The local healthcare system is well equipped, but the bedside manner and traditional techniques may not be up to date or as comfortable as the private sector. The waiting period for services may be longer than expected and if you are an expat, you might feel more comfortable if they speak the same language as you.
It is an exciting time and there is a lot to do and prepare for a pregnancy in Hong Kong. Maybe you are thinking about baby names, finding space in your house for a crib or maybe even shopping for a personal insurance policy like life insurance to ensure they will be taken care of in all situations. Regardless, I am sure your checklist is more than a mile long. But no matter how long your checklist is, you should add Maternity Insurance to it.
How Much Does It Cost To Give Birth In Hong Kong?
The costs for childbirth in standard private room varies between HK$70,000 and $100,000 for an uncomplicated vaginal delivery and can increase to HK$250,000 for an emergency C-section.
If you choose to give birth in Hong Kong in the public sector and you have a valid HKID, it will only be HK$120 per day with a HK$75 one-time administration fee. You can find out more about fees and charges within the public sector here. This fee will also apply in case of childbirth complications.
Key Facts For Health Insurance Plans With Maternity Insurance
Some key facts to help guide you when you purchase maternity insurance are.
- During the maternity waiting period there is no coverage available under a maternity health insurance plan for any maternity benefits.
- If you are already pregnant you will be unable to purchase maternity insurance to cover the private medical cost associated with this delivery.
- Pre- and post-natal costs are usually covered under the routine maternity benefit rather than a separate limit specified for pre- and post-natal.
- Most polices offer maternity coverage for pregnancies in Hong Kong and you are free to have the routine delivery in your home county, subject to geographical limits of the policy.
- The costs associated for a delivery with complications are covered in most cases but be sure to check the policy limits for this treatment.
- Maternity insurance coverage usually extends to congenital birth defects in Hong Kong but be sure to check the policy limits for this treatment.
- The routine maternity policy limit for most Hong Kong insurance plans ranges from US$15,000 – $US20,000 per policy year.
Public Sector Maternity Treatment In Hong Kong
Hong Kong has a public health care system, but many women choose the private sector for a routine vaginal delivery, for comfort and peace of mind. Hong Kong has the 4th lowest fertility rate in the world and maternity leave policies are old fashioned offering mothers up to 14 weeks and fathers only 5 days of paternity leave. That said, companies recognize this, and many are voluntarily offering longer paid maternity and paternity leave policies. Lean more here from the Hong Kong Labor department
Typical pregnancies without complications can be a lengthy process and involve many doctors’ visits. For the first 6-32 weeks, you might see a doctor every 4 weeks. In the next 32-36 weeks, you will see them every 2 weeks, and then every week thereafter until birth. Then there are charges for ultrasounds and the different tests they will want to do.
If you opt to give birth using the public system, you will be well taken care of. If you hold an HKID then prenatal and postnatal care is completely subsidised by the government of Hong Kong. But having a child in Hong Kong can be a very expensive affair and if you want to get treatment at private hospitals or on auspicious days. If you consider possible complications during a vaginal delivery and the health and safety of the mother and child, delivery costs can go up dramatically from the typical HK$70,000 to HK$100,000 range up to HK$500,000 in rare and complex cases.
Private Sector Maternity Care In Hong Kong
Private hospitals in Hong Kong have distinct advantages over public hospitals that make the extra cost associated with private care worthwhile for many people. Among other factors, wait times are shorter, rooms are more comfortable, and you are more likely to encounter English-speaking staff at private hospitals.
While routine childbirth alone at one of Hong Kong’s private hospital can be expensive, that might just be the beginning. If there are complications or if you opt for VIP rooms or to give birth during auspicious days, costs can easily by five times what you would expect.
To help alleviate these costs, prospective parents should research purchasing Maternity Insurance prior to pregnancy.
What Does Maternity Insurance Cover?
Typical Maternity Insurance Coverage
A typical Maternity health insurance plan in Hong Kong covers expenses related to the following treatments at the hospital of your choice:
- Pre-natal exams such as ultrasounds, doctor-recommended tests, obstetrician visits/check-ups.
- Post-natal exams and treatments
- Routine delivery costs at home with a midwife or at a hospital of your choice
- Pregnancy-related complications (i.e., miscarriage or medically necessary caesarean sections)
- In-patient pediatrician fees
- Pain management (i.e., anesthetics)
- Elective C-section may also be covered as well depending on the maternity benefit policy
Higher Options for Maternity Insurance
There are more comprehensive policies that offer better maternity insurance coverage. These will also cover fertility treatments, newborn care (i.e., physical exams, blood and hearing tests and vaccinations), and medical treatment for congenital birth defects and other unexpected emergencies. It is also possible (and recommended) to get Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong that extends coverage to the newborn for at least a few weeks just in case the newborn experiences some health issues after birth.
Health Insurance Considerations
Most family health insurance policies do not automatically add coverage for newborns so adding this extension to your maternity insurance policy prevents any gaps in coverage. That said, you should still notify your family health insurance company to add coverage for the newborn as soon as possible. Your health insurance broker should be able to help with that.
Should I Get Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong
If you plan to enjoy the comforts of Hong Kong’s private healthcare system such as a shorter waiting times at the hospital when giving birth, then the answer is yes, you should get maternity coverage because the costs associated with pregnancy and giving birth are extremely expensive. A plan will help you minimize the cost of treatment and cover any emergency medical expenses.
Access to this higher quality of service means a shorter waiting period at hospitals and more comfort for the mother and child. All to ensure that they both recover quickly from the experience.
Important Things To Know About Maternity
Insurance in Hong Kong
A Hong Kong maternity insurance plans differ from regular health insurance plans in that they are temporary and meant to insure specific costs that the insurance company knows is upcoming. As a result, there are waiting periods and other restrictions that do not appear on other health insurance policies.
All health insurance companies will have a waiting period on your maternity coverage of at least 10 months before you can claim for any costs. That means you should purchase Maternity Insurance well in advance of pregnancy.
Can I get Maternity Insurance if I am already Pregnant?
Unfortunately, the answer is no, all health insurance companies will not give you maternity coverage if you are already pregnant at the time of application. You can still apply for coverage, but the waiting period would exclude that birth.
More Help with Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong
I hope this helped some of you learn more about Hong Kong Maternity Insurance and how it can be used to help pay for some of the expenses involved in childbirth, protect the mother and the child, and to ensure a smooth welcome for the family’s newest member.
If you are planning a pregnancy in Hong Kong soon, get in touch with a Trusted Union insurance services to learn more about your options maternity insurance plan options and how this can be used to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience for you and your family (even the new addition).
Trusted Union is an independent Hong Kong insurance brokerage. Their insurance brokers have over a decade of insurance experience and bring this knowledge to you as an expat, local, or business owner.
This article does not constitute legal advice.
The opinions expressed in the column above represent the author’s own.