Last Updated on October 26, 2014 by Brian Habibi
Most health insurance plans in the UAE provide some sort of maternity benefits that cover the mother and child during pregnancy. Depending on the plan, post-natal care may also be covered (i.e. after birth). Like most insurance products, the cover you receive varies widely depending on the policy you choose.
The basic health insurance plan under the Dubai Health Insurance Law provides maternity cover that includes 8 visits to a primary healthcare physician during the pregnancy period (i.e. before birth). In addition, 3 ultrasound scans are provided. However, the insured member must pay 10% of the cost out of their own pocket. Normal delivery is covered up to AED 7,000, while a medically necessary C-Section is covered up to AED 10,000.
While the plan provided under ISAHD is straight forward, other medical insurance companies provide many more terms and conditions associated with maternity benefits. Of course, the benefit of the more comprehensive health insurance plans is that you will not have to bear a significant amount of the cost from your own pocket, and you will be able to access a wider range of more expensive healthcare facilities. Given that maternity benefits are so simple, we take a look at a few clauses to keep an eye out for.
This is the most important point to keep in mind when you are looking at medical insurance in the UAE. Virtually every single health insurance company has a 12 month waiting period before any claims associated with pregnancy can be made. This means you are required to have been insured with the same company for at least a year. So if you are planning on having a child in the near future, you may be locked in with your current insurer for at least the next year (note you are still free to change the insurance broker you use).
Again, every insurance company, whether for a plan in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or any other emirate, will have a coverage limit on how much you can claim under the policy. This is usually directly associated with the premium or plan you choose. Limits can range from AED 5,000 to over AED 50,000. If a complication results in a condition or illness that is covered under another section of your health insurance plan, then it is the maximum annual coverage limit that will apply for the treatment of that condition, not the maternity benefit coverage limit. In other words, any limits on maternity are only for claims directly associated with the pregnancy benefits.
In summary, health insurance plans will provide limited coverage for pregnancy, especially when you consider the 12 month waiting period that is pretty much standard across all UAE health insurance companies. For this reason, it may be wise to only make maternity benefits a secondary consideration when choosing your plan; instead, you should focus on which plan will help you save money for your routine healthcare needs.
Check out our updated article on maternity coverage: “Everything You Need to Know About Maternity Cover in the UAE“.