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Maternity Benefits in India: Can Single Individuals Claim Them?

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Written by Kritika Singh

Updated May 31, 2024

Edited by
Sharad Baja.
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Sharad Bajaj

Editor of Insurance Agency

Sharad is an insurance industry veteran who has managed motor insurance products for over a decade. ...

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Can Indian women and men who are single get maternity benefits through their health insurance? A lot of people have had different opinions and ideas about this question in the past few years. The short answer is - it depends. 

When it comes to health insurance in India, it is complicated and not always clear how single people can get maternity benefits. There are several factors that affect this, such as the specifics of the policy, the policyholder's marital status, and how insurance companies interpret the laws and rules that apply.

What are the maternity benefits for single policyholders in India? That is what this blog post is all about. By the end, you should have a better idea of what maternity benefits are and how you can claim them as a single parent.

What Are The Maternity Benefits in India?

Maternity Benefits in India: Can Single Individuals Claim Them?

Before we get into the specifics of policies for single people, let us take a look at how maternity benefits work in India under health insurance in general.

A lot of Indian health insurance plans include maternity benefits, which are also called "mother care" benefits. These benefits usually cover the mother's medical costs during pregnancy, childbirth, and care after giving birth. 

These costs can include:

  • Hospital room and food

  • Surgical or doctor fees

  • Nursing care

  • Medical treatments and drugs

  • Various diagnostic tests and procedures

  • Newborn care

These benefits can vary with health insurance companies when it comes to what they cover and how much they will pay. Certain insurance plans have varying waiting periods, ranging from 9 months to 3 years, and limits on the coverage amount or how many children they will cover. It is important to carefully review the terms and conditions of any health insurance plan to understand the full maternity benefits package. InsuranceDekho has more than 25+ insurance providers onboard with them. 

To learn more about maternity benefits, click here.

Previously, maternity benefits were mostly given to women who were married. The basic idea has been that married couples with children only need this kind of coverage. However, as Indian society and family structures have changed, this narrow view has begun to come into the picture and has become a prime question these days. 

The Rise of Single Parents in India

Since the 1980s, India has steadily seen more and more single parents, both men and women. Following are some important things that have caused this trend to increase over the years. 

  1. Delayed marriage and childbearing: More and more young Indians, especially those who live in cities, are delaying or skipping marriage. Their main goals are to get an education, get a job, and become financially independent. Because of this, more and more people are having children outside of marriage.

  2. Divorce and Separation: India's divorce rate has been going up over the past few years, but it is still pretty low compared to Western countries. There are now more single mothers (and sometimes fathers) running their own homes because of this.

  3. Surrogacy and Adoption: More and more single men and women are using surrogacy, adoption, and other forms of assisted reproduction to have children. This makes it possible for someone to be a single parent.

  4. Societal Acceptance: People's views on single parenting are slowly changing. It is becoming more accepted and normal, especially among educated people in cities.

As a result of these trends, it is estimated that single-parent households now account for around 5% of India's population. This number is likely to rise further in the coming years. [1]

Maternity Benefit Coverage in a Single Man's Policy

Health insurance policies that include maternity benefits help cover the costs of pregnancy and childbirth. Generally, a single man would not use these benefits for himself. But, if he has health insurance that covers maternity, he can share these perks with his wife by adding her to his policy. If a man has this coverage, he can make sure his wife also gets these benefits by adding her to his insurance plan. This can be a great way to prepare for family expansion and ensure they are both supported during pregnancy and childbirth.

Maternity coverage might not seem important at first. However, life is full of unexpected changes! For someone looking to start a family, choosing an insurance policy that includes maternity benefits could be a wise decision.

One plan that stands out in this regard is the Niva Bupa Aspire plan. This plan offers extensive maternity coverage to single men and women, ensuring that they are covered in the event of pregnancy-related expenses. From pre-natal care to post-natal care, this plan covers all aspects of maternity care, including hospitalization, doctor fees, and even the cost of delivery.Here's how it works:

  • Maternity Benefits: The plan covers expenses related to maternity, IVF, adoption, surrogacy, and more.

  • Flexibility: The maternity sum insured can go up to ₹25,000 for a ₹50 lakh/₹1 crore plan.

  • Carry Forward: If the maternity benefit is not used in one policy year, it can be carried forward, allowing the insured to accumulate the sum insured up to 10 times.

  • Waiting Period: Usually when adding a spouse to the existing plan, the wife needs to serve the waiting period from the beginning. But with this plan, you can avail of the services from day 0 if your husband has already served the waiting period. 

For a single man, these benefits would become applicable once he adds his spouse to the policy. It's a forward-thinking approach to health insurance, ensuring that when the time comes, the financial aspects of starting a family are covered. So, if you are looking at health insurance options, think about what your future needs might be, especially regarding starting or growing a family. Maternity benefits can be a valuable feature for covering those important milestones and expenses.

InsuranceDekho offers a variety of plans and helps in finding the right coverage based on individual needs. They provide detailed comparisons and the convenience of purchasing a policy online, making it easier to choose a plan like Niva Bupa's Aspire with maternity benefits.

When a single woman holds a policy with maternity benefit cover

Not all health insurance plans cover maternity benefits for single women, but there are some that do. These plans offer the necessary coverage to single women and mothers, no matter if they are married or not, once they have gone through a waiting period. This means that after waiting the required time and paying the premiums, a woman can access all the benefits listed in her plan, regardless of her marital status.

This means a single woman with her own policy can use the maternity benefits as long as she's completed the waiting period. So, she can get a policy that includes maternity benefits even before she's married, making sure she's covered when she needs it.

Here are some key points about maternity benefits for single women:

  • Coverage: Maternity benefits typically include hospitalisation expenses for delivery, pre and post-natal care, and newborn baby coverage.

  • Waiting Period: Most plans have a waiting period ranging from 2 to 4 years before the maternity benefits can be availed.

  • Eligibility: Single women are eligible for maternity benefits under certain plans, and these benefits are applicable for a specified number of deliveries.

  • Additional Support: Some policies may offer additional support like coverage for complications during pregnancy, vaccination expenses for the newborn, and more.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it's key to remember that although a man can hold a policy that includes maternity benefits, these benefits come into play only when his spouse is also covered by the policy. Seeking advice from InsuranceDekho experts can clarify any complexities and help select a policy that fits well with any upcoming family planning aspirations.

References

  1. “Religion and household makeup around the world.” 2019. Pew Research Center. https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2019/12/12/religion-and-living-arrangements-around-the-world/.

  2. https://www.nivabupa.com/health-insurance-plan/aspire

Wish

Written by Kritika Singh

Kritika Singh is a marketing professional with over 10 years of work experience in the field of insurtech, health, FMCG, renewables, and public policy. KrRead More

Edited by
Sharad Baja.
More Info
Wish

Sharad Bajaj

Editor of Insurance Agency

Sharad is an insurance industry veteran who has managed motor insurance products for over a decade. ...

Read More

Disclaimer

This article is issued in the general public interest and meant for general information purposes only. Readers are advised not to rely on the contents of the article as conclusive in nature and should research further or consult an expert in this regard.

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