Short-term disability insurance for pregnancy and maternity leave was the last thing on Emma’s mind the first time she conceived. However, shocked when her doctor ordered bed rest and that she leave work unexpectedly, she learned a difficult lesson.
Emma’s employer did not provide paid leave, and her state did not offer a temporary disability program. Emma lost four months of income when she needed it most.
Follow Emma’s happier story with her second child.
- Gain security in case of complications before birth
- Enjoy maternity leave income after normal childbirth
- Spend time bonding with your baby without financial stress
Short-Term Disability Pregnancy Insurance
Emma learned from her friend Rachel that short-term disability insurance for pregnancy could alleviate many of her concerns, including replacing a portion of her income. Pregnancy complications and recovery from normal labor and delivery are covered illnesses.
It all sounded too good to be true. Emma was initially confused about how it all worked. Her husband Michael was very skeptical.
Applying for Benefits
Applying for short-term disability benefits was Emma’s first issue. What paperwork would she need to complete in order to file a claim? She learned that she needed a doctor’s note for complications, but that an express pregnancy claims form was all she needed to complete for a normal delivery.
Quote and Illustrations
Emma also wanted to know what the policy cost, and how the premiums compared to the expected claims payments when she delivered her baby. In addition, she needed to estimate what the claims payments might total if she stopped working before delivery, or suffered an accident.
A short-term disability pregnancy quote provided her with this information. The ratio between expected cost and benefit was very appealing. However, her husband Michael suspected that the ratio was a little too appealing. Why would the carrier sell such a certain money loser of a policy? Surely, there had to be a catch!
Emma and Michael quickly found one of several catches. Short-term disability pregnancy preexisting conditions are not covered. In fact, two exclusions generate the majority of denied claims:
- A preexisting condition may mean a sickness or physical condition for which you were treated, received medical advice, or took medication within 12 months before the effective date.
- Giving birth as the result of a normal childbirth, including C-section, which occurs within nine months of the effective date.
Emma could purchase short-term disability while pregnant, but the policy would only cover future conceptions.
Short-Term Disability Pregnancy Bed Rest
Emma and Michael soon discovered the second catch. Emma’s employer does not offer her the option to buy a policy at work. She can purchase individual short-term disability for pregnancy bed rest, but these policies do not provide maternity leave pay for labor and delivery.
Should Emma buy an individual policy for bed rest only, or continue looking for something that covers labor and delivery as well – even though it might prove more difficult to obtain?
Emma is now in her mid-thirties and is taking fertility medications to improve the odds of a second conception. She knows that, due to her age, a high-risk pregnancy is likely. If she conceives twins or triplets, the chances of complications skyrocket.
Short-term disability may also cover high-risk pregnancy complications. This holds true for individual policies sold directly, as well as those sold at work sites.
Valid Claims Reasons
This list of valid claims reasons for short-term disability during pregnancy put Emma’s mind at rest. Emma realized that an individual policy covering only complications might provide great value. However, she still held out hope of finding a better alternative.
Emma discovered that 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.
- 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 too early
- Placenta Previa – When the placenta covers the opening in the mother’s cervix
- RH Negative Disease – The mother develops antibodies against her baby
- Sciatica – pressure on the nerve brought on by the developing baby
Short-Term Disability Maternity Leave
Short-term disability maternity leave insurance would enable Emma to receive claims payments while recovering from labor and delivery, and due to complications, accidents, and other illnesses.
This is the policy type Emma really desires. She knows she wants to spend quality time bonding with her baby and not lose all of her income. However, what has overwhelming advantages to Emma is a money loser for the carrier. The policy provides maternity leave pay for a planned and expected medical event. This is another reason why Emma’s husband Michael is so skeptical.
Emma took the time to learn how to get short-term disability that covers normal childbirth. It required an extra step she was initially reluctant to take, but it was worth the effort.
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
Voluntary short-term disability for maternity leave provided Emma’s solution. She asked her employer to allow her to pay for the coverage herself via payroll deduction. Even her husband Michael saw how this made sense for employees, employers, and insurers.
Reasons to Extend Maternity Leave
Twelve months after buying her policy, personal experience taught Emma about reasons to extend short-term disability for maternity leave. Most policies cover medically based postpartum disorders.
Despite Emma’s best intentions, her delivery did not go entirely the way she had envisioned. During delivery, she suffered a large episiotomy tear and the wound became infected. Her doctor delayed her return to work, and her policy continued making claims payments.
Once Emma recovered from the delivery and infection, she began to feel extremely sad and have difficulty sleeping. In addition, her relationships with friends and family began to suffer. Her doctor diagnosed her with postpartum depression.
Emma’s short-term disability policy did not cover her postpartum depression. Most policies do not cover mental disorders, including stress.
Returning to Work
Emma’s policy stopped making claims payments once her doctor indicated that she was physically capable of returning to work. The same would have happened even if she were planning to quit her job, or elected not to return to work for an extended period.
The family needs Emma’s income to make ends meet, so eventually she did return to work. A week later she slipped on some ice, fell and broke her wrist, and missed an additional eight weeks of work.
The short-term disability insurance policy that she bought to cover pregnancy complications and her subsequent maternity leave covered her broken wrist as well.
Now, even her husband Michael is a believer. What are you waiting for?
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