Should we get supplemental insurance before getting pregnant?
May 27, 2016 6:23 AM   Subscribe

We plan on getting pregnant in a year. I have heard about getting short term disability insurance before getting pregnant, which you can then collect after the baby is delivered. Does anyone have any experience in this? Is it worth it? Which plans worked for you?
posted by MisantropicPainforest to Work & Money (9 answers total)
Do you have a parental leave policy at work? The main reason I have heard of people getting supplemental short term disability is that their workplace does not offer any kind of paid leave.
posted by soren_lorensen at 6:30 AM on May 27, 2016

I did it with my first child - it was a long time ago though. My employer offers supplemental insurance at the employees expense that i used so i really can t recommend a carrier. Your premium would be based on your salary. There is a waiting period for you to begin collecting usually a week or two. I can't remember the percentage of what mine paid, but you normally don't get your full pay, just a percent. There will be a set amount of time you can collect on a normal pregnancy, so if you are thinking it will help you stay off work longer that might not be true. it was worth it for me at the time because i didn't have paid leave but i did not do it for my second pregnancy.
posted by domino at 7:09 AM on May 27, 2016

Not all short-term disability policies cover maternity leave. Definitely check terms before choosing a policy.
posted by goggie at 7:22 AM on May 27, 2016

Not only check that it covers maternity but that there is no waiting period. I would imagine insurance companies don't really want someone buying this right before they get pregnant so may have some sort of time period you must be on the insurance before they will pay out a maternity claim.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:32 AM on May 27, 2016

Definitely. I don't know any of my friends who did not have short-term disability for use during maternity leave. My wife and her female friends will bank up vacation and sick days, add in short-term disability, and suddenly their 12 weeks off for maternity leave are paid for.
posted by TinWhistle at 7:33 AM on May 27, 2016

It is absolutely worth it, but the only way to get ST disability insurance is through your employer (usually only during an open enrollment period). If your work offers it and the timing works, definitely take it. You have to start the plan while you are not pregnant or it won't pay out. So if your open enrollment is in November, don't get pregnant until mid-Jan at the earliest.

Insurers won't offer ST disability to individuals because it is too much of a liability. You need a bunch of people in the plan who will never use the payoff in order to make it worth it to cover pregnant ladies.

I had two different carriers for my two pregnancies and they were essentially the same. It makes it so you can essentially get paid during your maternity leave (after using sick/vacation time). Talk to your HR person about this and they'll explain the nuances to you.

When I had Aflac, I also had the opportunity to pick up a hospital indemnity policy that paid an extra $1000 if you stay overnight in a hospital (perfect for having a baby!).
posted by LKWorking at 8:03 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

but the only way to get ST disability insurance is through your employer

That's not always the case. If you're self-employed in California, the Employment Development Department (EDD) offers disability insurance that covers pregnancy and childbirth. I think you have to be insured for six months before you can benefit from the insurance. If you're not in CA, see if your state has a similar offering.
posted by Sparkling Natural Mineral Water at 9:34 AM on May 27, 2016

but the only way to get ST disability insurance is through your employer

Definitely not true, but it will likely affect the rates, just as health insurance is affected.
posted by Capri at 2:11 PM on May 27, 2016

You can definitely get supplemental AD&D as an individual. I have a policy through my job, but also carry separate supplemental because the long term benefit through work is not full income replacement/I'm the sole breadwinner and have nightmares about a situation where I lose my job and then become disabled before I can find a new one.

However, you not only want to check waiting periods and ensure that maternity leave counts, but also how it works in conjunction with your primary disability insurance. My experience has been that if you are getting all of the income replaced by one policy, you don't get to draw in the other one. There may be differences in the policies out there, though, or endorsements you can get.
posted by joyceanmachine at 2:52 PM on May 27, 2016

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