Many of us, especially expat parents in Shanghai, still remember the tragic ending of Mehmet, the three-year-old British/Turkey boy who passed away in 2013....
In the press
What is Expat Maternity insurance?
What is Expat Maternity insurance?
For expat mothers planning to have a baby, it is advisable to have in place a maternity insurance to ensure that both mother and baby have access to quality medical care. Pregnancy insurance usually pays for cost of prenatal and postnatal check-ups, complications during pregnancy and delivery, childbirth and routine newborn care. Expat maternity or pregnancy insurance is not sold as a stand-alone but rather together with an international health insurance
8 important points to look out for when buying a maternity insurance
Before making that investment for yourself and your baby, it is important to read the fine prints of the insurance policy so as not to be caught by surprise.
1. Waiting period
As being pregnant is considered a pre-existing condition, most insurers will not accept your application if you're already pregnant, except if you join a group plan. For maternity coverage to kick in, the waiting period is usually between 8 to 12 months.
2. Definition of Waiting period
Different insurers have different definition of waiting period. For some, if waiting period is 8 months, it simply means that after 8 months from joining, you are entitled to claim for the approved expenses relating to maternity. For others, it means that you can only make the claim if you conceive 8 months after joining.
3. Age limit
Most international health insurance don't provide maternity coverage for women over the age of 44. This is because women of this age group are considered high risk as they are more likely to experience complications during their pregnancy and delivery.
4. Congenital disease
Every one of us want to have a healthy baby. But if your baby is born with congenital diseases, which is defined as any abnormalities, deformities, diseases, illnesses or injuries present at birth, whether diagnosed or not, you want to make sure that she receives the best medical care available.
Having said that, not all expat maternity insurance cover congenital conditions. Some absolutely do not cover, some insure 100% and some provide partial cover by stating a time or budget limit (like US$150,000 for the first 90 days of the newborn's life or US$ 10,000 for up to 30 days of hospital stay).
5. Newborn care
Once your little bundle of joy is delivered, she will go through a series of health checks and vaccinations. These costs are usually counted as part of the mother's maternity benefits with some insurers stating that the newborn cover is in effect only up to 7 days from the day of delivery. Some insurances will state clearly the items that they don't cover (like normal hearing tests, preventive medicines, any routine physical examination, any vaccinations and inoculations), or state the number of visits to the doctor.
6. Complications in pregnancy
Complications in pregnancy is defined as medical conditions during pregnancy. Should a medical expense be incurred due to this, some insurers classify it under outpatient but some add it under maternity coverage. Having it classified as outpatient will prevent the bill from eating into your maternity benefit.
7. Complications in delivery
Complications in delivery is defined as medical conditions that arises during childbirth. Similarly to above, some insurers lump it together with maternity benefit and some separate this cost and classify it under inpatient thus ensuring that you're able to maximize your pregnancy coverage.
8. Cost of Childbirth
Coverage of childbirth is the basis of all maternity insurance. This usually includes obstetricians' and midwives' fees, hospital charges and postnatal care for mother.
Most insurers exclude:
Voluntary caesarean section
Medically necessary caesarean section due to any previous non-emergency caesarean section undertaken
Premature or multiple births following assisted conception