It’s not a decision to be taken lightly; nor is it something that’ll come cheap. Having a child is a major life altering decision at the best of times, but is there more to consider if you’re an expat expecting a baby?
Apart from the obvious expenditure on things like clothes and food, depending on where you are in the world, the maternity aspects of local healthcare can prove to be expensive. Routine deliveries in the Middle East have been known to cost around $4,000, and upwards of $15,000 in America.
Instead of having to fork out for these expenses individually, many expats choose a health insurance policy that covers routine maternity costs. Many insurers roll maternity cover into the ‘core’ of their higher-end market products. The new arrival can then be added to the health policy as a dependent.
It’s also obvious to insurers in general that you’re not buying an extra benefit for fun. If you buy a policy with maternity cover, you’ll probably claim. Insurers reduce their exposure by imposing a moratorium – usually 12 months – so that claims are only valid after this period has passed.
The benefit of doing things this way is that it’s fairer financially on expectant mothers. The risk is spread across all policyholders, including men and dependents.
Insurance adviser Stephen Walker commented: “Most providers make you take a higher level of cover if you want maternity benefit, and spread the risk – it’s how the actuaries cover off the added liability.”
Cigna Global’s Gold and Platinum level products come with routine maternity cover to the value of $7,000 and $14,000 respectively. Complications from maternity, homebirths, and newborn care are also specified benefits within these product levels, with the last of which providing up to $156,000 of care for Platinum level policyholders.
Maternity healthcare has improved so much in recent years that the health of the mother is likely to be less of a concern than that of the baby. Long-term complications for either mother or child are generally provided for by most health insurance policies, including our own Cigna Global Gold and Platinum cover.
One of the benefits of choosing a health policy through a global supplier like Cigna is that your cover policy benefits and level of service will remain much the same, regardless of where you are in the world. Although expat health insurance policies are generally priced specific to the country where the expat is moving to, the convenience of having a premium level of maternity care already taken care of, both logistically and financially, can be a huge relief for expats looking to start a family.
Would-be mothers may also have benefited from the EU gender directive, as this ensured women would not be penalised in terms of price by incorporating maternity benefit. Although we at Cigna have never priced specifically by gender, the directive forced other such insurers to adapt their pricing to be non-gender specific.