Witnessing the arrival of your baby is a significant milestone in life. If you are reading this, we will assume that you are anxiously prepping for your little one to arrive, or may already be at the hospital, waiting to be discharged with your baby.
If you don’t already know, there are various baby grants in Singapore you can apply for. Be sure to know what they are and how you can apply for them.
Read Also: Complete Guide to Baby Grants in Singapore
Depending on the procedure of your baby delivery, the duration of your hospital stay could range from anywhere between two days to four or more days, depending on whether there are complications.
If you and your spouse find yourself having some time during your hospital stay, there are a few things that you can decide on and apply for during this time. Some of these are compulsory decisions that you need to make, while others are optional items that you can consider doing if you have the time.
- Whose MediSave Account To Use
- Applying For Baby Bonus & CDA Grant
- Registration For Birth Certificate
- Buying Health Insurance For Your Baby
- Paying With The Right Credit Cards
Whose MediSave Account To Use?
One of the first decisions that you have to make upon admitting to the hospital is whose MediSave account you wish to claim from.
You have the option of making MediSave claim for the delivery from either husband or wife’s Medisave account. At the risk of overgeneralising, it’s usually a better idea to make the claim from whoever has more money in their MediSave account, or the person who will have a higher monthly MediSave contributions, unless you have specific personal reasons not to do so.
You can claim the following amount from your MediSave account for delivery.
- Up to $900 for pre-delivery medical expenses
- An additional surgical withdrawal limit of between $750 and $2,150, depending on the type of delivery procedures
- Up to $450 for each day in the hospital
For example, if you have a normal vagina delivery and was in the hospital for two days, you will be able to claim $900 (prenatal expenses) + $900 (two days hospital stay) + $750 (Surgical Procedure, Vaginal Delivery) for a total of up to $2,250.
If you have a caesarean delivery and was in the hospital for three days, you will be able to claim $900 (prenatal expenses) + $1,350 (three days hospital stay) + $2,150 (surgical procedure caesarean) for a total of up to $4,400.
Do note that you can also claim an extra $450 per day for your baby as well, since he or she is also considered an additional person. This will go towards offsetting your baby medical bill.
In order to claim pre-delivery medical expenses, have your bills incurred during the pre-delivery medical care ready and submit it to the hospital where your baby was delivered. The hospital will submit all the bills to the CPF Board for you to make the necessary claims from your MediSave account. Find out more about the MediSave maternity package here.
Applying For Baby Bonus & CDA Grant
The Baby Bonus Cash Gift is cash that will be given to parents of newborn Singapore babies. How much parents receive depends on the birth order of their child. This ranges from $8,000 (1st and 2ndchild) to $10,000 (3rd and subsequent children).
The Child Development Account (CDA) is part of the baby bonus scheme designed to help parents with the cost of raising their child. Money in the CDA can be used to pay for educational and healthcare expenses at approved institutions. All Singaporean baby born from 24 March 2016 onwards will receive an initial $3,000 in their CDA.
During your hospital stay, you can make the most of your time to apply for them. Here’s a brief step-by-step guide on how you can apply.
Step 1: Go to https://www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg/. Login with your Singpass. Either father or mother can do the application.
Step 2: Follow the instructions. Most of them are simple.
Step 3: Decide which bank account to use in order to receive the cash grant. You will be asked to indicate which bank account you wish for the baby bonus cash gift to be deposited in. This should be your own bank account, or that of your spouse.
Step 4: Select a bank for the CDA to be opened at. You can choose from any of the three local banks; DBS; UOB; OCBC. You do not need to physically head down to a bank branch to open the account.
While most banks offer a rather homogenous product when it comes to the CDA. We think there are two factors worth considering.
Firstly, banks usually give you a little perk if you open a child’s savings account with them, along with the CDA. Hence as far as possible, try to open the CDA with the bank that you intend to open a savings account for your child in the future. This allows you to see the remaining balance in both your child’s savings account and his/her CDA account with one single login.
Secondly, it’s better for you to choose a bank that you already have an existing internet banking relationship with. This will make it convenient for you to monitor the CDA balance, since the account will be tied to your name. This way, you wouldn’t need another internet banking login to access the account.
Step 5: Confirm the declaration and submit the registration.
The CDA will be opened by the bank you select in a few days with an initial balance of $3,000. You will receive notification once this has been done. A NETS card will be issued under your child’s name and sent to your home address. You can use it to pay for eligible products and services at CDA approved institutions.
Registration For Birth Certificate
You are should register for your child’s birth within 14 days. This can be done directly at ICA Building for $18.
However, for convenience sake, you can also do a birth registration at most Singapore Hospitals. Do note that additional administrative fees will be charged if you make a registration at these other hospitals.
One of us recently paid $42 for the birth registration of his child at Mount Alvernia. It’s more expensive, but it saves needing to make a separate trip and having to wait at ICA.
- Gleneagles Hospital
- KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital
- Mount Alvernia Hospital
- Mount Elizabeth Hospital
- Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital
- National University Hospital
- Parkway East Hospital
- Raffles Hospital
- Singapore General Hospital
- Thomson Medical Centre
If you intend to register your newborn at the hospital. Remember to bring the following documents with you to the hospital. You will receive the birth certificate on the spot.
- Both parents’ IC
- Original marriage certificate
- Notification of live birth. This will be issued by the hospital after the delivery
Buying Health Insurance For Your Baby
We recommend for you to buy health insurance policies for your newborn as early as possible. Assuming your newborn arrives without any health complication, this means they will be able to enjoy full coverage without any exclusions.
If they do unfortunately fall ill later on, and you have yet to buying insurance coverage, medical bill incurred could be quite hefty. You may also have to pay a higher loading for your insurance if you buy it later or may even have your baby’s insurance application rejected by the underwriter.
Speak to a trusted adviser that you know on this. A good adviser should ideally help you get the paperwork in order so that you can submit the application as soon as possible. Do note there are waiting period before the policies are implemented.
Some health insurance policies to consider buying for your child.
Paying With The Right Credit Cards
Trust us when we say that you do not want to pay your (potentially hefty) hospital delivery bill using your nets card or with a debit card. With the cost of delivery easily amounting to at least a few thousand dollars, you want to maximise the benefits that you can receive using the right credit cards.
If you are someone who travel often, opt to use an air miles credit card. Assuming a hospitalisation bill of $8,000, you would easily be able to earn 9,600 miles (1.2 miles per $1). If you time your credit card application such that you receive your card just before the baby delivery, you will also be able to earn bonus miles in light of the hefty amount that you will be charging to your credit card.
If you are not someone who like to accumulate miles, you can consider a cashback card instead. Assuming a cashback rate of 1.5%, you will be able to get a $120 cashback from your credit card. No reason not to get it.
Are there any more items that you think should be on our list? Drop us a message at email@example.com if you think we have missed out on something that you want us to add.