Expats who give birth abroad may pay more for the process if the birthing is considered a 'pre-existing' condition in the insurance policy
Expats could add their new born babies to their health insurance policies upon their return to the UAE, though the premium could increase significantly as the birthing would then be classed as a ‘pre-existing’ condition.
While expats could save a few dirhams by giving birth overseas, they could also end up spending more, according to the commercial director of finance comparison website Yallacompare.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Toshita Chauhan said that while the UAE’s health insurance covers delivery within and outside the country for married women, it may exclude health challenges such as emergency C-sections.
“The limits are usually lower for the birth itself. More importantly, though, there may not be any cover for an emergency C-section, or almost certainly, any health challenges that the newborn may face,” she said.
“In other words, it may well be possible to save a few dirhams on the birth by going overseas, but what most people don’t realise is that this decision could end up costing you an awful lot more in the long run,” she added.
Chauhan said expats could add their newborn babies to their health insurance policies upon their return to the UAE, though the premium could increase significantly as the birthing would then be classed as a ‘pre-existing’ condition, further adding to the cost.
Moreover, while employers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are obliged to provide maternity cover for married women, they are under no obligation to provide high-quality cover, in which Chauhan recommends buying a standalone insurance policy. This could cost around AED13,000 a year for unlimited maternity coverage with a wide-ranging network.
She shares a ‘cautionary’ tale of a Yallacompare customer who once purchased health insurance specifically for its maternity benefits because she was pregnant. However, as she’d failed to reveal her pregnancy at the time of the application’s purchase, she was refused a pay out by the insurer, who classed the omission as an undeclared pre-existing condition.
“The upshot is that, if you suspect you are pregnant and want to purchase better insurance, you’re better off being honest from the beginning of the process,” said Chauhan.
The average cost of delivering a child in the UAE ranges from about AED 15,000 to AED 30,000, depending on the hospital, though complications such as an emergency caesarean section could increase the number to a six-figure sum.