Have you reached that stage of life when you are all set? Do you have a great job and a loving partner, and are now thinking about enlarging the family? It’s a wonderful place to be, for sure, but it’s also a good time to get to know more about the process. Do you need maternity insurance in Thailand, how much does it cost, and what can you do if you’re without a plan when you’re already pregnant?
What is maternity insurance?
Maternity insurance is a form of health insurance that must be purchased separately, as an add-on to a standard health insurance policy. It covers costs related to giving birth such as:
- Prenatal expenses – This includes routine blood tests, urinalysis, all doctor’s visits and at least one ultrasound.
- Birth costs – These are costs related to delivery such as hospital room fees, doctor’s fees and labor costs. Some plans won’t cover C-sections or extra consultations or medication due to complications.
- Postnatal and newborn care – This covers health evaluation for mother and newborn, as well as incubation and NICU transfer costs. Maternity insurance will generally cover a newborn for up to 30 days after birth, or until officially discharged from the hospital.
Please note that generally all maternity insurance plans come with a minimum 10 to 12 months waiting period, or perhaps even longer. This means that you have to secure a maternity plan and pay for it for during the waiting period before you can claim any maternity-related expenses. Otherwise your pregnancy can be considered a pre-existing condition, and insurance won’t cover the medical costs.
Estimated maternity costs in Bangkok private hospitals 2018
Actually, even as an expat living in Bangkok, you can deliver a baby in an assigned public hospital at a fair cost under Thailand’s universal healthcare system. However, there are substantial differences in service levels between public and private hospitals in Bangkok. The biggest concern is usually the fact that staff in public hospitals do not speak English, while doctors and nurses in private hospitals can communicate in English at an excellent level. Being able to get help and important information about your pregnancy status is a crucial aspect of maternity care.
Choosing a private hospital probably sounds like an option for most expats, but their delivery packages can be pricey. For example, at Bumrungrad International Hospital normal delivery package costs THB 91,000, and in Bangkok Hospital prices vary anywhere between THB 78,000 to THB 181,000, depending on the type of procedure required (e.g. normal labor, delivery with c-section, or multiple births). Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital offers Natural Childbirth Package for THB 89,900 and Cesarean Section for THB 119,000.
It is advisable to choose a hospital to give birth in beforehand, and set up an appointments with a doctor who is connected with that facility. Also, keep in mind that these prices above are for delivery packages only, and do not include prenatal visits that every woman must attend in order to assess if the baby develops properly, nor all of the necessary postnatal check-ups.
Can you purchase maternity insurance when you are already pregnant?
Unfortunately, no insurer will sell you a maternity insurance plan if you are already pregnant. Your only option in such cases is to pay the expenses out of your pocket.
However, what you can do in that situation is to secure a newborn insurance policy, which can cover all necessary infant-specific health benefits. Newborn plans can cover the costs of: congenital birth defects, premature birth, inpatient visits and other add-ons like outpatient visits, vaccinations, dental, vision, and more, depending on the plan.
Plan ahead with Pacific Prime Thailand
Now that you know about waiting periods, and are aware of maternity costs in Bangkok, planning for your baby’s arrival is your best option if you want to have insurance that covers all costs related to pregnancy, labor, delivery, and any subsequent complications. Even with a strong plan in place, changes can still happen. For example, what if during your pregnancy you have to move countries? Securing an international maternity insurance policy solves that issue. International maternity insurance will be more expensive, but offers coverage in virtually every hospital in the world, thereby letting your family focus on mommy and baby’s wellbeing.
To learn more about your maternity insurance options, be sure to contact the helpful experts at Pacific Prime Thailand!