When planning the costs of having a baby, most parents focus on the medical costs associated with childbirth, so it can be a rude awakening to encounter complications at birth which require medical care.
Why babies need medical aid
Complications can range from a simple case of jaundice, to immature lungs, infections and so on. If your baby develops a serious condition after delivery, they may have to go into neonatal ICU or other specialized care; this will sharply increase pediatrician costs. If you don’t have medical aid, you will have to pay out of pocket, or take your child to a state facility.
When can your baby get medical aid
You can usually get your child enrolled at birth if you inform your medical aid ahead of time. Cover is dependent on at least one parent being a medical aid member and with the hospital birth certificate clearly indicating the parent’s details.
Information to provide
When filling in the enrollment form, requirements will usually include: Main member’s name, ID numbers, the baby’s names, date of birth, sex, if they are adopted or not. Additionally they will need consent from your employer if they contribute to your premiums. They may also require details of where the baby was born and who the doctors were
Even though babies are small, the cost of adding a newborn baby to your medical aid is the same as for any child. Give your medical aid a call to find out how much more your premium will cost, so that you adjust your budget accordingly. If your company contributes to your medical aid, you need to inform your employer about the birth of your child in advance so that they can make the required amendments.
The rule of thumb is to inform the medical aid within 30 days of the birth of the child. If you don’t, your baby may not be not covered and the costs incurred in the first month of life will not be paid for by the medical aid. Most hospitals will assist you with informing the medical aid, but the responsibility still lies with you.
Make sure all your paperwork is in order, especially in cases of adoption, where the parents have different last names or are unmarried. In these cases you will usually be required to provide additional documents as legal proof.
No one likes to think about their baby possibly falling ill and needing serious medical care, but it is better to plan ahead and be prepared for any eventuality.
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