Newborn Health Insurance in Hong Kong: All You Need to Know
You’re expecting. Congratulations! Now what? You probably want to ensure your newborn child gets the best healthcare possible. Health insurance coverage will protect you against all the costs associated with your child’s medical treatments as soon as they are born. Our team at AD MediLink has a wealth of experience in guiding families through the process of choosing the right baby health insurance, and these are some of the options.
Newborn health coverage via the VHIS option is limited
The Hong Kong public healthcare system is known for its high quality and efficient medical services that can be used by eligible residents at a very low fee. Since services and procedures are offered at such low cost, public hospitals face a number of growing challenges such as overcrowding and extensive waiting times.
To ease a massive burden on public hospitals, the government unveiled in April 2019 a new Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) that is meant to provide lifelong health coverage for newborns. This option will be appealing to everyone as the premium for the newborn insurance coverage, accredited by VHIS, is expected to cost HK$2,000 per year.
However, you should be aware that the policy will cover your child from 15 days to 100 years old and will cover all diseases but not congenital illnesses. It means that the first two weeks of newborn’s life will not be covered and babies who are born with serious medical conditions would not be able to receive coverage under a private health insurance offered via VHIS.
How to get newborn health insurance coverage in HK?
When it comes to obtaining health coverage for a newborn, make sure you read the fine print as all insurance providers operate differently. Some will allow the inclusions of your infant in your insurance plan for free while others will increase the annual premium you pay. Plus, some insurers impose special restrictions on newborn that were conceived through IVF.
Adding your newborn to a health insurance coverage can happen in one of the following ways:
1) If you already have personal international health insurance
First option, you are covered for maternity in your international health insurance coverage.
This is the most desirable situation for you and your baby as you will be covered in case of complications related to the delivery. You can also ensure that your baby is covered from his date of birth onwards by adding him/her to the mother’s policy within 30 to 90 days (the deadline varies per insurer) after the birth. In this case, your child is added to the policy with MHD (medical history disregard). This is extremely important as it means your child is covered for pre-existing conditions at birth.
Second option, you have an international plan without a maternity option. Good news is that you can add your infant to your health insurance plan with MHD (medical history disregard) as well. Take note that for most insurers, your child needs to be covered under the exact same benefits as the parent.
Many parents wonder whether maternity benefits cover newborn care. This varies a lot. A good rule of thumb is that all baby care that is part of your Maternity Hospital Package is covered by maternity benefits. However, not all insurers will reimburse items that are not included in your hospital package: the pediatrician’s hospital consultations. While some plans cover these doctor fees under maternity benefits and this until the baby is discharged from the hospital, other products require that you add the child to your policy in order to claim pediatrician fees following childbirth.
Lastly, complications of childbirth can easily escalate to HKD300,000+ in Hong Kong and it is important to double check cover for this. The vast majority of maternity benefits cover complications of pregnancy in full (100% up to your overall annual limit) for both mother and child and this until discharge.
2) If you have health insurance through work
Most large companies in Hong Kong provide health coverage to employees and their dependents. You should always check with your HR whether children are covered. If indeed your work health insurance covers kids, then you can add your child to your policy within a certain delay.
While your employer pays the premium for your child, it is important to note that congenital conditions are usually excluded and that the plan’s benefits may be insufficient. Furthermore, if you leave your job, your child will lose coverage. This can be a problem if your child has pre-existing conditions or is undergoing medical treatment.
3) What if I don’t have any health insurance?
In Hong Kong, there are very few insurance providers that offer stand-alone child coverage – an insurance product that is purchased under the child’s name. While one parent is the policy holder, only the child’s health and medical expenses are covered. Stand-alone child policies are available for children from birth to 18 years-old, but pre-existing medical conditions will come into play, meaning that any conditions that occurred before the starting date of the policy may be excluded or give rise to a premium surcharge.
You can learn more about stand-alone child policy premiums by reading our Expert Guide to Children Health Insurance in Hong Kong.
How much does newborn insurance cost in Hong Kong?
It is important to know that for most insurance providers, premiums for stand-alone child policies don’t really vary depending on the age of the child (being a newborn or teenager). Annual premiums for comprehensive stand-alone policies for children from birth to 18 vary between HK$15,000 and HK$35,000 for inpatient and outpatient coverage that would reimburse you in full (100%) for private hospital and doctor fees in Hong Kong.
Contact our expert team for more information.
Newborn insurance: what to remember
It is always a good idea to start looking for maternity coverage before you give birth so that your newborn baby is covered from Day 1. But as you can see, there are many options to insure your baby during the pregnancy or even after the birth.
Lastly, please take note that some insurers impose special restrictions to children who were conceived through IVF. They may not grant MHD (medical history disregard) or cover complications of pregnancy. It is always best to verify the terms of your insurance contract with your advisor.
Looking for health insurance experts? Need reliable advice? Contact an expert at AD MediLink at firstname.lastname@example.org or +852 2606 2668 to receive a free quote. An advisor uniquely trained on all your options will give you independent advice on medical coverage, and answer all your questions.
This article was independently written and is not sponsored. It is informative only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.