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Maternity Insurance: Why Is It Important For Pregnant Women In India

Parenthood is something to which every couple looks forward to. It is one of the most crucial decisions that one makes in life. It is needless to say that the news of pregnancy brings in immense happiness in the life of the couple and other people associated to them. But along with happiness, a sense of responsibility also starts developing, which cannot be compared to any other responsibility in this world.

When you plan to bring the little life into this world, you will definitely want to do the best for him/her. And to be frank, the costs associated with delivery are quite high nowadays. To cope with the costs and to have a safe delivery, a majority of women are now looking to invest in maternity insurance. With the insurance plan in place, you will not need to worry about the hospitalization expenses with an adequate maternity insurance coverage.

What is Maternity Insurance?

Many women do not have a clue about maternity insurance though they may have some kind of health insurance. Maternity insurance covers all kinds of expenses related to hospitalization for delivery. The delivery can be normal as well as caesarean and the maternity insurance covers both the options.

With a maternity insurance in place, the burden on the pockets gets reduced manifold times. For many working women, the maternity insurance is clubbed with the health insurance policy, which is offered by the company.

Ideal time to invest in a maternity insurance policy

Many women look for maternity insurance once they successfully conceive. But in most of the cases, they are denied the facility. Majority of maternity policies have a waiting term of almost 3-4 years before the benefits can be availed.

Make proper planning for the insurance so that you can reap the benefits as and when needed. While planning pregnancy, use a pregnancy due date calculator as that will help in making many necessary preparations including getting a maternity insurance policy.

Benefits generally included in the maternity insurance policy

Different insurance companies offer different kinds of maternity insurance policies for would-be mothers. Standard policies generally include the follow things:

  • All kinds of medical expenses 30 days before hospitalization for delivery and 60 days post hospitalization
  • Delivery expenses – it can be normal delivery or caesarean delivery
  • All kinds of pre natal and post natal expenses
  • Ambulance charges in case the pregnant woman needs to be transported to the hospital on emergency basis
  • Coverage for the new born baby till the expiry of the policy – this will offer coverage for the baby if he/she has some critical illness or is found to suffer from some kind of congenital disorder.

Benefits excluded in the maternity insurance policy

Many women are not aware of the fact that there are things which are not covered by the maternity insurance policy. Before making any kind of claim, make sure that you know about these points in detail. Some important points include:

  • Fees of doctors to whom you go for regular checkups during your pregnancy period
  • Costs of vitamins and tonics until and unless they are integral part of the maternity treatment or have been already included in the plan
  • Diagnostic tests including ultrasonography, doctor’s consultation and follow-ups during the 9-months pregnancy period.

Know about probable limitations of a maternity insurance policy

It is true that maternity insurance has many benefits, but it is also true that there are certain limitations in these insurance plans. Usually the sum insured for the maternity insurance might not be sufficient for covering all the expenses related to maternity and the amount might exceed the sum insured. In such a case, the insurer has the pay from his pocket.

Secondly, generally there is a waiting period of 3 to 4 years for availing the benefits of the policy. In many cases it has been seen that the insurer refuses to pay claim settlements if it is case of late pregnancy (say 35 years or above).

Importance of maternity insurance in India

If you want to be a responsible parent, you have to take responsibilities from quite an early stage. One step in it is to be ready for bearing the expenses of pregnancy and finally of the delivery of the baby. With high medical costs having a maternity insurance policy will always be of great help.

Most people have medical and health insurance policies, but majority of these do not cot cover maternity expenses. So when you need coverage for the pregnancy and the delivery of the baby, you will have nothing in hand. Getting a separate maternity insurance policy is the best thing.

Medical expenses for pregnancy and delivery are increasing by leaps and bounds with each passing day. To bear the cost without additional burden, having a maternity insurance policy is a great idea. You can bring your child to this world amidst the best of treatment facilities and care.

There are innumerable insurance companies offering maternity insurance policies. Compare and contrast each of them by studying their features and offers and then a decision as which policy will be best for you.

Image Copyright: jirsak / 123RF Stock Photo

Naaree Interviews Dr. Shashi Pandey Of Infinite Mobility Tech

Infinite Mobility Tech is a startup based in the small town of Bhilwara, Rajasthan, founded by Dr. Shashi Pandey and her mother, in May 2015. It has achieved a business revenue of over Rupees 2 crore in under a year. Their startup is unique because the women founders happen to be a Mother-Daughter duo in real life.

Shashi Pandey 2

Both, mother and daughter, were in the teaching profession. Her mother retired from a Government primary school in the small town of Haldwani, Uttarakhand, India in the year 2000 and learned about computers and technology in her spare time after retirement.

Her daughter, Dr. Shashi Pandey, a full time college professor, was enthusiastic about technology and entrepreneurship, and eagerly supported her. They are living proof that small town dreams can become a reality, and that gender and age are not a bar to start a new venture, execute one’s ideas and achieve one’s dreams.

Within 10 months of starting their venture, they employed over 18 people and are already planning to expand to other locations. Their employee strength, client base, revenue and profit is increasing day by day.

Another unique fact about Infinite Mobility is that it prefers to employ retired individuals, women and individuals who need help in terms of finding a job.  Infinite Mobility trained them making it a win-win situation for both them and their employees.

The Directors’ vast teaching experience and passion for entrepreneurship works in their favour. Until now, they have bootstrapped their venture and plan to raise funds in the future.

Naaree.com interviewed Dr. Shashi Pandey, Director, Infinite Mobility Tech, to learn more about her motivations and aspirations.

  • What inspired to become an entrepreneur? Did you always love it or was it something you got into?

During one of Ijja’s (my mother’s) visit to my brother in the United States, while surfing on internet and checking her emails, she noticed some random messages, videos, pop-ups and some software flashes on her computer screen and smart phone.

That drew her attention and this motivated her to research more into this phenomenon. In this way, she managed to learn more about the business of digital marketing and advertising.

Being enthusiastic about technology, and being excellent in Mathematics and Economics, she now wanted to understand the monetization behind this.

She had a word with me and I, in turn, asked my son, Eeshan, about it. Luckily, he is a media professional and told us all the nitty gritties of the digital media industry finally we both landed up in partnership in business of digital advertising and software development.

I always wanted to start something of my own and so was the dream of my mother. Being educationists, we soon came up with a great product in the field of education and another in the healthcare domain.

  • When do you know that it is no longer just an idea in your mind, and that you can really turn it into a lucrative business?

Initially, everything looked like a piece of cake to us, but when we started  digging deeper, we came to know that things are not that easy to execute, as digital media is a comparatively new field and there is a shortage of trained professionals who can help us start when we ourselves are new to it.

At that time, we got support from my son and my brother, Neeraj, who is a software professional and is settled in the United States. They helped us to draw an outline of our business idea and hire a team which would realize our dream.

  • What inspired you to start out on your own or with your partners? What learning lessons can you share from your startup experience?

Entrepreneurship means a lot for both of us. It’s a real test of our execution skill. We’re sure, every one want to do something valuable all the time. But when it’s comes to execution,  80% quit, and out of 20% who tries, around 18% fails and only 1-2% get success.

We both wanted to convert our experience and skills to success, so our goals were always clear, and it is just the journey which we are travelling along and enjoying.

  • What are some challenges that you faced initially when you started out? Do you have some examples to share and advice to women entrepreneurs on overcoming them?

When you’re a woman, the first question which comes up is, “Are you serious?” Actually it depends on ones’ family values and background. Here we are both lucky to come from the same family values. Our family is educated and liberal.

Still I can say, in our case, people listened to us, participated in the ideas, talks, and took part in discussions. But at the time of execution, they’ll say, “Are you serious about it?” At that time I realized that others were not very confident about us.

Convincing people around was a real challenge. And then the age at which we started was bit challenging. At my mother’s age people expect you to rest, sit home and relax.

The challenges added much more spice when you’re a retired woman and show willingness to work after 15 years of your retirement. I had full confidence in myself and the team to be able to execute the idea and convince everyone. And at the end we were successful.

  • What are all the things that a woman entrepreneur needs to keep in mind? Apart from your great idea, what do you need to be armed with?

Just one thing, “TRUST YOURSELF”. If you are convinced with your own idea and have trust in yourself then you have won half the battle.

Another thing to be taken care of is hiring the initial team. The people who join you in the beginning are the ones whom you have to rely the most and that’s why, they should be trustworthy.

  • Do women entrepreneurs find it tougher to get funding for businesses? If yes, why do you think that is?

Since we didn’t have any angel investor/s, making the cash flow work was a tough job. The reason was obvious – no one wanted to invest in new company like us, whose founders are not so well trained or founders are just learners. Add in the age factor, and above all, being WOMEN.

Fortunately our financial management worked well. We implemented reverse engineering in the traditional business. We hired a finance person first, and trained him for digital marketing. Then we start hiring Project Managers and then executives.

Our toughest moment came when we hired a software developer on a much higher salary package than his caliber and that didn’t work out, and he left the company in frustration of underperforming.

  • Is it beneficial to have a mentor when you’re starting out on your own? What does a mentor bring to the table?

I believe, Yes. Every individual need to have mentors, because at every instance you need to have someone who is there to give an honest opinion about things. In my case, my husband, my son and my brother played the role very well. My husband has played a tremendous role in acting as the company’s financial advisor.

On the other hand, my brother and son took a keen interest in helping me set up the operational processes. A mentor brings with him the experience and the advice which is always worth following.

  • How did you recruit your first team? How difficult was it to get people on board during the initial stages?

We implemented reverse engineering to hire the team. We cherry picked the team which was new to the digital world but had a keen interest in learning.

Shashi Pandey 3

Initially, it was difficult to bring people to the same pace of thinking as we have but once it was done, everything else became automatic.

  • What are 3 key things that you have learned as an entrepreneur?

Ahh, I can mention 300 here.

1. KEEP TALKING!

The more people you share your vision with, the more people will know what you’re doing, and the easier it will be for you to connect to those who share your ideas and believe in you.

Another benefit of talking about your plans is getting feedback and helping you refine your ideas and business plan to make them even better.

2. ASK FOR FAVORS

Most of us have a lot of pride and feel uncomfortable about asking for favors. We don’t want to come off as needy. We don’t want to burden people. I get it.

Opportunities aren’t just going to land in your lap. You won’t get any thing unless you ask for it. What’s the worst that can happen, someone says no? Ok, so they say no. But, at least you will have the confidence that you tried your level best.

Sometimes the best connections are forged in the strangest ways – don’t miss your chance to find yours.

3. KEEP GOING WITH THE FLOW

Keep going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other and trying your best every day. The beginning is always the hardest. However, I know that if you go after your dreams full force, you will be rewarded with something extraordinary along the way.

Without great risk, there would be no great reward. I hope our story inspires others to follow their passions and create that career they’ve always felt was right for them. Your dreams can become reality.

  • What would you describe as your biggest moments of success in your business?

Both of us believe there’s always room for learning in every work one initiates.
Since we are the pioneer entrepreneurs in the family, the path was never a bed of roses for both of us.

Thinking of ideas is easy but the implementation part is not that smooth. We talk and discuss ways to move forward and involve other persons in the family who could help us to find right resources to proceed further.

We’re hiring and training mainly women and retired people. Trying to train them and utilize them as per our company’s culture. We’re open to hiring from any field of occupation and take the responsibility to train them.

We both believe there’s an engineer hidden in every person.

Like us, we’re family engineers. But we are excelling in the technology business as well. So our theory is, everyone is an engineer. We polish them and make them skilled person for us.

Any individual who know how to use computer (even a little bit), we consider him\her as great useful asset for us. It is always a pleasure to see a sincere team working to make the organization big.