A typical UAE delivery can cost anywhere between AED 20,000 and AED 30,000. This includes consultations with OB-GYN, necessary ultrasound scans, and investigations as well as the hospital stay. Without an active Maternity Insurance Cover, this is a heavy expense to bear.
Maternity Insurance Cover in the UAE
The Dubai Health Insurance Law No. 11 of 2013 makes it mandatory for employers to provide health insurance with integrated maternity benefits to their staff. Usually, this insurance also extends to the employees’ dependents.
It should be remembered that foresight is essential when it comes to maternity insurance plans. If the policy is not sponsored by an employer, it is in one’s best interests to apply for a cover personally ahead of time since most insurers require a moratorium, or a waiting period, before the benefits of the plan can be availed.
What is the Waiting Period?
Insurance companies call for a delay of 6 to 12 months before a claim can be made on an existing maternity cover. They take this approach to avoid losing money by having to pay immediate claims and giving away free coverage. Although, with growing competition in the insurance industry, many companies have chosen to skip the waiting period. This makes instant claims possible but is only granted if the insured is not pregnant at the time of applying for the policy.
Benefits and their Coverage Limit
A range of health insurance maternity plans are available in the UAE with varying degrees of cover. For a standard policy, the maternity cover includes the following.
- Prenatal Services – These include 8 consultations with the OB-GYN, 3 ultrasound scans and a range of standard initial investigations and are covered with a maximum 10% co-insurance.
- Hospital Stay and Childbirth – According to the Dubai Health Authority ruling, the cover limit is a minimum of AED 7000 for normal delivery and AED 10,000 for a medically necessary C-section, complications and medically necessary termination of pregnancy. These are also covered with a maximum 10% co-insurance payable by the insured. Prior approval from the insurance company is required or should be claimed within 24 hours of emergency treatment.
- Postnatal Services – These cover any complications that might occur in the 8 weeks following childbirth.
- Neonatal Care – Newborn care is covered up to a minimum of 30 days from the date of birth and includes immunization against BCG and Hepatitis B as well as neo-natal screening tests.[7 Things to Consider Before Paying Health Insurance]
Maternity Cover if you are Already Pregnant
If you are already pregnant, most insurers will deny coverage. Those who do provide coverage can charge a premium of up to AED 25,000. This does not add up unless the applicant feels the need for financial protection against any pregnancy-related complications that may arise in the future.
It is worthwhile to consider other ways of controlling expenses if insurance is unavailable. These include maternity packages offered by private hospitals and government health cards for reasonably priced treatment at public hospitals.
Health insurance maternity cover is subject to the following conditions and limitations.
- It is only granted up to a certain age specified in the policy.
- Some medications, procedures and treatments are excluded.
- Multiple births, voluntary C-section and issues related to previous voluntary termination of pregnancy are generally excluded from the cover.