Why Disability Insurance is a Must-Have for Moms

May 8, 2020

Most people don’t connect pregnancy with one of the leading causes of disability - but for many new moms, disability insurance can be very helpful in the event they face a health complication during pregnancy. Disability insurance can cover health conditions related to pregnancy and postpartum, which can help protect a new mom's income if she is unable to work during that time.

Disability insurance is considered a form of “paycheck protection”

Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), eligible employees can take up to 12 weeks of parental leave after giving birth or adopting a child. A handful of states also offer their own version of FMLA with paid family leave plans. While this is a good opportunity to bond with your little one, it’s important to find out if your employer offers paid leave during this time. If they don’t, those weeks of lost income could cause financial stress quickly.

If you must leave work for some time due to complications with your pregnancy or postpartum recovery, you not only lose your monthly income, you also face medical bills on top of daily living expenses. Depending on the coverage you have through work, you might need disability insurance to provide financial protection during this period of lost income.

Review your employer-sponsored coverage

If you work at a larger company or have an office job, your employer probably offers some sort of disability insurance. The bad news is that this coverage might not be enough. Most employer-sponsored plans have percentage and dollar caps on benefits, and employer-sponsored insurance is not always portable, so if you switch jobs you could lose coverage.

If you don’t have a paid parental leave policy through your employer and you plan on having a baby, disability insurance can help you make up for lost income if you face complications during your pregnancy.

The best first step is to look at your coverage through work to see if this insurance will be enough to support you before and after your pregnancy. If it is, that’s great! If not, we can help you figure out the best next steps.

How disability insurance works

As the disability insurance policyholder, you make regular payments to the insurance company on a monthly or annual basis. In return, if you are unable to work due to a disability covered in the policy, your insurance carrier agrees to pay you short-term or long-term benefits. In this case, we’re looking at disability insurance related to medical conditions during pregnancy or after birth, such as postpartum depression.

Disability insurance, like life insurance, offers more affordable premiums to young, healthy individuals. For this reason, it’s important to secure coverage early in life if you believe you might need it later. Especially with disability coverage, you’ll want to have a policy in place well before you expect you might need it.

If you need to use your disability insurance, it generally covers a percentage of your income as defined in the terms of the policy. Short-term disability insurance usually provides a payout for three to six months, while long-term covers years or decades.

Moms can usually get covered by themselves by joining a group plan at work or purchasing individual coverage. Many insurance policies also offer this coverage as a rider on a life insurance policy.

Short-term disability insurance for pregnancy

Short-term disability policies generally classify pregnancy as a covered disability and will pay a benefit if you have a complication during pregnancy that prevents you from working. Some policies will cover up to 80% of your income during the disability period, which is short (52 weeks max) and only applies if you are disabled due to the pregnancy.

Short-term disability coverage usually provides payments for six weeks after delivery and for eight weeks after a c-section delivery. Postpartum depression is also covered in most disability insurance policies.

Long-term disability insurance for pregnancy

Long-term disability insurance can help mothers who experience long lasting complications related to pregnancy or delivery. While this insurance won’t provide benefits for birth, it can support a mother through medical conditions that arise after delivery. For some women, pregnancies can accelerate illnesses or conditions tied to their medical history, and a long-term plan can help alleviate medical costs related to any such condition that arises.

Most insurance companies will provide disability insurance with an elimination period (the length of time before disability benefits begin) of around 90 days. You can use payments from a long-term disability policy to cover childcare costs, household assistance, medical bills, and more. The terms will vary based on the insurance company you choose, but these benefits could save you from a lot of financial stress.

Can you get disability insurance while you are pregnant?

If you are pregnant, you could qualify for disability insurance, but your policy won’t cover your current pregnancy. Many insurance companies require underwriting, so if you needed to undergo a medical exam, your pregnancy would be considered a pre-existing condition (your insurer would probably exclude any condition related to your current pregnancy in your policy terms).

Another option is to enroll in group coverage, which doesn’t require underwriting.

Explore your options for disability insurance coverage

At Symmetry Financial Group, we can help you protect your income with disability insurance tailored to your needs. As an independent insurance agency, we offer products from more than 30 of the most trusted insurance companies to help you find a policy that fits your budget. We do all the shopping for you to determine which policies best fit your budget and needs.

To learn more about how disability insurance can protect you and your family, request a quote for disability insurance today. We’re now offering video conferencing to help you review your coverage or get disability insurance in just a few simple steps.

This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be taken as financial advice. For a detailed consultation regarding life insurance, please reach out to your Symmetry Financial Group insurance agent.


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