Maternity Insurance Policies In Hong Kong
Childbirth And Maternity Insurance In Hong Kong
Having a child can be both terrifying and exciting at the same time. While your primary concern should be the health and safety of the mother and the child, many people forget about the financial consequences. Having a child in Hong Kong can be very expensive; especially if you factor in additional costs such as vaccinations and health checks for the newborn.
This is the reason that everyone in Hong Kong must have a maternity insurance policy to cover pregnancy costs and uninvited complications.
Childbirth At A Public Vs. Private Hospital
Make no mistake; the public healthcare system in Hong Kong is very advanced – inspired by the UK’s National Health Service. But despite the low cost, there are problems with it that make the private medical system more attractive to some residents. The main issue being overcrowding and long wait times perhaps due in part to its low cost and the bureaucratic nature of government services. To avoid these lines and enjoy a more comfortable childbirth, many prospective parents turn to private hospitals for their maternity related treatments.
Why Choose A Private Hospital?
While the technical aspects of your treatment will be very similar at both private and public hospitals, there are many reasons why people choose to deliver at a private hospital.
Wait Times: Wait times at private hospitals are much shorter than at public hospitals and there’s also less bureaucracy to deal with.
Language Issues: While many of Hong Kong’s public hospital doctors have trained outside of Hong Kong in the UK or the US, you are more likely to find staff that speak your own language at a private hospital.
Continuity of Treatment: At a public hospital, you might see a different doctor each time for your check-ups and treatments. Many prospective mothers feel more comfortable working with the same medical team throughout their pregnancy.
Comfort: Maternity can be a very stressful time for all parties but public hospitals are often overcrowded and there’s very little privacy. Private hospitals often have private rooms and luxury suites to ensure you have a less stressful and more comfortable experience.
The cost of a standard childbirth in Hong Kong, without complications, for ID card holders using the public system is highly subsidized and very inexpensive. For non-ID card holders who want to use a private hospital like Matilda, costs can be upwards of HK$150,000. And worst of all, these costs are not covered by most group or individual health insurance plans.
To help alleviate some of those costs, prospective parents should consider purchasing insurance. Maternity insurance in Hong Kong protects the mother and the child during pregnancy, birth, and sometimes, aftercare for the newborn as well.
Maternity Insurance Coverage
While each insurance company is different, most maternity insurance policies will cover you for:
Pre-natal and post-natal exams and treatments such as ultrasounds, vitamins and supplements recommended by a doctor or obstetrician visits to make sure the pregnancy is proceeding smoothly
Pregnancy complications such as a miscarriage
Planned delivery costs (including costs associated with complications) at home with a midwife or at a hospital of your choice
Medically necessary procedures such as caesarean sections
Outside of these more routine costs, some more comprehensive maternity insurance plans will also cover fertility treatments, newborn care and medical treatment for the newborn for congenital birth defects or other unexpected occurrences. These costs, when going through the private healthcare system, can be very expensive.
After the baby is born, the danger isn’t over yet. While some family health insurance plans will automatically provide coverage to newborns, many do not. We always recommend selecting a maternity insurance plan that extends coverage to the newborn to avoid any gaps in coverage.
Most maternity insurance policies will extend coverage to the newborn from anywhere to a few weeks to a few months to take care of any health issues that may arise or to cover expenses like incubation should the baby be born prematurely.
More routine expenses like accommodation costs (for the baby and for an accompanying parent) if the baby is hospitalized and basic newborn care like physical examinations, blood and hearing tests as well as costs involved with administering the necessary vaccines (hepatitis B).
Terms & Conditions
Most insurance companies will exclude your maternity cost if you are already pregnant when you apply. To prevent losing too much money, most insurers will also require a waiting period where you have to pay at least 10 months’ worth of premiums before they would start providing coverage.
If you’re planning to have children and would like to learn more about how maternity insurance in Hong Kong can control costs and bring some peace of mind, contact us to speak with one of our advisors. We can help you craft the right plan for your specific needs.
MATERNITY INSURANCE FAQ
Can I Get Maternity Insurance While Pregnant?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is no. It is generally not possible to purchase maternity insurance in Hong Kong if you are already pregnant.
Almost all pregnancy health insurance companies will have a waiting period for individual maternity insurance policies but some group health insurance plans provided by your employer may not. The waiting period is usually between 9 to 18 months with 12 months being the most common in our experience.
During this waiting period, you are unable to claim for any maternity-related expenses. That said, if you become pregnant during your waiting period, you will still have insurance but any maternity-related expenses during the waiting period would not be covered.
How Much Does Maternity Insurance Cost?
It varies greatly based on insurer, the coverage tier you’ve selected, and the limits of insurance chosen. For example, coverage limits range from HK$20,000 to HK$155,000.
That said, regardless of cost, we always recommend purchasing maternity insurance to help offset the high cost of childbirth in Hong Kong in private hospitals.
Cost of delivery at private hospitals vary greatly and can go up astronomically depending on your choice of hospital and accommodations (many hospitals have luxurious hotel-like suites for childbirth). On the low end, a complication-free standard vaginal delivery at St Teresa’s Hospital in Kowloon will cost around HK$32,000. A c-section delivery at Matilda International Hospital will cost around $HK62,500.
Bear in mind that these costs include a private room only and do not account for surcharges for deliveries during holidays or auspicious days, VIP rooms, complications, miscellaneous fees, or your pre and post-natal checkups and treatments. Taking these extra costs into account, your costs can easily be five (5) times as great!
During these times, it is best to hire a maternity insurance broker who can help you find pregnancy insurance plans that suit your needs.
How Long Is My Baby Covered Under My Insurance?
It varies greatly based on the insurer, the coverage tier you’ve selected, and the limits of insurance chosen. For example, coverage limits range from HK$20,000 to HK$155,000.
Under some maternity insurance policies, your newborn baby may be covered for up to 30 days or a maximum sub limit for ‘New Born Coverage’, but be sure to check with your insurance company or broker for the exact details as policy terms and benefits vary for each insurer.
Children must be added to the policy holders health insurance plan ASAP to ensure they have proper full coverage.
One important point to note is that the newborn may be able to be covered without any medical questionnaires or extra underwriting work to be done. That means all conditions would be covered subject to the terms and conditions of the policy.
Can A Health Plan Refuse To Let Me Enroll Because I’m Pregnant?
Purchasing maternity insurance while you’re already pregnant isn’t always the best idea because of the waiting period required before any claims are payable. Because of this waiting period, costs incurred during your pregnancy may not be covered.
We always recommend you purchase maternity insurance well in advance but if you do buy a policy while pregnant, there are still some important coverages you can get.
Your newborn baby is covered regardless of medical history. This means they’ll be covered for all pre-existing or congenital diseases. If you didn’t purchase a maternity insurance policy and opted for a stand-alone health insurance policy for your child, you would not have that extra protection.
You may also get coverage for complications of pregnancy provided those complications are not from pre-existing conditions.
What Prenatal Care Can I Expect To Be Covered By My Health Plan During Pregnancy?
Most maternity health insurance plans in Hong Kong will cover the routine prenatal treatments as well as any complications that might arise. This includes coverage for things like:
And other consultations, check-ups and treatments during pregnancy
These types of treatments are generally carried out by an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN), family doctor, nurse, or perinatologist.
A more comprehensive plan may even offer coverage for fertility treatments and in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments to help facilitate pregnancy.
What Delivery Costs And After-Delivery Costs Will Be Covered?
Maternity Insurance Coverage will vary from insurer to insurer and depending on the plan you’ve purchased. That said, there are some general coverages that you should consider.
Delivery Costs Covered:
Delivery at the hospital of your choice
Costs of routine vaginal delivery
Cost of delivery with complications
Medically necessary Cesarean section
Delivery requiring emergency surgery
Delivery Costs Covered:
Postnatal care such as hospitalisation, newborn care, checkups, treatments, etc.
Treatment of congenital birth defects
Extended coverage for the newborn
What Happens After My Baby Is Born?
For most policies, your pregnancy insurance coverage effectively ends - especially if the delivery was free of any complications or ongoing medical issues. But some more comprehensive plans will include coverage for the cost of treating any congenital birth defects and even extend health insurance coverage to the newborn child.
Extending coverage to the newborn child is particularly valuable if you either don’t have a family health insurance policy or if that policy does not automatically extend coverage to newborns. Having maternity insurance that automatically extends coverage to the baby helps to prevent any gaps in coverage during that time..