Healthcare cover during pregnancy is a necessity to ensure that you and your baby are covered. Ensuring that you are covered during your pregnancy is one of the most important decisions you can make for yours and your baby’s health.
Healthcare insurance during pregnancy and afterwards helps to give you peace of mind that in the event of a medical emergency, you and baby are covered, and that your baby will have the best chance at life.
Your health matters
As soon as you know you are pregnant, you should go for your first pregnancy checkups as early as seven to eight weeks for a risk assessment, and regularly throughout your pregnancy; and register online on the Discovery website from the time you are 12 weeks pregnant. These checkups are important, as an initial risk assessment allows your doctor to provide you with a personalised care approach and identify any potential problems early to allow for the best care possible for both you and your baby. These checkups include routine tests such as blood tests and ultrasound scans.
Your doctor will also provide you with dietary guidelines as good nutrition is critical during pregnancy. It is important to note that you should be eating twice as well during your pregnancy, and not for two people.
Protect your growing baby’s health
To protect your baby’s developing health; you should stop smoking, and avoid alcohol to prevent your baby from being born with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. Exercise regularly and ensure you get enough rest for your body and mind. You should also ensure that the food you eat is hygienic and well prepared and cooked to prevent any illnesses caused by food from affecting your baby.
How Discovery covers you and your baby
The type of cover you will receive depends on what kind of health plan you have. Discovery pays for most of your antenatal care from your day-to-day benefits, provided there are funds available. It is important to check that your preferred doctor and hospital are included within Discovery Health’s network to avoid co-payments.
Discovery Health will cover you in the following ways:
1) Your Pregnancy
When you go for your routine checkups, Discovery Health Medical Scheme will provide cover for the following services from your day-to-day benefits:
- Consultations with your obstetrician, gynaecologist or specialist doctor
- Antenatal classes
- Ultrasound scans
2) Where your baby will be born
Deciding where your baby will be born is an important part of your pregnancy. Most Discovery healthcare plans will cover you for childbirth out of your hospital benefit, and up to the Discovery Health Rate. If you plan to have a natural birth, you will have cover for three days from the day of delivery, and for a Caesarean section, you will have cover for four days and three nights. If you are on the KeyCare plan, Caesarean sections are only covered if it is a medical necessity.
If you decide on a home birth, Discovery Health Medical Scheme will cover this from your hospital benefit, but you are responsible for the cost of hiring a birthing pool.
3) The first month
Your baby will receive automatic healthcare cover for the month he or she is born, but you need to register your baby for medical cover as soon as possible after the birth, and before the end of his or her first month. If you don’t do this, your baby will not be covered by the Scheme. You can register your baby’s birth online at www.discovery.co.za
In the event that your baby requires medical treatment in hospital after birth or needs to be accommodated in the neonatal intensive care unit, your baby’s hospital benefit will cover these costs for the first month. You will be responsible for any healthcare costs for your baby once the first month is over if your baby is not registered for healthcare cover.
If you are a Vitality member, once your pregnancy has been authorised by Discovery Health Medical Scheme, you can earn points for doing a CPR course, going to antenatal classes, and register for Discovery Baby benefits. In addition, you can join the LivingVitality community where you will find invaluable information from other parents about pregnancy; looking after both yours and your baby’s health; support for dealing with postnatal depression and anxiety, which affects as many as 40% of South African mothers.