With the significant impact the spread COVID-19 has caused, currently thousands of people are struggling financially and emotionally as many have either lost their jobs or had their salaries reduced. But for those who are soon to become parents, with no expectations of their plans changing, it has been an extremely difficult time. Making sure that their newborn will be born safely as well as planning ahead while dealing with such uncertainty of the future during this time is a challenge. Now people are relying on their health insurance benefits to be able to take care of themselves and their family’s health.
When it comes to health insurance in the UAE, one of the most important benefits residents look for is maternity cover, as it is one of the most expensive costs to make up for. But once health insurance coverage became mandatory for all UAE residents, including their dependents, as per the Dubai Health Insurance law in 2013, it became easier for people to get good maternity benefits. This means that even with the most basic insurance plan, anyone who is employed in the UAE will have medical insurance benefits which include maternity coverage.
While regulations for taking leaves have changed for companies during the COVID-19 outbreak, keep in mind that working females who are pregnant are still entitled to a maternity leave of 45 days including the time before and after delivery. Working women who are pregnant and have completed one year of employment in their company are also entitled to full pay during maternity leave, otherwise, they are entitled to only half pay.
Maternity cover benefits in the UAE
Depending on your medical insurance policy, insurers have different maternity benefits that cover most expenses relating to pregnancy. That’s why it is very important to know what your health insurance plan actually covers in terms of benefits when getting your policy; some may actually exclude maternity cover or have it as an add on benefit within their health plan.
But in terms of maternity cover by insurers within the UAE , these are what some of the maternity benefits actually refer to:
- Childbirth: insurers cover most of the costs associated with giving birth. As stated by the DHA, there should be a coverage of up to 7,000 AED for normal delivery and 10,000 AED for medically necessary C-sessions, also including a 10% co-payment.
* The costs of delivery may vary depending on the hospitals, ranging from 2,000 to 14,000 AED, without any complications. It’s important to know the hospital’s costs while considering which health insurance policy to buy, and what can give you the most coverage.
- Prenatal care: This consists of regular check-ups at the OB/GYN before childbirth. Typically, insurance companies will cover a specific number of doctor visits, tests and scans. But currently, as per the Dubai Health Authority law, every medical insurance plan with maternity benefits should be able to cover eight prenatal appointments with the OB/GYN, and three prenatal scans, also including any basic blood tests. The maximum percentage of payment you need to cover is 10%. The postnatal complications benefit is another important one that needs to be considered when getting your health insurance policy. This usually refers to the six to eight weeks immediately after delivery. Policies with this benefit usually also include cover for the mother in case there are any complications during or after childbirth.
*For prenatal care, most facilities offer a variety of packages, including around 12 or more prenatal visits and price ranging from 6,000 AED to over 22,000 AED. In Abu Dhabi, health insurance policies have a maximum deductible of AED 500 per child delivery and AED 20 per prenatal check-up.
- Newborn care: According to the DHA, 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 3 months after being born). This provides great protection in case there are any complications that require the child to spend an extended period in the hospital. Parents can then arrange a separate cover for their child or add them to their policy.
*Although insurance companies usually impose a six month wait until a newborn can be added to the policy, given the circumstances to COVID-19, the Dubai Health Authority has now directed insurers to not impose any waiting periods for the newborn of any kind.
- Waiting period: since the DHA has not set any regulations concerning waiting periods when it comes to using maternity benefits, many insurers still require a waiting period of at least 6 months before the policyholder can actually use the maternity coverage. Yet, there are still a few health insurance companies that provide maternity cover without requiring a waiting period. You can quickly compare over 60 medical insurance options here.
Considering the amount costs that come with planning a family, you need to make sure to be covered by the best insurance for you. Find out how Bayzat can help with getting the right maternity cover you need to help boost your financial wellbeing during this time.
Maternity cover if you are already pregnant
While it is important to understand the different benefits of maternity cover, it is as necessary to understand some of its limitations. If you are already expecting, for instance, 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.
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.
Getting the right policy is important, but timing and planning ahead is just as crucial. As you want your insurance to protect you financially against any future events, especially in times like this, making sure you get the right insurance plan and policy you need is necessary.
By partnering with a long list of leading providers, Bayzat is ready to give you a diverse range of insurance options to ensure you can access and use your insurance policy like never before. Visit Bayzat to learn more about getting an insurance plan with the right benefits you need to make your life easier.