What mums can buy policies for

Zika is not the only condition expectant mothers can buy insurance for.

There are maternity insurance policies that cover babies from birth against congenital illnesses such as Down syndrome, cleft lip, blindness and deafness.

As Singapore women give birth later and later, this could mean an increased risk of having babies born with some of these conditions.

About 1,000 newborns, or less than 3 per cent of each cohort of newborns, were born with congenital anomalies each year, based on data from 2007 to 2009, said the Ministry of Health four years ago in response to a parliamentary question. Later statistics are not readily available.

When asked what help such families are given, the ministry said then that they get subsidised healthcare, as do all Singaporeans.

Great Eastern and Prudential Singapore have plans that cover congenital illnesses such as Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, cleft lip, club foot and congenital deafness.

AIA, meanwhile, was the first in Singapore to cover pregnancies conceived via in-vitro fertilisation.

Janice Tai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 19, 2016, with the headline 'What mums can buy policies for'. Print Edition | Subscribe