Having Kids and Delivering Babies – The Guide To Hong Kong’s Maternity Insurance Options
One of the most common issues faced by residents in Hong Kong is the matter of healthcare. Although Hong Kong has a wide range of healthcare options with doctors offering high quality medical services, the city’s private healthcare services are amongst the most expensive in the world. In fact, Hong Kong ranks second in the world (after the USA, in first place) for average private medical expenses.
While the city boasts an excellent public healthcare system, partly modelled after the UK’s NHS, where residents can receive low-cost subsidised healthcare services, the public system does have a number of problems which have made the private medical options more attractive to residents. However, the cost attached to private doctors and treatments in HKSAR have meant that there can be issues covering the expenses associated with private healthcare; nowhere is this more clearly illustrated than with the subject of Maternity.
Because public maternity hospitals have, in recent years, experienced severe overcrowding (in addition to the host of bureaucratic issues endemic to government run medical facilities) many families have increasingly turned to private maternity hospitals, such as the Matilda, as venues to receive pre-natal care and deliver their children. Choosing to give birth at hospitals like the Matilda, Sanatorium, or Canossa carries its own risks, mainly in the price tag attached to the delivery and associated care. In many cases choosing to deliver your child at one of Hong Kong’s premier private Maternity hospitals can carry a cost of between HK$100,000 and HK$200,000 even if there are no complications with the pregnancy and birth!
As such, many would-be parents are increasingly turning to Hong Kong insurance plans with maternity coverage benefits as a way to offset the costs associated with giving birth at one of the city’s private maternity hospitals. However, as simple as it may seem at first glance, Maternity Insurance can be a very complicated subject, and one which is frequently the source of much confusion and stress for families considering the purchase of this type of coverage.
To help you understand the options which exist in Hong Kong The HK HUB and CCW Global limited have teamed up to provide the ultimate guide to Maternity Insurance Coverage in Asia’s world city.
Click here to request a quote from CCW Global – bespoke insurance brokers that work for you, not the insurance companies.
Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong
Maternity Insurance can be a complicated subject with many facets of the coverage being overlooked or misunderstood by individuals and families considering the purchase of such a policy. A good starting point to help us understand how, exactly, maternity insurance operates is by looking at what these types of plans actually do.
What Is Maternity Insurance?
Maternity Insurance is a type of health insurance plan which has been designed to protect you from the costs associated with giving birth and receiving maternity medical treatment. Typical expenses normally covered by a Maternity insurance policy in Hong Kong include:
- Costs of Pre Natal Pregnancy Treatment
- Costs of Post Natal Pregnancy Treatment
- Costs of a routine vaginal delivery
- Costs of a medically necessary caesarean section
- Costs of a delivery following complications
These coverage benefits will generally be provided by most of the insurance companies in Hong Kong offering a maternity insurance plan. However, it may be possible to purchase a maternity insurance policy which provides an extended range of coverage benefits including:
- Costs of Fertility and IVF treatments
- Costs of Treatment for Congenital Birth Defects
- Guaranteed Coverage for Newborn Child
Depending on the insurance company you choose to work with you may be offered some or all of the coverage benefits listed.
Which companies offer Maternity Insurance?
There are many insurance companies offering maternity insurance in Hong Kong. However, it is important to understand that plans are normally split into two different types: International Maternity insurance and Local Maternity insurance.
Local Maternity Insurance
Local Maternity Insurance is a maternity insurance policy provided by a Local insurance company. These plans will limit you to using medical facilities located within the borders of Hong Kong, and will normally provide much lower overall coverage limits than International policies.
However, the costs associated with a local maternity insurance plan are generally much lower than those of an international policy. As such, if you are happy to use public hospitals, like the Queen Mary, and require a maternity insurance policy only to offset some of the nominal costs you may experience, then a local maternity insurance plan may be the best option for you.
International Maternity Insurance
International Maternity Insurance plans are provided by International insurance companies. These plans will normally allow you the freedom to use the doctor or hospital of your choice, anywhere in the world; this means that should like to deliver your child outside of Hong Kong, you will be covered by your insurance policy no matter where in the world you choose to deliver.
Additionally, international maternity insurance plans will often have much higher coverage limits that those offered by local providers, and will typically offer the most extensive coverage benefits. However, international maternity insurance plans are usually much more expensive than local policies, and there can be some specific considerations when purchasing these plans.
Companies offering Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong
A number of excellent insurance companies are able to offer maternity insurance in Hong Kong. These include providers such as:
- Allianz Worldwide Care
- AXA PPP
- Henner Insurance
- Integra Global
- William Russell
- Generali Insurance
It is important to understand that the actual coverage you are able to receive through your maternity insurance plan will be largely dependent on the insurer you choose to purchase your policy from.
Although, having said that, it is important to be aware that there are a number of universals which can be found on all maternity insurance plans in Hong Kong, which in turn will impact your ability to fully utilize the policy, and which should be fully considered prior to the purchase of the plan.
Hong Kong Maternity Insurance Considerations
When purchasing a maternity insurance policy in Hong Kong it is important to remember that these plans can include some aspects which may hinder the use of the policy if you are not fully informed about their operation.
The biggest consideration in relation to maternity insurance is the existence of a waiting period on all Maternity Insurance policies.
A waiting period is a period of time during which you, as a policyholder, are unable to claim for treatment under a specific insurance benefit (in this case, maternity).
Treatment can only be claimed for upon the expiration of the waiting period, and claims which occurred prior to the expiration of the waiting period are not eligible for reimbursement.
A waiting period is the most misunderstood part of maternity insurance, and many people considering this type of coverage will only be doing so once they are already pregnant. Unfortunately, because of waiting periods, it is not possible to receive protection against the costs of delivering a child through a maternity insurance policy if the plan was purchased after the conception of the child.
To help understand this issue we can look at the two most common forms of waiting period which are placed on maternity insurance policies in Hong Kong; From the Start of the Plan and Until Conception.
From the Start of the Plan
Maternity Waiting Periods which occur from the start of the plan will require you to have held the policy for a specific length of time before being able to receive coverage against the costs of maternity treatment (including the delivery expenses for your baby). The shortest from the start of the plan waiting period is 10 months from the moment of purchase.
This means that you would have to wait a minimum of 10 months to receive coverage under the policy’s maternity benefit. However, as a pregnancy will last 9 months purchasing a maternity insurance policy with this type of waiting period would mean that you give birth prior to receiving coverage for the costs of the delivery under the plan.
Maternity Waiting Periods which occur until conception will mandate when you are able to conceive, if you would like the following pregnancy to be covered under the policy. If a maternity insurance policy includes and Until Conception waiting period then it will normally be around 12 months from the start of the policy.
This means that you would have to wait to conceive your child 12 months after purchasing the plan if you would like to receive coverage for the costs of the pregnancy under the policy.
|Start of the Plan||Until Conception||Start of the Plan||Until Conception|
|Policy Purchase date||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||1/1/2015||1/1/2015|
|Wait Period||10 months||12 months||10 months||12 months|
Maternity Insurance In Hong Kong
As this article has shown, there are a plethora of options for Maternity insurance in Hong Kong. However, despite the wide range of choice which you have with regards to insurance plans for these kinds of coverage, the implementation and working mechanisms of the policies can often be quite difficult to understand.
From the requirements that both members of a couple be covered under identical policies in order to receive specific plan benefits, to the existence of things like waiting periods (which can hamper your ability to fully utilize a Hong Kong maternity insurance plan), understanding which maternity and fertility insurance products best meet your requirements can be a significant challenge.
The best advice is to shop around, ask questions, and plan in advance! The single biggest obstacle in relation to Maternity insurance in Hong Kong is a failure to obtain coverage of this type in advance of falling pregnant – if you would like to start a family in the next year, and would like to have the costs of having a child covered by an insurance policy, it is important that you consider your maternity coverage options as soon as possible. Leaving your maternity insurance until the last minute can mean that waiting periods will leave you without the protection you need.
The expert team at CCW Global would be happy to discuss your insurance needs, click here to request a quote.
Is your family’s health insurance providing you with the best protection? Learn more about child health insurance here.