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Your guide to newborn insurance in Hong Kong

Preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy in Hong Kong? Between baby-proofing your home, buying essential supplies, and getting yourself mentally ready for parenthood, newborn insurance may not be very high on your newborn checklist. Or maybe it’s not on your list altogether. Either way, Pacific Prime Hong Kong is glad you’re here. All parents want to give their little ones the best in life, and securing newborn insurance is a good way to do so. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

Individual Health Insurance Plans

What is newborn insurance?

Newborn insurance ensures that a baby has access to the best healthcare since they’re born and as they grow up, without their parents having to pay out of pocket for medical expenses. While Hong Kong launched a Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme (VHIS) for newborns in April 2019, with annual premiums of around HKD $2,000, the plan has limitations such as the exclusion of congenital illnesses. Given this, many parents opt for more comprehensive newborn insurance plans.

Let’s find out the four main types of insurance that parents usually buy for their newborns:

Health insurance

Newborns need regular doctor’s visits to monitor their health and development. Similar to plans for adults, health insurance for newborns covers a wide range of benefits, including inpatient and outpatient. Likewise, additional benefits may be included with some plans, such as vaccination, dental, and vision coverage.

Whole life insurance

Many parents wonder: “Why would you buy life insurance for a child?” Essentially, this type of insurance plan is akin to a forced savings account, where the cash value will be passed on to your child. While you may be caught up taking care of your newborn, it does pay to think long-term about these things.

Critical illness insurance

Illnesses can happen to anyone, anytime – including to newborns. If your child gets sick, having a lump sum payout can ease the financial burden. It can help you pay for the cost of healthcare, or even compensate you or your partner for lost income if you need to take time off work to look after your sick baby.

Personal accident insurance

In the unfortunate event that your child suffers from an accident or injury, outpatient treatments and various medical expenses will be covered under this type of plan. It makes sure that financial constraints aren’t a barrier to providing your child with the best life-saving, emergency care.

What are your options for securing newborn insurance?

It’s a good idea to secure newborn insurance as soon as possible before you give birth to ensure your baby is covered from Day 1. Make sure you shop around so that you can find a plan that affords your child the best protection, and allows him/her to seek care in the best hospitals in Hong Kong. When doing so, you should carefully read the fine print, as not all insurers or plans operate in the same way. For example, some insurers may impose special restrictions on newborns conceived through IVF.

Here are some of the most popular options for securing newborn insurance:

Maternity insurance

You can secure maternity insurance to cover both maternity- and newborn-related costs. You can also add your newborn to the mother’s policy within 30 to 90 days (this varies depending on the insurer) after birth. This ensures medical history disregard (MHD) for your child, which means pre-existing conditions are covered and congenital conditions may be covered.

Note: If you want to secure maternity insurance to cover maternity costs as well, you should note that virtually all maternity plans have a waiting period of 10 to 12 months. This effectively means you should aim to secure maternity insurance before you get pregnant.

Parent’s health insurance

Does one of the parents have an international health insurance plan that’s effective for more than 12 months without maternity coverage? It’s useful to know that some insurers may allow you to add your infant to the plan with MHD. For most insurers, the child will need to be covered under the same benefits as their parents.

Parent’s group health insurance

If you’re employed in Hong Kong, check if your employer will cover your child. That being said, congenital conditions are typically excluded and you may find the plan to be insufficient for your child. What’s more, your child will lose coverage if you leave your job – a problem if they have developed pre-existing conditions during this time or are undergoing medical treatment.

Stand-alone newborn insurance

You can buy stand-alone newborn insurance or a plan that covers the child only. This is available from birth to 18 years old. It’s important to note that pre-existing conditions matter, so conditions occurring before you secure the policy may be excluded or incur a premium loading (i.e. you’ll have to pay extra). Moreover, congenital conditions are generally excluded.

Note: Premiums for stand-alone child policies aren’t usually based on the child’s age. Typically, you can expect to pay between HKD $15,000 and HKD $35,000 per year for comprehensive inpatient and outpatient coverage that covers 100% of private medical expenses in Hong Kong.

Do babies need their own health insurance?

Now that we’ve covered the main types of newborn insurance and your options to secure newborn coverage, let’s address one of the most commonly asked questions: “Do babies need their own health insurance?” After all, parents don’t usually think that their precious little ones will have any serious health complications, and many delay the purchase of health insurance or overlook the need for it altogether.

On the contrary, insurance for newborns will benefit both the parents and the child in a number of ways:

Health conditions are possible

While we don’t usually associate babies with serious health conditions, the reality is that it is possible and may result in exclusions on their insurance policy. One example is Thalassemia, a blood disorder that is passed down through the parents. Therefore, covering your baby as early as possible with MHD is the best option.

Pre-existing conditions are less likely

While health conditions at birth are possible, it’s fair to say that they are less likely. This is because a baby is not going to suffer from lifestyle-related health conditions. As such, buying an insurance policy earlier on is a good idea. The longer you wait to secure a policy, the greater the chances of an unexpected health condition occurring.

Premiums are generally lower

What’s more, premiums for younger people also tend to be lower. For babies, you can expect to pay lower premiums – especially if they don’t have any pre-existing conditions. As for whole life insurance plans, many of them will protect the policyholder for life once the limited pay term is complete.

Peace of mind is priceless

Finally, securing insurance for your newborn will afford you peace of mind – something that you can’t put a value on. It’ll save you stress and anxiety, as financial loss won’t hinder the quality of care your child receives. You’ll know that no matter what happens, your little one will be taken care of.

Looking for newborn insurance in the SAR? Pacific Prime Hong Kong can help

Pacific Prime Hong Kong is a global health insurance brokerage, with over two decades of experience helping individuals and families navigate the world of insurance, and secure the most optimal insurance solution for their needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for maternity insurance, newborn insurance, or family health insurance in Hong Kong, our highly-trained advisors are here to help.

Contact us today!

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