When it comes to health insurance in the UAE, one of the most important benefits residents look for is maternity cover. In the medical insurance industry, maternity cover may actually refer to several different benefits. The obvious one is child delivery, where the insurer covers the mother for costs associated with giving birth.
A second benefit that may be included in pregnancy cover is prenatal care. This may consist of regular check-ups at the OB/GYN before childbirth. Typically, insurance companies will cover a specific number of doctor visits, tests and scans. The postnatal complications benefit is another important one that may be included in a policy. This usually refers to the six to eight weeks immediately after delivery. Policies with this benefit usually include cover for the mother in case there are any complications during or after childbirth.
Another benefit that is related to maternity cover is newborn care. Some medical insurance companies in the UAE provide cover for infants for the first 30 days after they are born (some premium policies cover the newborn infant for up to 90 days). This provides great protection in case there are any complications that require the child to spend an extended period in the hospital.
While it is important to understand what the different elements of maternity cover are, it is equally important to understand its limitations
Maternity cover if you are already pregnant
If you are already expecting, then maternity cover may not be for you. From every insurance company’s perspective, they collect a premium from their customers in return for providing protection against future medical expenses. An important part of their business model is to try to collect more in insurance premiums than they pay out for medical expenses. For the insurer, covering someone who is already pregnant does not make sense unless the premium they collect exceeds the cost that they will have to pay for maternity cover.
For example, assume the regular cost of medical insurance for a healthy, non-pregnant female is AED 6,000. Since the cost of child delivery in the UAE can easily exceed AED 10,000, the insurance company would lose money if the female in our example became pregnant and delivered a child, since the medical claims they have to pay out are more than the premium they collected. So if an insurer covers someone that they know is already pregnant at the normal price, it is essentially a guaranteed loss for them.
In reality, if an applicant is already pregnant, the insurance company will usually increase the premium by at least AED 25,000 to account for both the cost of child delivery as well as the risk of any complications that may occur. In other words, it would be cheaper for the applicant to pay for the child delivery out of their own pocket rather than buy health insurance. The only advantage of buying a medical policy in this scenario is that you would be protected against any complications that may occur before or after the pregnancy period.
A great option for couples who are already expecting a child is to purchase a maternity package from a hospital. In the UAE, you can find different types of packages that include room charges and physician fees during child delivery. Some hospitals include prenatal and postnatal exams as well. Maternity packages in the UAE typically start as low as AED 5,000.
Maternity cover benefits in the UAE
As part of the Dubai Health Authority’s new law mandating health insurance coverage for all Dubai residents, the DHA also set a minimum level of benefits that need to be provided in every health insurance policy sold in Dubai.
Every medical plan must provide cover for up to AED 7,000 for normal delivery and AED 10,000 for medically necessary C-sections. The maximum co-payment for maternity coverage has been set at 10%. Newborns must be covered for at least the 30 days from birth. Unfortunately, the DHA has not set any regulations concerning waiting periods. As a result, many insurers still require a waiting period of at least 6 months before the policyholder can actually use the maternity coverage. The good news is that quite a few health insurance companies provide maternity cover without requiring a waiting period – at reasonable prices! You can quickly compare over 60 medical insurance options by clicking here.
In Abu Dhabi, health insurance policies have a maximum deductible of AED 500 per child delivery and AED 20 per prenatal check-up.
Getting the right policy is important, but timing is just as crucial. At the end of the day, insurance is supposed to protect you financially against future events. So buy medical insurance today before it is too late by visiting bayzat.com.