So, you’re pregnant and can’t wait to hold your little mini-you in your arms. Congratulations! The experience of becoming a parent is priceless, but sooner or later you’re going to run into the expenses involved with a pregnancy.
Pregnancy and childbirth can be both exciting and daunting. Naturally most couples will have concerns about the financial impact of having a child. There are so many “nice-to-have” items on the market for parents-to-be to consider; actually it’s a lot like planning a wedding – some people get married for the cost of a licence while others spend six figures! A lot of items are on the “nice-to-have” list, but some costs simply can’t be avoided.
The actual cost of pregnancy and childbirth can be steep, especially if you don’t have a medical aid. The price tag of a healthy pregnancy can really add up starting with prenatal care to ensure a healthy baby and a healthy delivery. You will need to visit your gynaecologist throughout your pregnancy; if you have medical aid, prenatal visits and diagnostic tests such as ultrasounds, will be covered. They are generally considered as “preventative” care. An ultrasound could cost anything between R600 to R800 upwards.
But, let’s take a look at the approximate costs of the actual birth of your baby. Off course, if you’re giving birth at a government hospital and you meet certain criteria, your birth will be free of charge. Should you however choose to have your baby in a private hospital, a natural birth (for the first day) will cost you over R9 000. With an epidural, it’ll cost you R2 000 extra. If you’re planning to stay a little longer, the cost will be over R3 000 extra per day (according to a cost breakdown provided by Mediclinic, assuming no complications).
For a C-section you will be forking out almost R13 000. You will have to pay R3 000 extra for every day you need to stay at the hospital.
Immunisation and primary health care for any child under five is offered free of charge if you visit a government health clinic. However, if you prefer to take your baby to a private baby clinic for his/her immunisations, the costs will be in the ball park of R5 000 in the first year. Expect to pay between R500 and R1 000 per paediatrician visit.
Every day, scores of women in South Africa scramble to find a medical aid that will cover them for their current pregnancy and childbirth. At one time medical schemes did cover the pre-existing pregnancy’s costs if a woman joined in the first month or sometimes first trimester of pregnancy, but those days are over. So, if you join after you’ve become pregnant, you will not receive maternity benefits. Even if you are unaware that you are pregnant when joining a medical aid, you will still not receive maternity coverage.
So, if you’ve missed the boat it is still worth considering joining a medical aid. Although the pregnancy and delivery will not be covered, your newborn will be covered from birth should your baby need medical care.
But, if you have a medical aid before you get pregnant, you have little to worry about. Maxima Basis is an excellent Medical Aid option to consider, if you’re thinking of starting a family in future. You may have to fork out a little extra to doctors as many charge above medical aid rates. However, if you are pregnant and do not have a medical aid yet, brace yourself for paying for the delivery out of your own pocket.
Source: pregnancymedicalaid.co.za, www.parent24.com, www.webmd.com, www.trustedchoice.com, www.moneyunder30.com, www.medicalaids.net, www.medicalaidsearch.co.za, www.allforwomen.co.za, www.vitacare.co.za