Fertility & Maternity Cover

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Planning or welcoming a new addition to the family is always an exciting time but it can also be overwhelming. There’s a lot to think about such as choosing baby names, nurseries & a whole new world of gadgets.

If you’re considering starting a family, it’s also important to think about yourself and your needs.  Having a Health Insurance plan with a range of fertility & maternity benefits has become very popular over the last few years.

If you already have a plan or are thinking of taking one out, here’s what you should consider. Do you need it? What cover should you be looking for? If you have it, what does your policy actually cover? Thankfully, nowadays there is an array of options for new mums and dads, so here’s just some of the benefits you could avail of, if needed.

Fertility Benefits

The road to pregnancy isn’t always straightforward. Did you know that approximately 15% of couples in Ireland deal with fertility issues?* If you are affected by, or have concerns about fertility, then each insurer offers a range of benefits to help, which may include:

* Source: Infertility and Its Treatments - A Review of Psycho-social Issues - The Women's Health Council

Fertility Benefits
His & Hers Fertility Screening tests
You can claim a contribution towards the cost of His & Hers Fertility Screening tests
AMH (egg count) Test
Claim a contribution towards the cost of an anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test. (This can be helpful for women to try to work out how much fertile time they have left, particularly because more and more women are leaving it later to start a family. Women have a fixed number of eggs that decline with age. The AMH test is helpful in indicating the number of eggs a woman has left and therefore, her fertility potential)
IVF, IUI, ICSI Infertility Treatment
Claim contributions towards the cost of Intra Uterine Insemination (IUI), In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) and Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) treatment. This could be up to €1,000 twice in the policy lifetime
Sperm/Egg Freezing
A contribution towards the cost of fertility preservation, such as oocyte cryopreservation, may be available. This is usually capped at 50% of the cost up to a specified maximum amount
International Second Opinion on Fertility
Have unlimited access to an International Second Opinion Service. This benefit offers an independent review of your infertility diagnosis and can offer alternative treatment plans from a range of leading medical centres around the world
Maternity Mental Health Support
Under this benefit you can claim a contribution towards the cost of counselling sessions provided by Nurture for antenatal, postnatal depression, fertility issues and miscarriage support.

Maternity Options

Maternity cover is a feature on all plans, regardless of gender. However, some plans offer very limited benefits so if maternity cover is of specific interest to you, it is important to have a detailed discussion with your insurer or provider.

Hospital Maternity Cover

When it comes to maternity care in hospitals, there are three main maternity options available in Ireland – public, semi-private and private care (room only).

With regard to private patients, there are no private maternity hospitals so they now have to rely on the public maternity hospitals such as the Coombe or the Rotunda hospitals and while private and semi-private rooms are available, access is not guaranteed.

Having health insurance means that your insurer will pay for your accommodation should you decide to go semi-private or private. Not all plans cover a private room so if this is important to you, make sure it is covered on your plan.

The first three days accommodation are covered under the maternity section of your plan but if you have to  stay longer and it is deemed medically necessary e.g. C section, the balance of the stay would be covered under inpatient benefit. The majority of health insurance plans also provide either cash back or a contribution towards your consultant fees and a host of pre and postnatal benefits.

Consultant Fees

It’s important you know that no health insurance plan provides full cover for the cost of consultant fees. These fees can range from €2,000 to €6,000 depending on whether you choose to go semi private or private. Most policies will provide a contribution of between €350 and €600 towards these fees.

Alternative Birth

Alternative birth benefits are also offered on many plans. This may include Home Births, which allow you to claim back some of the medical costs directly associated with the delivery of your child at home, usually to a maximum amount of €3,500-€4,000.

Additional Benefits

The three insurers offer access to a range of claimable benefits for both prenatal and postnatal care, such as discounts or cashback in areas like free GP cover when pregnant, consultant visits, nutritionists, scans etc.

Some examples of maternity benefits include:

Prenatal Benefits
Dietician or Nutritionist Consultation
You can claim contributions towards the cost of attending a nutritionist or a dietician consultation
Antenatal classes
Claim contributions towards the cost of an antenatal class provided by a midwife prior to the birth of your baby
Pre/Postnatal yoga & pilates
Allows you to claim back some of the costs of pregnancy yoga, pregnancy pilates, baby yoga and baby pilates
Acupuncturist
With this benefit you can claim contributions towards the cost of attending an acupuncturist
UMamma
Gives you a point of sale discount on holistic pre and postnatal treatments at the UMamma Sanctuary
3D/4D maternity scans & early pregnancy scan
Claim a contribution towards 3D & 4D maternity scans or early pregnancy scans depending on your plan. See your table of cover for specific entitlements
Zika screening
You can claim a contribution towards the cost of a Zika screening consultation and/or test through partner medical providers
Pre/postnatal medical expenses
You can claim back some of the costs of pre/postnatal care provided by a consultant, GP or a midwife during and after your pregnancy.

Postnatal Benefits
Welcome Home Food Hamper
A Welcome Home Food Hamper and a 30 minute telephone consultation from a nutritionist
Postnatal Support
The cost of postnatal support in your home provided by Doula Care Ireland after your baby is born is covered
Early discharge maternity benefit
Allows you claim back a cash payment where you have given birth in a medical facility covered under your plan and are discharged after only one night
Home Early Support
You can claim support from a midwife and a Postnatal Supporter in your home where you have given birth in a public hospital covered under your plan and are discharged after one or two nights
Postnatal Domestic Support
The cost of a number of sessions of domestic home help is provided after your baby is born
Breastfeeding consultancy
Allows you to claim back some of the costs of a consultation with a qualified breastfeeding consultant
Postnatal night nurse care
Claim back some of the costs towards the services of a paediatric nurse at home after you have your baby
Baby Massage Course
Contribution towards the cost of attending a baby massage course.

·  Please note the above tables are examples only and actual benefits are dependent on your plan and insurer. Some benefits must be carried out by registered practitioners or specific medical partners of the relevant insurer

Why should I take out health insurance for maternity?

The decision to purchase health insurance should be a holistic one, based on providing you with choice and control, when managing your overall health. Health Insurance provides access to a wide range of hospitals, consultants and unique benefits to support your health from a physical, mental and lifestyle perspective. We do not believe any decision to buy health insurance is merited on maternity cover alone.

Public system for maternity

If you opt to go through the public system for maternity, you will not be charged for any care relating to maternity. However, you are not guaranteed to see the same midwife or consultant with each antenatal visit or on the day of labour and you may not receive as many take-home scans, which is one of the loveliest parts of being pregnant for you and your family. It is important to note, if you need hospital care for any other illnesses outside of maternity during this time, you will be charged the normal hospital charges for those illnesses.

Just to note, access to public hospitals is not free. For non-maternity related issues, you will be charged €100 for a public A&E visit and €80 per night for any overnight stay up to a maximum of 10 nights or €800. Quality Health Insurance can be accessed from €950-€1,250 per adult.

Health Insurance for maternity

If you opt to go with semi private or private cover, you will have more consistency in terms of seeing the same team of midwives or the same consultant at each visit. There are more take home scans, waiting times should be much shorter, semi private accommodation would be between 2-6 beds and for private cover, your consultant is present during birth.

If you feel you would benefit from having cover that gives you access to public, private and high tech hospitals whilst allowing you access to benefits such as Minor Injury Clinics, Online GPs, money back on GPs, Consultant visits, Dental cover, Physio visits and offering many wellness & mental health supports, then buying health insurance, even at a starter level, might be worth considering.

Watch our videos

Fertility Cover

Fertility benefits are an increasingly important benefit of Health Insurance. Learn more

Maternity Cover

Are maternity benefits important to you as part of your health insurance plan? Do you need advice on what plan may suit you and your needs?

Compare health insurers with Cornmarket

Our Health Insurance Comparison Service takes the pain out of finding the right health insurance in the market for you. Learn more.

If you have any queries regarding fertility or maternity cover or if you would just like to explore your health insurance options

Waiting Periods

 A waiting period* applies to all health insurance plans before you can access any maternity benefits.

*A waiting period is the amount of time that must pass before you will be covered for maternity benefits under your plan. Once you’ve had health insurance for more than one year, with any provider and without a break in cover of more than 13 weeks, you will be fully covered immediately as long as you are not upgrading your cover.