Anyone who has given birth in Hong Kong will no doubt have many stories to tell about the exorbitant fees that might be charged in private hospitals. This city is known for its efficient public health care, but many local citizens and expats alike often prefer the superior quality of treatment provided in private hospitals. In order to seek care in private hospitals without breaking the bank, many expectant couples and mothers-to-be are securing private maternity insurance to offset the costs of giving birth.
The costs of giving birth in Hong Kong can be mind-bogglingly expensive, and at many private hospitals is comparable to, or even more expensive than, giving birth in the US. Even giving birth in subsidised government hospitals can be expensive, especially if you are deemed to be part of the “non-eligible persons” category, which applies to any one who is not a valid holder of a Hong Kong Identity Card.
According to the Hong Kong Hospital Authority, those belonging to this category can easily rack up costs of up to HKD 90,000. Those opting for maternity packages in private hospitals will easily see their costs go up to HKD 200,000 with a private room, and this figure can increase even more depending on a range of factors, such as whether the baby is delivered through a natural or cesarean birth.
Are you currently considering getting maternity insurance in Hong Kong? Are you planning to start a family or are already in the process of bringing a beautiful new life into the world?
If so, maternity coverage should be at the apex of your wish list. To not have maternity insurance coverage is similar to driving erratically without wearing a seatbelt. For sure, you might be okay, but who wants to take that type of risk with life? Especially with the risk of having a baby.
We live in a modern world where equality is rightfully becoming the norm. The male and female roles in family life are closer than ever before. Long gone are the days of the stereotypical male breadwinner and the stay-at-home mom. Times have changed and we must evolve and move forward or risk being left behind in the dark ages.
Here are some essential tips and advice you need to know now about maternity insurance in Hong Kong. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
What is Maternity Insurance?
Maternity insurance is essentially a type of health insurance with maternity coverage for families who are having or planning to have a baby soon. Generally speaking, maternity insurance is or can be an important add-on to your current health insurance policy.
Maternity insurance in Hong Kong can help cover your hospital bills during pregnancy and even cover procedures such as a caesarean section. Without wishing to sound negative, who knows what can happen during pregnancy. Don’t get lumbered with unforeseen hospital bills during one of the most important times of your life. You should be celebrating a new life, not worrying about bills.
Maternity leave in Hong Kong is currently 14 weeks for mothers, and 5 weeks for fathers. In 2019, over 214 million Chinese paid maternity insurance contributions. From 2009 to 2019, China saw that number double from just over 100 million. It’s a massive number because it’s a massive issue for modern families of today in China, Hong Kong, and the rest of the world. Getting maternity coverage in Hong Kong could be the difference between a comfortable pregnancy or a stressful one. The prices are greatly different depending on the type of coverage you receive within the public or private sectors.
Your Work Health Insurance Might Not Cover Maternity
If you are currently working with a company in Hong Kong, you need to check your work’s health insurance policy right away. Do it now!
When you first begin working for a company, we never go through the health insurance benefits with a fine-tooth comb. We are usually happy to have a job and will deal with those details when it’s important. Well, now is that important time. Did you know that not all work health insurance policies cover maternity? If you are working for a larger corporate entity you might get lucky. But even in most cases, the maternity coverage is minimal and doesn’t give you the coverage you need.
Work health insurance policies usually have sub-limits that are restrictive and discourage you from using top-notch private hospitals and medical facilities. You are basically at the will of the insurance company and their hospital ‘recommendations’. It might be an offer that you can’t refuse if you get what we are saying?
Some policies only cover a certain amount of money or only cover certain treatments. You need to read the small print in your employee health insurance policy now to fully understand your maternity coverage situation.
Financial Support with Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong
Although the local medical system in Hong Kong is not too bad when compared to some neighboring countries, it doesn’t match the quality that a maternity insurance plan offers.
Financial and monetary support is the key element of maternity insurance in Hong Kong or anywhere else. A sound peace of mind is the cornerstone of a stress-free pregnancy. You don’t want to be scrimping and scraping to cover your hospital bills during the most important time of your life. Private hospitals are expensive, even if you are a family with a steady middle-class or lower-upper-class income. Financial support is always welcome, especially where something as unpredictable as childbirth is concerned.
What Should Your Maternity Insurance Cover?
What should your maternity insurance in Hong Kong cover? What’s essential when having a baby? You need to think about the type of hospital you want and the treatments you need. It’s important to look at this honestly and plan ahead.
Here are some essential services and treatments expecting mothers and babies will need to factor in:
- Outpatient services that cover prenatal and postnatal appointments or visits from a doctor. These might include all manner of screenings, lab studies, medications, and so forth
- Inpatient services that include hospitalization, physician fees, and nursing
- Care for your newborn baby
- Lactation counseling, breast pump rental, and aftercare
These are merely the essential services and treatments you need to be covered by your maternity insurance in Hong Kong. You need to think about this now when deciding which maternity insurance coverage to buy.
Postnatal, Prenatal, and Childbirth Costs in Hong Kong
here are both private and public sector medical options in Hong Kong for postnatal, prenatal and childbirth. If you go private, we would recommend that you have maternity insurance in Hong Kong. If you are an HK resident or have an HKID, you are eligible for public maternity. That would drastically reduce your costs, but also reduce and limit the quality of hospitals and care you receive.
Hong Kong Public Government Hospitals
If you are a mother-to-be with a valid HKID, you can enjoy prenatal and postnatal care for free via Hong Kong’s Department of Health. You can find those centers right across the city. However, you will be in the hands of the department and will have limited choices for hospitals and doctors.
Childbirth in the Public hospitals is also very affordable at approximately HK$120 per day in Inpatient fees. This would be expected for 3-days and 2-nights at the hospital, and covers a medication-free birth and potentially a Caesarian Section with an anesthetic. As we mentioned, you are in the hands of the Department of Health and will have limited choices and options. This is why so many people opt for the world-class hospitals in the private sector.
Hong Kong Private Hospitals
Did you know that private hospital fees are not regulated in Hong Kong? If you need coverage for private hospitals for your pregnancy, prenatal and postnatal prices can be between HK$30,000 and HK$60,000 on average. This is why maternity insurance can be one of the most expensive insurance types. And this is not taking a high-risk pregnancy into account.
Private hospital childbirth rates for a private hospital in a semi-private room are approximately HK$100,000. If the pregnancy is high-risk or needs a Caesarian Section, the prices can amount to HK$250,000. This service includes room fees, nursing fees, routine parental observation, pediatrician fees, medications, and possible C-Sections. This is the most reliable route to take, especially if you are willing to purchase top-notch maternity insurance in Hong Kong.
What Type of Maternity Insurance in Hong Kong do you Need?
There are many types of maternity insurance coverage in Hong Kong. Ideally, you will choose a plan that covers the best international style hospitals in the city. You need to ensure that your maternity insurance plan covers some of the most reliable and popular private Hong Kong hospitals for childbirth, which are listed below:
- Canossa Hospital
- Gleneagles Hong Kong Hospital
- Hong Kong Adventist Hospital –Stubbs Road
- Hong Kong Adventist Hospital – Tsuen Wan
- Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital
- Matilda International Hospital
- Precious Blood Hospital
- St Paul’s Hospital
- St Teresa’s Hospital
- Union Hospital
Half-Half Medical Insurance in Hong Kong
If you find that full maternity insurance in Hong Kong is too expensive, there are other options. You can purchase a maternity insurance package that merges both the public and private sectors. These are called ‘half-half’ maternity plans. It’s a great strategy to take if you want to keep rates minimal while enjoying quality treatments and services.
The premise is that a mother-to-be can access the prenatal services from the private sector while giving birth at a public hospital. You literally can get the best of both worlds. However, if you have your heart set on giving birth at a private hospital, this is not the coverage for you. Just remember that epidurals are not given at public hospitals. But they are at private hospitals.
Getting the right maternity insurance in Hong Kong is all about what you need and your budget. To not have maternity insurance is the real issue here. Make sure you take heed of our essential tips so you can make the right choices. Nothing is more important than ensuring a newborn baby has the best treatments and services you can afford. This is why maternity insurance is not just essential but is absolutely necessary.