In 2013, the UAE government made health insurance coverage mandatory and accessible for all residents and their dependents through the Dubai Health Insurance’s Law No. (11). This law meant that employers across the nation would be legally obligated to provide health insurance with maternity benefits to their employees. It would also need to be extended to the employee’s dependents, making it easier for UAE residents to receive good maternity benefits.
What this means for pregnant women is that despite the basic nature of the insurance plan offered by their employer or husband’s employer, they have access to maternity benefits.
While having access to these benefits alleviates a lot of the financial stress that might accompany new motherhood, it only covers 45 days, including the time before and after delivery. Moreover, pregnant women must be working full time prior to their delivery date to qualify for the maximum benefit of 100% of their pay. Otherwise, the benefit is reduced to 50% of their salary.
Here at Lifecare International Health Insurance, we understand how stressful new motherhood can be. We want to help you alleviate some of the financial stress by pairing you with the most suitable insurance plan for your unique needs. Below we present a guide to maternity benefits in UAE, and when you’re ready to sign up with a policy, we encourage you to contact us at your convenience.
Why you should get maternity insurance in Dubai, UAE
Becoming parents and introducing a new child to the family is undoubtedly a blessing. However, it comes with inherent financial stress, particularly if the new family is not ready to take on the extra costs. This is why preparing your family with comprehensive maternity insurance is essential before becoming pregnant. Without sufficient coverage, the family will face inflated prenatal and postnatal care costs.
Suppose you’re currently uninsured and planning to become pregnant in the near future. In that case, we recommend you consider that the average cost of prenatal and postnatal care is between AED 20,000 to AED 30,000, depending on the type of delivery. If uninsured, you will be responsible for covering 100% of that cost. However, if you’re insured, you will only pay of portion of the total cost, keeping more money in your pocket for your little one.
Things to consider before choosing maternity insurance in Dubai, UAE
Now that we’ve explained the importance of securing adequate maternity benefits before becoming pregnant, we will look at the essential aspects of maternity coverage and what to consider before choosing an insurance provider.
The Sum Assured
If the sum assured by the insurer is low, the policy will be more affordable. However, you will be responsible for covering more prenatal and postnatal costs. Be mindful of what the policy covers and how much is covered. While most people seek to save money on insurance plans, cheaper doesn’t always mean better. In fact, the cheaper the plan is, the chances are the coverage will not be sufficient, leading to you spending more money in the long run.
Maternity Cover Inclusions
When it comes to maternity coverage inclusions, there are a few significant ones to focus on, including the following:
- hospitalization coverage for 30 and 60 days
- hospitalization coverage (day and overnight stays)
- prenatal and postnatal care
- delivery complications, cesarian delivery expenses, and surgery fees
- pharmaceutical costs
- room rent waiver, surgery fees
- lab tests during pregnancy (ultrasound, blood test, etc.)
- newborn baby coverage
Without adequate coverage, the fees associated with these prenatal and postnatal services can add up, causing financial stress for the soon-to-be and new parents.
The Waiting Period (Grace Period)
It is not uncommon for maternity insurance plans to have a mandatory waiting period of 6 to 24 months. This means the insured will need to observe the prescribed waiting period from the day the plan is activated until they can use maternity benefits. Comprehensive plans have a shorter waiting period, while the cheaper, more affordable plans have a more extended waiting period. We encourage you to plan your pregnancy around the waiting period.
Many maternity insurance plans have an added extension with benefits for your baby. The extension can provide coverage between 30 and 90 days, depending on the insurer’s policy. It’s important not to overlook this aspect of maternity health insurance, because the coverage will cover the associated medical expenses if the newborn is born with health complications or congenital issues.
Maternity Coverage Premiums
While we can appreciate that most people don’t want to pay a high premium, it could save you money. With a low premium, you may not have adequate coverage, and you might not have coverage on certain things. Always match the premium amount with what the policy covers.
What does maternity insurance cover?
Each health insurance policy provides different maternity benefits. Thus, you must be aware of these benefits while arranging your policy. Here is a list of what is generally covered across the board.
This includes regular check-ups at the woman’s gynecologist and obstetrician visits during pregnancy. Visits are highly encouraged to monitor the health of the mother and the baby during the prenatal stage.
Delivery and Hospital Stay
Insurers generally cover the majority of the fees associated with delivery, hospital stay, and other associated costs. Keep in mind that the DHA requires insurers to cover up to AED 7,000 for standard delivery and AED 10,000 for medically necessary cesarian sections. The average cost in the UAE ranges from AED 2,000 to AED 14,000 for standard delivery, depending on the hospital. Consider the hospital where your delivery is due to take place and match the cost with what the insurer covers.
Neonatal care covers the medical care for a baby born premature or sick. In the UAE, insurers must provide coverage for infants for the first 30 days after birth. Depending on the policy, you could qualify for an extended coverage period of up to three months postnatal.
Is maternity insurance mandatory in Dubai?
Maternity insurance has been mandatory in Dubai since 2013, when the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) modified employer-based health insurance to include mandatory maternity coverage. This was to help residents gain access to affordable medical care, prenatal and postnatal.
Can I get maternity insurance while pregnant in Dubai?
You cannot get coverage while pregnant in Dubai. Maternity coverage has a moratorium period applicable to all policies. This mandatory waiting period before the insured can make a claim ranges from 6 to 24 months, depending on the insurer. This means that if you require maternity treatment, you will not be covered.
Does insurance cover the delivery of the baby in the UAE?
Yes, delivery is covered by maternity insurance in UAE. As discussed above, the DHA requires insurers to cover up to AED 7,000 for standard delivery and AED 10,000 for medically necessary cesarian sections.
What is the waiting period for maternity insurance?
The waiting period, otherwise known as the moratorium period, can range from 6 to 24 months. The waiting period is based on two factors: the insurer and the type of policy. A more comprehensive and costly policy will typically have a shorter waiting period.
How much does it cost to give birth in UAE?
The base cost for standard delivery in a public hospital is typically around 700 AED. If the delivery takes place in a private hospital, the base cost can start from 7,500 AED. It increases to roughly 16,500 to cover the cost of accommodation and additional medical treatments. If an epidural is administered, the cost rises by 3,770 AED. These prices fluctuate based on the hospital, so take this into account when choosing which hospital you will give birth at.
How does insurance work if you switch jobs while pregnant?
Yes, you will still qualify for maternity insurance if you switch jobs. The only prerequisite is that you are employed for one full year. How many employers you have within that 12-month timeframe is irrelevant in the underwriting process.
Is there maternity insurance without a waiting period in Dubai, UAE
Yes, you can find maternity insurance that does not include a mandatory waiting period. However, something to keep in mind is that these policies will have higher premiums, and the monthly fees will be relatively expensive. If you are not pregnant during your search for maternity insurance, you might want to search for an insurer with a minimal waiting period to keep the costs down.
When the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) introduced Dubai Health Insurance’s Law No. (11) in 2013, soon-to-be-parents no longer needed to worry about being able to afford adequate pre and postnatal care. But this was only half the battle. Families are still responsible for finding a suitable and affordable insurance company that will provide them with adequate coverage.
If this is something you and your family would like help with, look to Lifecare International Health Insurance for assistance. We will take the time to understand what your unique needs are and match them perfectly with an insurance company. We encourage you to contact our office to speak with one of our trusted insurance brokers to get your search started.