Pregnancy can be the happiest news for any woman. Women often welcome this news, but sometimes, it is unplanned and requires an abortion. An unmarried, widowed, and divorced woman is allowed to terminate her pregnancy within 24 weeks, as per the recent ad-interim Supreme Court. Do you want to know whether abortion is covered under health insurance in India? Read the below article to find out.
What is an Abortion?
The term "abortion" describes the procedure to end or terminate a pregnancy. The placenta and embryo are removed from the woman's uterus to stop a pregnancy. Abortion is done either by surgery or drugs.
About 15.6 million abortions take place in India every year. According to medical professionals, abortion should be performed early in the pregnancy to experience the least amount of pain and blood. Additionally, early termination of pregnancy has almost no effect on a woman's fertility.
Some Common Reasons for Abortion
A woman may opt for the option of abortion due to several reasons. Below-mentioned are some common reasons of women choose to undergo abortion:
- Life threatens due to pregnancy.
- The fetus has developed chromosomal abnormalities.
- The fetus has developed congenital disabilities.
- The fetus has hydrocephalus.
- Membranes have ruptured prematurely.
Abortion is a safe procedure but may result in short-term complications such as bleeding, infections, etc.
Abortion Law in India
Abortion is permitted in India, although it can only be done with a doctor's recommendation. As per the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act 2021, these are some of the significant guidelines for abortion in India:
- Abortion can be done up to the 20th week of the pregnancy as recommended by a qualified doctor.
- Women can abort unwanted pregnancies.
- The time limit of abortion extends up to 24 weeks in special categories such as rape survivors, and differently-abled women.
- In special categories, approval of abortion requires two doctors.
- There is no maximum gestation limit for abortion in case of foetal disability.
- The woman's personal details should be kept confidential unless the information is requested by law enforcement under special circumstances.
Cost of Abortion in India
In India, abortion costs can vary from Rs 1K to Rs 35K, depending on the city and the gynaecologist. For example, the cost of an abortion can range from INR 3K in Lucknow to INR 10K in Mumbai. The cost of abortion in India is based on the gestational period, and abortions performed in the second trimester will cost more than abortions performed in the first trimester. Gynaecologists can additionally charge up to INR 10K in consultation fees for prescription abortion pills. The pregnant woman will also have to undergo an ultrasound before the pregnancy ends. The cost of ultrasound may or may not be charged by the doctors performing the abortion.
Do Health Insurance Plans in India cover Abortion?
The cost of an abortion is not covered under health insurance plans. Abortion expenses are generally covered under maternity health insurance policies in India. Maternity health insurance plans cover medical costs associated with pregnancy and childbirth. It includes all expenses related to surgery, ultrasound, surgical follow-up consultation, medicines and doctor's fees.
But Maternity health insurance plans do not cover all types of abortion, and most maternity insurance plans only pay for termination of pregnancy in case of severe or life-threatening complications. In contrast, some plans will only pay for the medical costs associated with terminating a pregnancy older than 12 weeks.
Waiting Period Before Abortion is Covered by Health Insurance
Generally, the initial waiting period for maternity health insurance is 9 to 24 months, and this means that it does not provide coverage for abortions during that period. Also, you cannot claim for abortion until the waiting period is over. The waiting period may vary from one maternity health plan to another. You need to check the terms and conditions of the policy to know the applicable waiting period of the policy.
Some Important Links to Know More About Health Insurance
India has a very high rate of abortion, whether voluntary or medically necessary. In addition, it can be an expensive process for many people. If you are in the prime of your reproductive year or have immediate plans to become a parent, you should buy a maternity health insurance plan. Make sure you shop for maternity insurance policies online and choose the one with the shortest waiting period.
Moreover, you can connect with D2C Insurance Broking Private Limited (“RenewBuy”) POSP advisors to buy the best maternity health insurance plans. Their expert advice will help you find the best maternity health plan per your needs.
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