyMaternityPlan covers pregnancies including those that come about as a result of IVF, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Intracervical Insemination (ICI). It also covers as many as four babies in a single pregnancy, even for IVF cases.

Uniquely, it also provides coverage for stem cell transplant surgery as well as the developmental delay of the child. Should you purchase a new whole life plan for your baby within 90 days from birth, a health check-up will not be required.

Coverage for the motherCoverage for the baby
Coverage for 10 types of pregnancy complications at 100% of the sum insuredCoverage for 23 types of congenital illnesses at 100% of the sum insured
Hospitalisation benefit: 1% of sum assured for each day of hospitalisation, up to 30 days Hospitalisation benefit: 1% of sum assured for each day of hospitalisation, up to 30 days 
Death benefit of 100% of sum assuredDeath benefit of 100% of sum assured

Outpatient phototherapy benefit: 1% of sum assured for each day of rental of the phototherapy machine, up to 10 days 

Stem cell transplant surgery: 50% of sum assured

Developmental delay: 10% of sum assured

However, there is a catch to this plan. You (or your spouse) will need to sign up for one of Aviva’s other insurance plans to be eligible to purchase this policy. Eligible plans include savings, critical illness, health, life, protection and retirement plans. 

When can you apply: The expecting mother has to be within 13th to 36th week of pregnancy at the time of application.

Premium (for 30 year old mother): $638 for $10,000 sum assured. 

Great Eastern Flexi Maternity Cover (Enhanced Plan): Active coverage even during late-stage pregnancy 

This plan covers the mother for eight types of pregnancy complications while the newborn is covered for 18 congenital illnesses. Both mother and child are covered for $10,000 benefit for pregnancy complications or congenital illnesses respectively. This plan also offers up to $200 hospital care benefit (intensive care unit or high dependency unit) per day for up to a maximum of 30 days. 

There is a longer application timeframe for the Great Eastern Flexi Maternity Cover. If you’re late to the game, you can still purchase this policy up until the 40th week of pregnancy. The baby also enjoys a longer coverage period, with coverage only ending three years from the start of the policy.

Coverage for the motherCoverage for the baby
Coverage for 8 types of pregnancy complicationsCoverage for 18 types of congenital illnesses
$10,000 pregnancy complications benefit$10,000 congenital illnesses benefit
Hospital care benefit of up to $200 per day, for a maximum of 30 daysHospital care benefit of up to $200 per day, for a maximum of 30 days
$10,000 death or total and permanent disability (TPD) benefit due to pregnancy complications$10,000 death benefit due to any of the 18 covered congenital illnesses 

With the purchase of this maternity insurance plan, you also enjoy the option to purchase a regular premium whole life plan, endowment plan or investment-linked plan for either yourself and/or your newborn within 90 days of the child’s birth, without the need for medical underwriting. 

As an incentive, you also receive an exclusive $108 premium voucher which can be used to offset the initial premium of a new eligible plan.

Do note that pregnancy as a result of IVF is not covered and mothers expecting more than two foetuses are not eligible. 

When can you apply: The expecting mother has to be within her 13th to 40th week of pregnancy.

Premium (for 30 year old mother): $869 for $10,000 sum assured. For a lower premium of $542 you enjoy $5,000 coverage instead.

Manulife ReadyMummy:  Mental wellness support and Assisted Conception Procedures

Whether you’re ready to be a mummy or not, you can purchase the Manulife ReadyMummy plan to enjoy coverage for 14 pregnancy complications, including miscarriage due to accident. It also covers the newborn for 24 congenital illnesses.

Manulife ReadyMummy shines bright with their support for mental wellness. Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and other mental health illnesses should not be overlooked. Manulife ReadyMummy looks after the mum’s mental wellness by providing coverage for psychotherapy treatments at 10% of the sum insured.

Not everyone can conceive easily and there are more couples turning to medical help to conceive. Manulife ReadyMummy covers pregnancies by Assisted Conception Procedures such as IVF, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI) and Intracervical Insemination (ICI). This does come with an additional premium, although it is a small price to pay should complications arise.

Coverage for the motherCoverage for the baby
Coverage for 14 pregnancy complications at 100% of the sum insured, including miscarriage due to accidentCovers the child for 24 congenital illnesses at 100% of the sum insured
Hospitalisation cash benefit at 1% of the sum insured for each day of hospital stay (up to 30 days)Hospitalisation cash benefit at 1% of the sum insured for each day of hospital stay (up to 30 days)
Death benefit of 100% of sum assuredDeath benefit of 100% of sum assured
Mental wellness: Covers the mother for psychotherapy treatment at 10% of the sum insuredOutpatient phototherapy treatment benefit: 1% of sum assured for each day of rental of a phototherapy machine for the child, up to 10 days 

With the purchase of Manulife ReadyMummy, you also enjoy the option to purchase any eligible plan(s) offered by Manulife within 90 days from the birth of the child with no health questions asked. 

This plan covers up to two biological children born from a single pregnancy; and only one biological child from assisted reproduction techniques without complications. 

When can you apply: From as early as 13 weeks into the pregnancy. 

NTUC Income Maternity 360: All-round coverage with affordable premiums 

If you’re a young mum, the NTUC Income Maternity 360 offers the lowest minimum age requirement of 17 years. Mothers above 44 years will unfortunately not be eligible. 

It also boasts affordable premiums with comprehensive coverage including coverage for 10 pregnancy complications, 23 congenital illnesses and hospitalisation care benefit at 1% of sum assured per day. 

The coverage for the mother usually ends 30 days after the birth of the child. With NTUC Income Maternity 360, both mother and baby get three years of comprehensive maternity insurance. The policy will be terminated at the end of the third policy year.

Coverage for the motherCoverage for the baby
Coverage for 10 pregnancy complications at 100% of the sum insuredCovers the child for 23 congenital illnesses at 100% of the sum insured
Hospitalisation care benefit at 1% of sum assured for each day of hospital stay, up to 30% of sum assuredHospitalisation care benefit at 1% of sum assured for each day of hospital stay, up to 30% of sum assured
Death benefit of 100% of sum assuredDeath benefit of 100% of sum assured

Outpatient phototherapy treatment benefit: 1% of sum assured for each day the phototherapy machine is rented, up to 10% of sum assured (only valid up to 30 days from birth)

You can also purchase a new policy with Income after the birth of your child by completing a simplified health declaration. 

When can you apply: When the insured mother is between 13 and 35 weeks pregnant.

Premium (for 30 year old mother): $390.55 for a sum assured of $5,000

Preparing for motherhood

Besides maternity insurance, you should also be considering baby insurance once your newborn is ready to greet the world. 

If you need a bit more hand-holding during the course of your pregnancy, you can refer to this week by week guide by the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology from KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital that follows you from week 1 to week 40 of your pregnancy.

Read these next:
9 Things You Should Know About Your MediShield Life
Insurance Plans All New Parents Need In Their Portfolio
Baby Insurance: What’s Worth Buying For Your Newborn?
Best Integrated Shield Plans in Singapore (2020)
UOB Lady’s Savings Account: Free Medical Coverage For All Women


By Ching Sue Mae
A flat white, an adventure-filled travel and a good workout is her fuel. This Manchester United fan enjoys sharing knowledge on personal finance while chasing the dream of financial independence.