Short-term disability pregnancy insurance creates maternity leave pay only when the policy covers normal childbirth. All plan types may cover bed rest associated with documented medical complications, postpartum disorders, along with accidents and illnesses that may befall anyone – including men.

Understand how short-term disability works during pregnancy and while on maternity leave. Explore the three main topics you need to learn, and take the next step!

  1. Bed rest and high-risk pregnancy
  2. Preexisting medical condition exclusions
  3. Applying for maternity leave pay

Short-Term Disability Pregnancy Insurance

Short-term disability pregnancy insurance may be the most sought after policy type. Most employers do not provide paid family leave benefits. Women often have to fend for themselves in order to afford having a baby.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. The plans allow women to purchase coverage for a planned medical event. In the process, they often receive back far more in claims payments than they make in premium payments. However, you have to play by the insurance company’s rules.

Before Conception

The time to think about short-term disability insurance is before conception, and not after. Buy your coverage at the right time. Most plans contain a nine or ten-month waiting period for normal childbirth. You want to start at least three months in advance of conception to ensure the claims payment for normal childbirth.

Twelve percent of babies deliver early. You can start before conception, yet still deliver inside the waiting period and have your claim denied. In addition, these policies can be difficult to find and may require extra steps that may delay the process.

Get a Quote

Get a short-term disability quote to estimate the monthly premium cost, and compare the cost to the expected claims payments for normal childbirth. See examples of what the policy may also pay in the event of complications, premature birth, postpartum disorders, accidents, or an illness.

Voluntary Policies

Voluntary short-term disability for pregnancy is the ideal option. Policies purchased through employers cover normal childbirth, plus bed rest, complications, accidents and illnesses. Do not give up if your employer does not offer a voluntary option. Employees pay the premiums themselves. Learn how to ask your employer to offer voluntary programs, so you and your co-workers can have access.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

Short-term disability for pregnancy bed rest can be a lifesaver. Too many women must choose between earning an income and getting the rest needed to protect their health, and the viability of their unborn baby. A policy that replaces income while on bed rest makes the right decision so much easier.

Doctors commonly prescribe bed rest prior to delivering your baby. A doctor’s note must include a medical reason why you are unable to work. Bed rest by itself is not a qualifying medical reason to file a claim.

Individual policies bought online may cover pregnancy bed rest, but not normal childbirth. While not as valuable as voluntary plans, they may address this very common exposure. You do not need to involve your employer for this plan type.

High-Risk Complications

Short-term disability for high-risk pregnancy complications works in a similar fashion. Individual programs bought online may cover high-risk complications. Your doctor’s note must include a medical reason why you are unable to perform the primary duties of your full time occupation.

Twenty five percent of conceptions result in one or more medical complications. High-risk pregnancies are most common with twins and triplets, when the mother is older, or when other medical factors are involved. Your doctor may order you to stop working to protect your health, and the viability of your newborn.

Ten to twenty percent of conceptions end in miscarriage. After miscarriage mom may miss time from work to recover. The length of the benefit payment will vary based upon the time needed to recover from the Dilation and Curettage (D&C) and return to work.

Valid Claims Reasons during Pregnancy

Find the most common valid claims reasons for short-term disability during pregnancy below.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome – numbness or tingling sensation in hands
  • Ectopic Pregnancy – When the embryo implants outside the uterus
  • Gestational Diabetes – Mother’s body does not make enough insulin
  • Group B Streptococcus – Bacterial infection in the vagina
  • Premature Labor – Mother’s body tries to deliver the baby before reaching full development
  • Placenta Previa – When the cervix is clogged by a layer of the uterus
  • RH Negative Disease – The mother develops antibodies against her baby
  • Sciatica – pressure on the nerve brought on by the developing baby

These medical conditions must interfere with your ability to perform the regular duties of your full-time occupation in order to qualify as a valid claims reason. Morning sickness and stress are not normally valid reasons.

Preexisting Conditions

Short-term disability pregnancy preexisting conditions are generally not covered. Most policies contain exclusions for preexisting medical conditions. Two exclusions generate the majority of denied claims.

  1. A preexisting condition may mean, having a sickness or physical condition for which you were treated, received medical advice, or had taken medication within 12 months before the effective date. If you miss work because of a preexisting condition, the policy will not make claims payments if the income loss occurs during the first 12 months of effective date.
  2. Giving birth as the result of a normal childbirth, including C-section, which occurs within nine months of the effective date.

Purchasing short-term disability while pregnant may still be a good idea if you have access to plans covering normal childbirth through your employer. Purchasing after conception will not disqualify your application.

Short-Term Disability Maternity Leave

Short-term disability maternity leave insurance makes claims payments while you recover from normal childbirth. Having a policy allows you to spend more time bonding with your baby, and less time worrying about how to pay your bills.

Only policies covering normal childbirth make claims payments during maternity leave. What has overwhelming advantages to growing families is a money loser for insurers. Therefore, there are a few extra steps needed in order to qualify.

Purchase coverage for normal childbirth through a voluntary employee benefit offering.

Maternity Leave Pay

Short-term disability maternity leave pay works as follows.

  • 6-week cash payment for vaginal birth
  • 8-week cash payment for C-section delivery
  • Payments begin after satisfying your elimination period
  • Elimination period is commonly one or two weeks

Apply for maternity leave pay benefits after your child is born by completing an express claims form. Your doctor needs to complete the paperwork to verify date of birth, and type of delivery.

Taxes may affect your maternity leave pay amount. Post tax payments allow mom to enjoy the full amount. Pretax payments make the claim payment taxable. By paying with post tax contributions, you maximize your return.

Reasons to Extend Maternity Leave

Medically based postpartum problems are the most common reasons to extend short-term disability for maternity leave. Having a baby is a high-risk activity. Things may not go the way you envisioned. You may be injured during delivery, or develop an infection. The main disorders that might affect you after a vaginal delivery include fissures, infections, and postpartum hemorrhage. The leading risk factors include:

  • A baby weighing more than 9 pounds
  • Use of forceps or vacuum
  • Repair of large episiotomy tear

Delivery via C-section is a relatively safe surgical procedure, but entails a higher risk of complications as it is far more invasive. The most common disorders associated with this surgery are blood clots in your legs or lungs, anesthesia related nausea, and bowel movement problems (ileus).

Postpartum Depression

Many new mothers experience postpartum depression after delivery. You may experience feelings of extreme sadness. This change in mood may be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Lack of sleep
  • Changes in work relationships

Short-term disability for postpartum depression rarely works. Check your policy language to see if it excludes mental disorders. Most exclude losses for mental disorders. Many do not consider postpartum depression as a valid reason to extend maternity leave benefits.

Returning to Work

Your plans for returning to work do not extend short-term disability maternity leave benefits. Medical necessity determines the length of claims payments. They continue as long as your doctor indicates you are unable to work, or the payment period ends.

A choice to stay at home longer is unrelated to your medical condition. You can choose to return to work long after recovering physically. However, your policy may no longer make claims payments.

The same holds true for women not returning to work after maternity leave. The policy makes claims payments while you are physically unable to perform the duties of your full-time occupation. You plans to quit working do not affect benefits.

Short-term disability insurance for pregnancy and maternity leave makes great sense. Act now!

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