Childbirth and Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong
Having a child can be both terrifying and exciting at the same time. While your primary concern should be the health and safety of the mother and the child, many people forget about the financial consequences. Having a child in Hong Kong can be very expensive; especially if you factor in additional costs such as vaccinations and health checks for the newborn.
Childbirth at a Public vs. Private Hospital
Make no mistake; the public healthcare system in Hong Kong is very advanced – inspired by the UK’s National Health Service. But despite the low cost, there are problems with it that make the private medical system more attractive to some residents. The main issue being overcrowding and long wait times perhaps due in part to its low cost and the bureaucratic nature of government services. To avoid these lines and enjoy a more comfortable childbirth, many prospective parents turn to private hospitals for their maternity related treatments.
Why choose a private hospital?
While the technical aspects of your treatment will be very similar at both private and public hospitals, there are many reasons why people choose to deliver at a private hospital.
Wait Times: Wait times at private hospitals are much shorter than at public hospitals and there’s also less bureaucracy to deal with.
Language Issues: While many of Hong Kong’s public hospital doctors have trained outside of Hong Kong in the UK or the US, you are more likely to find staff that speak your own language at a private hospital.
Continuity of Treatment: At a public hospital, you might see a different doctor each time for your check-ups and treatments. Many prospective mothers feel more comfortable working with the same medical team throughout their pregnancy.
Comfort: Maternity can be a very stressful time for all parties but public hospitals are often overcrowded and there’s very little privacy. Private hospitals often have private rooms and luxury suites to ensure you have a less stressful and more comfortable experience.
The cost of a standard childbirth in Hong Kong, without complications, for ID card holders using the public system is highly subsidized and very inexpensive. For non-ID card holders who want to use a private hospital like Matilda, costs can be upwards of HK$150,000. And worst of all, these costs are not covered by most group or individual health insurance plans.
To help alleviate some of those costs, prospective parents should consider purchasing insurance. Maternity insurance in Hong Kong protects the mother and the child during pregnancy, birth, and sometimes, aftercare for the newborn as well.
Maternity Insurance Coverage
While each insurance company is different, most maternity insurance policies will cover you for:
- Pre-natal and post-natal exams and treatments such as ultrasounds, vitamins and supplements recommended by a doctor or obstetrician visits to make sure the pregnancy is proceeding smoothly
- Pregnancy complications such as a miscarriage
- Planned delivery costs (including costs associated with complications) at home with a midwife or at a hospital of your choice
- Medically necessary procedures such as caesarean sections
Outside of these more routine costs, some more comprehensive insurance plans will also cover fertility treatments, newborn care and medical treatment for the newborn for congenital birth defects or other unexpected occurrences. These costs, when going through the private healthcare system, can be very expensive.
After the baby is born, the danger isn’t over yet. While some family health insurance plans will automatically provide coverage to newborns, many do not. We always recommend selecting a maternity insurance plan that extends coverage to the newborn to avoid any gaps in coverage.
Most maternity policies will extend coverage to the newborn from anywhere to a few weeks to a few months to take care of any health issues that may arise or to cover expenses like incubation should the baby be born prematurely.
More routine expenses like accommodation costs (for the baby and for an accompanying parent) if the baby is hospitalized and basic newborn care like physical examinations, blood and hearing tests as well as costs involved with administering the necessary vaccines (hepatitis B).
Terms & Conditions
Most insurance companies will exclude your maternity cost if you are already pregnant when you apply. To prevent losing too much money, most insurers will also require a waiting period where you have to pay at least 10 months’ worth of premiums before they would start providing coverage.
If you’re planning to have children and would like to learn more about how maternity insurance in Hong Kong can control costs and bring some peace of mind, contact us to speak with one of our advisors. We can help you craft the right plan for your specific needs.