Hospital cover is crucial and can save you a great deal of money. Especially, if you are about to have a baby. However, your health insurance cover shouldn't just end at hospital cover. Don't forget to explore the wide array of treatments and services you may be eligible for with your extras package.

Extras can save you a great deal of money, here's 5 tips on what to look for in extras cover for pregnancy that could save you money and help you improve your overall health during this period.

1. Antenatal classes 

Antenatal classes (childbirth education), are designed to prepare you for your upcoming labour, the birth itself and the first few weeks at home with your newborn baby. These classes can include: birthing, breastfeeding, sleep settling consultations, and pre or postnatal visits from a registered midwife. There are a range of different courses and classes available depending on your insurer.

2. Clinical Pilates  

Clinical Pilates is a form of physical exercise that focuses on posture, core stability, balance and strength just to name a few. It can help you address any pelvic issues, improve physical strength and help minimise lower back pain. This type of therapy could be available in more than one of your Extras categories. Depending on how your plan is set up, it may come under physiotherapy or exercise classes.

3. Myotherapy and remedial massage

During the different stages of pregnancy you might like to consider massage or myotherapy as they may be of assistance during those stages. Myotherapists focus on trigger point therapy, dry needling, musculoskeletal alignment, deep tissue massage, cupping and muscle stretching. Remedial massage therapists work exclusively with a variety of manipulative massage techniques to eliminate muscular tension and assist with relaxation. It's important to assess how often you are likely to use these treatments. Some funds offer higher limits than others. Its advisable to assess the cost against the benefit and make sure  you don't pay more for your extras than you actually use.

4. Natural therapies

Many women turn to natural therapies during different stages of pregnancy as they can be used to address various issues such as insomnia, headaches and nausea. Natural therapists specialise in a range of alternative medical techniques and remedies. These include aromatherapy, homeopathy and herbalism. They use these techniques to treat and prevent physical illness or dysfunction.

5. Dental

Dental problems may be experienced whilst pregnant .With increased hormones, your body changes how it responds to plaque. Some women may also experience gum disease and have increased risk of tooth decay. These dental problems don't occur in every pregnancy but luckily if they do, most extras policies include dental. 

Why have extras?

In the long-term, they will save you money. You just need to conduct your due diligence and find a policy with extras that match your individual and family needs.

Having Extras gives you access to a variety of services to support you and your growing family.

Looking at pregnancy specifically, the benefits of private health care whilst pregnant means you have access to a private system that offers more choices throughout your pregnancy and more importantly for the birth of your baby. You can select which hospital you would like to deliver at and which doctor you would like to consult with.

Always check your policy thoroughly. You don't want to be stuck with a policy that doesn't cover obstetric or midwifery care. If you're planning a pregnancy, check to see that your policy includes these. Also check whether your child is automatically covered after the birth or if you need to change policies.

It is also important to note that, unfortunately, you can't take advantage of the benefits of pregnancy insurance if you're already pregnant - unless your current cover specifically includes it. 

This is due to the  12 month waiting period before a health insurer will pay your benefits.

So it is imperative to organise your health insurance well in advance of conceiving.

This update is not financial advice. This article is general news and information.

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