Expat Health Cover: Assisted Fertility (IVF) & Maternity Insurance


Pregnancies are happy occasions for families all around. Often, many women experience fairly manageable pregnancies without difficulties but for the most part, maternal health should not be taken for granted. 

For women trying to conceive, there are a number of ways to do so – with the most common option being sexual intercourse with a partner. However, taking limitations and choice into account, there are other methods for getting pregnant as well, made much more accessible with technology and scientific advancements today. One of them is through in-vitro fertilisation (IVF), a type of treatment under Assisted Reproduction Technology (ART) procedures. 

We know that there exists maternity insurance plans in the market but what support measures are in place for women conceiving through IVF? Is maternity insurance even really that necessary? How beneficial can they be? 

Let’s address some of these issues by understanding the matter at hand. At Expat Insurance, you can expect to receive comprehensive and dedicated service from our team of experts in Singapore. We understand that pregnancies can be challenging, despite the emotional and physical joys we derive during the journey. Having your concerns managed early can help ensure a smooth transition into parenthood.

What is In-Vitro Fertilisation?

According to Planned Parenthood, in-vitro fertilisation works to manage fertility issues, embryo development and implantation – to help with getting pregnant. It is also commonly referred to as simply IVF. There are a fair bit of steps towards the entire IVF process. Some people get successfully pregnant on the first try and others need several more tries. 

The client services team at Expat Insurance Singapore gets asked a lot about in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI). We understand that the conversation can be difficult, but as your leading health insurance brokers, we do what we can to help you be as informed as possible about your options here in Singapore.

Maternity & Assisted Fertility | Useful Terms To Know

Here are some useful terms to get familiar with on the topic of assisted fertility:

Term  What is it? 
In-vitro fertilisation (IVF)  The process of fertilising an egg with sperm outside the body. Upon successful fertilisation, the fertilised egg then divides until it becomes an embryo. 
Gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT)  This is when the eggs are taken out of the ovaries and placed in the fallopian tubes along with the sperm to be fertilised inside the uterus or fallopian tubes. 
Zygote intrafallopian transfer (ZIFT)  This is usually conducted when there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes preventing fertilisation without assistance. The egg cells are removed from the ovaries and in-vitro fertilised. 

The fertilised egg is then inserted back into the fallopian tube by laparoscopy to undergo cell division in the uterus or tubes. 

Artificial insemination Sperm is introduced deliberately into a woman’s cervix or uterus so she can become pregnant.
Prescribed drug treatment  Examples include Clomid* which helps to stimulate ovulation and sometimes produces extra eggs. Cases of twins and multiples resulting from Clomid are not uncommon. 
Embryo transportation This is when there may be frozen embryos in one location or facility that need to be moved to necessitate implantation through IVF. 

Is IVF part of expat maternity insurance in Singapore?

As health insurance brokers, we see a range of situations that our clients are in, especially when it comes to maternity insurance. More often than not, they are not particularly sure of what is and isn’t covered as part of their expat maternity insurance in Singapore. Maternity insurance in Singapore can differ with regards to no waiting periods to a significant portion of time. Checking ahead will help you plan better as well. 

Getting good expat maternity insurance in Singapore can do wonders for both maternal health and finances. Prior, the number of IVF treatments a woman can receive in Singapore was capped at 10 cycles, but this is no longer the case

The journey of a pregnancy – IVF or otherwise – can be challenging for the mother. Issues such as postpartum depression, general health and the financial strains of managing the pregnancy can creep up on couples. 

Minus the high healthcare costs, expats working and living here are still encouraged to take up maternity insurance in Singapore for its varied benefits. Perhaps, most importantly, this maternity insurance will ensure future insurability for your baby without medical underwriting. We understand the urgency of protecting your baby and we agree that it is the best course of action. Buying maternity insurance will also insure your child even if they were born with any medical conditions. It also protects the mother – insuring against any potential congenital defects and the like.

Does Expat Insurance offer maternity insurance plans that cover IVF in Singapore?

We do offer one. As health insurance brokers, we recognise and attest to the value of ensuring a smooth pregnancy for both mother and child. This plan covers infertility treatments for a woman trying to have her first child. Expat and local mothers alike should know that this plan covers investigations to establish the cause of infertility, IVF cycles and artificial inseminations. It can cover up to SGD4000 per cycle.

What does 1 cycle cover?

  • All imagining, biological and genetic investigations
  • Hospital expenses (inpatient & outpatient) & medical fees for IVF
  • The cycle starts with medical care related to infertility treatments and ends with an insemination or embryo transfer

If you would like to know more about this plan, consider speaking to one of our advisors today.

My pregnancy was assisted. Is it covered under the maternity insurance?

It will be on most plans. To best help you as health insurance brokers, we recommend that you inform us of the assistance you are receiving in regards to the pregnancy. These are some of the assistance plans in the sphere. Let us know and we can help you assess your plan to see if they are covered:

  • IVF
  • GIFT Gamete Intrafallopian transfer
  • ZIFT Zygote Intrafallopian transfer
  • Artificial Insemination 
  • Prescribed drug treatments
  • Embryo transportation
  • Egg or sperm donation

Regardless of whether your assisted pregnancy is covered, simply informing us will help us ensure we recommend you the best coverage possible for you and your baby as your health insurance broker.

Is my baby conceived through IVF covered?

It depends on your plan. Oftentimes, if health covers are not clear in terms of coverage, newborns cannot access their health coverage until they are 90 days old. Without complications, this is hardly an issue. 

In our experience as health insurance brokers, we cannot stress the importance of scheduling consultations to help you understand where and what type of gaps you need to fill in your maternity insurance coverage. If your newborn – conceived through IVF – is born without cover, you could potentially face high medical bills.

Maternity Health Insurance for Expats

The best course of action would be to get a consultation prior to receiving assisted reproductive help. As health insurance brokers, we believe that mapping out your pregnancy plans ahead of time can be beneficial to your overall health and finances. 

We are here to give you and your family a strong start. Schedule a discussion with our experts today.

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