The Beginner’s Guide to Maternity Insurance
Having a baby is an elating and joyful experience. However, this happiness comes with the responsibilities of taking care of the baby and your health throughout the pregnancy period. This can be physically and financially draining. If you are in the UAE and plan to become a parent soon, then buying medical insurance is an inevitable necessity. And you can’t just buy any insurance; you must carefully research and decide on the policy that best suits your needs. You must know what sort of coverage the policy offers, what it includes and what it doesn’t.
Maternity coverage is recommended for couples who plan on having a family soon. The expenses associated with childbirth and consequent medical treatments such as medications, diagnostic tests, post-natal visits, vaccinations, and in unfortunate circumstances, birth defects and complications during child birth, can burn a huge hole in your pocket. You must also decide if you want to include coverage for your newborn in your health policy.
As per the latest directives of the Dubai Health Authority, all medical insurance policies must now include basic maternity benefits; they must cover at least AED 7,000 for normal delivery and AED 10,000 for a medically necessary caesarean surgery. Previously, insurance companies used to impose a 12 months waiting period before you could claim any maternity benefits but now this condition has now been waived. While many health insurance providers offer international maternity coverage, such a premium benefit often comes at a cost.
A regular maternity health policy will cover expenses for regular hospital delivery, C-section, medicine costs, and pre- and post-natal care. At an additional cost, the plan may also offer extra coverage for fertility treatment, newborn care, and congenital birth defects. You must also check the terms of insurance to see if there is any upper age limit for availing maternity benefits. Many international health policies do not offer maternity coverage to women over 44 years of age as their pregnancies are high-risk and are more likely to cause complications during pregnancy and delivery. Common exclusions related to maternity include voluntary caesarean section, a medically necessary caesarean that results from a previous voluntary caesarean, multiple births and premature deliveries.
Popular companies such as Integra, Daman, Orient Insurance, Oman Insurance, BUPA, AXA Gulf, Cigna, Aetna and Morgan Price, offer health policies with maternity coverage. Below are some of the most popular maternity products to help make your insurance decision easier:
1) AXA Gulf Health Perfect
AXA Gulf is one of the major health insurance providers in the UAE, with over 50,000 customers. Authorized by all GCC health regulators, it offers maternity benefits in each of its health insurance plans (HP1 to HP7) with direct billing facilities. Their maternity benefits include out-patient maternity, pre- and post-natal complications, in-patient normal delivery, medically necessary C-section, and vaccinations for children up to six years as required by the Ministry of Health. The following are the maternity coverage limits of their medical insurance policies:
- AED 50,000 for HP1
- AED 40,000 for HP2
- AED 25,000 for HP3
- AED 25,000 for HP4
- AED 15,000 for HP5
- AED 15,000 for HP6
- AED 10,000 for HP7
Bupa works with Oman Insurance Company in the UAE to provide global health plans and has a vast network of over 800,500 medical providers globally. They offer three health insurance policies with maternity coverage – Premier Health Plan, Elite Health Plan, and Ultimate Health Plan. However, it is their Ultimate Health Plan that offers the most comprehensive maternity coverage, with unrestricted access to specialists, doctors, therapists, and scans. These policies are only available to Dubai residents.
Allianz Worldwide Care, in collaboration with Arab Orient Insurance, offers world-class maternity healthcare insurance in the UAE. Their key selling point is the promise to settle all claims within 48 hours and offer a 24-hour emergency helpline. They also offer two special maternity plans – Premier Maternity and Club Maternity. Premier Maternity plan can only be bought with the Premier Individual Core Plan and Club Maternity can only be bought with the Club Individual Core Plan. You must also buy an additional Outpatient Plan with the policy to make it a comprehensive insurance plan. While Premier Plan for routine maternity covers EUR 7,500 per pregnancy and EUR 15,000 for complicated pregnancy, the Club Plan covers EUR 5,000 for normal pregnancy and EUR 10,000 for complicated pregnancy.
4) Morgan Price
This is a UK-based insurer, offering both regional and international coverage. The policies are offered through Watania Insurance and their claims are settled through Amity Health, a third party administrator. Morgan Price offers six health insurance products with direct billing facilities. Their maternity coverages range from USD 6,000 to USD 18,750. However, they do not offer premature newborn benefits.
Cigna, a prominent international insurance company, has partnered with Saudi Arabian Insurance Company (SAICO) and offers international health policies with maternity coverage. They provide you with the option to add outpatient benefits to your policy. However, they do not provide direct billing.
Coverage of childbirth is the pillar of many maternity insurance products. Hence, you must carefully select an insurance plan that is most suitable to your requirements.
6) Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC)
ADNIC, one of the oldest insurance companies in the UAE, is a multi-line insurance provider that works with several TPAs such as NEXtCARE, NAS and FMC. Contrary to most other insurers, ADNIC does not have a sublimit for maternity benefits. Members are covered up to the annual limit. This can range between AED 250,000 and AED 5,000,000 with deductibles of AED 30 to AED 50. ADNIC also covers its members for maternity outside the network. Depending on the plan, this can range between AED 15,000 to AED 50,000.