Does a pregnancy via IVF enjoy the same coverage as a natural pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know and the plans available to you.
The forward planning required when having a child is not something to be taken lightly, especially not from a financial standpoint. Not only do you have to start sourcing baby accessories, but you’ll also have to consider purchasing an insurance plan to safeguard you and Baby months before the birthing day.
However, would the same insurance plans apply if your pregnancy was the success of an Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) like IVF (in-vitro fertilisation)?
In this article, we look at what maternity insurance plans offer, whether pregnancies conceived by ART are covered, and which plans are available in Singapore.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is not intended as medical advice.
What Is an IVF Baby?
You’ve probably seen the term countless times, but what’s the meaning of IVF?
IVF is a medical procedure consisting of five stages:
- Ovarian stimulation (or ovarian induction): The ovaries are stimulated to release several eggs instead of a single egg. This helps boost the success rate of IVF, as not all eggs will fertilise or develop normally after retrieval.
- Egg retrieval: Eggs are retrieved from the ovary.
- Sperm retrieval: Sperm are extracted from the testicle.
- Fertilisation: In a laboratory setting, the egg is fused with the sperm in a petri dish to form one or more embryos. The embryo(s) are cultivated (read: grown) in the petri dish for 5-6 days.
- Embryo transfer: The embryo(s) are implanted into the uterine lining. After a 2-week wait, there will be a follow-up visit to determine if you’re successfully pregnant.
But if you’ve conceived a child via IVF in Singapore, will your kid be financially taken care of? Also, prior to your pregnancy, can your fertility treatments be subsidised?
Pregnancy and Fertility Insurance Coverage for IVF in Singapore by the Government
Here’s the good news — the Singapore government has a few measures to help couples who have a kid via ART offset their costs.
Co-Funding at Public Hospitals
If you’re a Singaporean couple by birth and want to try ART treatments, make an appointment at one of the following three public hospitals:
- Singapore General Hospital (SGH)
- National University Hospital (NUH)
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
IVF via any of the above public Assisted Reproduction (AR) centres entitles you to:
- 75% in co-funding (up to $7,700) per fresh cycle, for a total of three fresh cycles of ART treatments
- 75% in co-funding (up to $2,200) per frozen cycle, for a total of three frozen cycles of ART treatments
- 75% in co-funding (up to $1,000) per cycle, for a total of three cycles of intrauterine insemination (IUI)
The difference between a fresh cycle and a frozen one is that the former consists of more steps like egg stimulation and retrieval.
As long as you’re below 45 years old and have done the necessary tests, counselling, and applications, you’re ready to start your IVF treatments at any of the abovementioned hospitals.
Speaking of which, our twoplus Hormone Test Kit lets TTC ladies check their fertility levels in their homes. Get yours today if you want to skip the in-clinic queues!
P.S. You may find our post on “How Much Do Fertility Hormone Tests Cost?” useful, too.
Move Over ARP, MediShield Life Takes Centre Stage
Before 2019, there was an ARP (Assisted Reproduction Programme) insurance scheme to protect couples against the unexpected cost of neonatal care for babies conceived via IVF. If the baby was admitted to a Special Care Nursery or a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), the parents would receive a cash benefit of S$150 or S$300 per day, respectively.
But with effect from 1 April 2019, the introduction of MediShield Life meant that couples no longer needed to purchase ARP insurance before undergoing IVF. That’s because MediShield Life provides coverage for severe pregnancy or delivery complications for Singaporean citizens.
But Then, What Does MediShield Life Cover for Pregnant Women?
As a basic health insurance scheme that provides universal and lifelong protection against hefty healthcare costs, MediShield Life helps to pay for large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments.
For individuals who are pregnant, you’ll be reassured to know that MediShield Life covers the inpatient treatment of severe pregnancy and delivery complications, such as:
- Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
- Cervical incompetency
- Placenta abruption
- Gestational diabetes
- Ectopic pregnancy
However, it does not cover general maternity and fertility treatments as they are not for illnesses and thus fall outside the scope of MediShield Life.
Should fertility expenses be a concern for you and your partner, the Assisted Reproduction Treatment (ART) co-funding scheme mentioned earlier can help couples pay for Assisted Conception Procedures.
Complement Your IVF Efforts With At-Home Fertility Aids
The twoplus Sperm Guide is a home fertility aid to help reduce semen backflow.
Even with IVF subsidies in Singapore, ART treatments can still take a toll on your wallet. To boost your chances of getting pregnant while maximising your budget, why not complement your IVF efforts in between cycles with twoplus’ home fertility aids?
The twoplus Sperm Guide is an affordable home insemination tool that helps reduce semen leakage post-sex and deposits sperm closer to the cervix. This helps boost the odds of natural conception by helping more sperms reach the egg, which equals more chances of conceiving!
What Insurance Do You Need for Fertility Treatments in Singapore?
Besides IVF subsidies by Singapore’s government and MediShield Life, couples can purchase additional fertility insurance for greater coverage and peace of mind.
When it comes to fertility treatment and insurance in Singapore, the type of insurance plan to look out for is maternity insurance. It’s also commonly known as “pregnancy insurance” or “prenatal insurance.” Maternity insurance provides coverage for expecting mothers and their child(ren).
Most saliently, if you’ve undergone fertility treatments to conceive, you will want to look for insurance plans that cover pregnancies by ARPs. Take note that most maternity insurance plans in Singapore require a waiting period of at least 12 months. That means you’ll have to apply for a plan way before getting pregnant!
So, What Does Maternity Insurance in Singapore Cover?
For the mother, it can provide coverage for the following:
- Pregnancy complications, such as eclampsia and pre-eclampsia
- Death or total and permanent disability benefit (TPD), where a lump sum payout will be given
- Hospitalisation benefit in the form of a daily cash benefit when hospitalised due to pregnancy complications
- Others (such as mental wellness benefits)
For the child, it can cover the following:
- Congenital illnesses (the exact number of congenital diseases covered differs based on the plan)
- Death benefit
- Hospitalisation benefits in the form of a daily cash benefit when hospitalised due to congenital illnesses
- Outpatient benefit for phototherapy due to severe neonatal jaundice
However, do note that there are exclusions made for some maternity insurance plans. For example, mothers expecting more than two babies conceived through IVF could be excluded from the coverage or require higher premiums to be sufficiently covered.
Do All Maternity Insurance Plans Cover Conception by Assisted Conception Procedures?
No, not all maternity insurance plans in Singapore will cover pregnancies by Assisted Conception Procedures like IVF, IUI, Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI), and Intracervical Insemination (ICI). Even if the insurance plan offers such coverage, it could come at an additional premium.
If you’re looking for an insurance plan to cover your fertility treatment(s), read the fine print thoroughly.
Best Fertility and IVF Insurance Plans for Pregnancies via Fertility Treatments
If you’re wondering, “Which insurance covers fertility treatments in Singapore?”, here are two insurance plans that provide coverage for conception via Assisted Conception Procedures.
Manulife ReadyMummy: Best for Basic, yet Sufficient Coverage
Source: Manulife Singapore
Manulife ReadyMummy is one of the few maternity insurance plans in Singapore stating upfront that it will cover pregnancies via ART, including IVF, IUI, and ICI.
This is a nice touch for mums-to-be looking for the right fertility insurance plan, compared to having to comb through the terms and conditions of each individual maternity policy product brochure.
However, do note that coverage for pregnancies by ART comes with an additional premium.
What the plan covers:
- Psychotherapy treatment at 10% of the sum insured.
- Covers the mother against 14 pregnancy complications, at 100% of the sum insured.
- Covers the child against 24 congenital illnesses, at 100% of the sum insured.
- Both mother and child receive a daily cash benefit of 1% of the sum insured for each day in the hospital (up to 30 days).
- Death coverage at 100% of the sum insured for both Mom and Baby.
- Outpatient phototherapy treatment benefit of 1% of the sum insured for each day of rental of a phototherapy machine for the child (up to 10 days).
- Cost: Varies depending on your details. You will have to speak with a Manulife financial consultant to find out more.
- First maternity insurance plan in Singapore to provide the mother with mental wellness support.
- Covers a wide range of pregnancy complications and congenital diseases.
- Covers only 1 biological child from ARTs without complications.
A 3-year plan, you can purchase Manulife ReadyMummy as early as 13 weeks into the pregnancy. You also can buy any eligible plan(s) offered by Manulife, with no health questions asked, within 90 days of your child’s birth.
Singlife MyMaternityPlan: Best for Variety and Multiple Foetus Cover
Some fertility insurance plans only cover 1-2 foetuses. Meanwhile, Singlife MyMaternityPlan stands out by covering up to four babies in a single pregnancy, even for pregnancies via IVF, IUI, ICSI, or ICI.
Compared to Manulife ReadyMummy, Singlife MyMaternityPlan covers fewer pregnancy complications and congenital illnesses. You also have to purchase a qualifying Singlife plan to be eligible to buy the MyMaternityPlan.
What the plan covers:
- Covers 10 pregnancy complications, at 100% of sum insured.
- Covers 23 congenital illnesses, at 100% of sum insured.
- 1% of the sum assured for each day of hospitalisation.
- Outpatient phototherapy treatment due to severe neonatal jaundice at 1% of the sum assured for each day of rental of the phototherapy machine (up to 10 days).
- 50% sum assured for stem cell transplant surgery (one-time payout).
- 10% of the sum assured if the insured child shows developmental delay (one-time payout).
- Death coverage at 100% of the sum insured for both mother and child.
- Cost: S$638 one-time premium for S$10,000 coverage for a non-smoking female aged 30 years on their next birthday.
- Covers up to four babies in a single pregnancy, even for pregnancies via IVF, IUI, ICSI, or ICI, subject to underwriting.
- Allows multiple claims for a wide range of conditions for both mother and child.
- MyMaternityPlan can only be purchased when you or your spouse sign-up for any of the 18 qualifying plans. These plans are selected protection or savings plans.
You can apply for this plan as long as your pregnancy is within 13-36 weeks at the time of application. There are also no health check-ups needed for your baby when you purchase a new whole-life plan for Junior within 90 days of birth.
Get Insured for Peace of Mind When TTC
The twoplus Applicator Extra is a self-insemination sperm syringe designed for home use.
Apart from the two maternity plans listed above, you could also speak to your financial advisor to check if their insurance company offers any maternity insurance plans in Singapore. It could even come as an add-on to an existing plan.
If you are currently trying to conceive, you can improve your chances of conception by using the twoplus Applicator Extra.
As an at-home intravaginal insemination kit, the Applicator Extra allows you to direct-deposit sperm right where it matters. This helps to optimise your chances of conception without the need for penetrative sex. Give it a shot and find out more by clicking the button below.