Our Guide to Giving Birth as an Expatriate

Our Guide to Giving Birth as an Expatriate

24 January 2022 Insurance

When choosing a new life abroad, many expat women are also thinking about pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood! The fact is that, as an expatriate, having a child abroad is far from being a matter of improvisation.

Many soon-to-be expat mothers are asking themselves:

Why is it important to understand what international maternity insurance entails well before planning to have a child? How does maternity insurance work for expats? What are the prerequisites for subscribing to maternity coverage with an international health insurance?

Foyer Global Health is here to give you advice on giving birth abroad!

Having a child abroad: get the right ‘maternity coverage’ before planning to have a child

Having a child abroad should not be improvised. It is crucial to prepare yourself for birth, not only in terms of your health and finances, but also for your health insurance, especially if you plan on having your pregnancy abroad. It is also crucial to understand, well before your pregnancy becomes a reality, how maternity insurance work for expats. It is strongly recommended that you choose an international insurance policy covering maternity expenses even before conception, even if you have no short-term plans on becoming pregnant at the time of subscription.


How does maternity insurance for expatriates work?

Maternity-only policies are not offered by any international health insurance companies. Childbirth expenses, just like dental care, are covered by health insurance as an additional benefit or option that you may (or may not) subscribe to when you sign up for your health insurance plan.

For example, Foyer Global Health offers reimbursement for maternity care and childbirth in its Special” and “Exclusive” health cover plans. We reimburse all the costs for the pediatrician only if the newborn is insured with at least one of the parents. If the child is not insured with us, some treatments are excluded from the coverage (for example, costs related to premature birth, or postnatal examinations of the child).

When should you subscribe to maternity insurance for expats?

The short answer is: Long before you become pregnant! Timing is key. International health insurance companies offering maternity coverage usually have a waiting period ranging from eight to 24 months between the contract’s start date and the start date of maternity coverage. You should contact, as soon as possible, your insurance company to find out about their maternity benefits, the waiting period they apply and plan your maternity accordingly! Your childbirth expenses will only be reimbursed once the waiting period has passed; if you become pregnant before then, you will have to make up the difference…Foyer Global Health requires a compulsory waiting period of ten months.


Can I subscribe to a maternity insurance plan if I am already pregnant?

The overwhelming majority of international health insurance companies will not accept your application if you are already pregnant. Pregnancy will be then considered as a pre-existing medical condition, and you will have limited options for your health insurance. No insurer will accept to offer full maternity coverage for an ongoing pregnancy.


What does international maternity insurance cover for expatriates?

The maternity coverage includes several benefits such as medical check-ups related to the pregnancy, baby monitoring, delivery, post-partum hospital care and pediatric care. In general, most insurance companies also cover pregnancy with complications (ask for the exact definition of complications) and newborn care (again, ask about the coverage period for your newborn). You can add your child to your policy within a specific time after birth.

Expatriates who subscribe to the Foyer Global Health Special and Exclusive plans benefit from a maternity coverage applying to medical expenses related to pregnancy, childbirth (regardless of the degree of complications), midwifery services in hospital, as well as newborn care. Foyer Global Health also covers infertility treatment for women experiencing difficulties in conceiving a child.

Why opt for an International Health Insurance to cover your maternity costs abroad?

While it is important to subscribe to international health insurance to get comprehensive and flexible health coverage abroad, it is even more crucial to get maternity coverage as an expatriate for pregnancy and childbirth care. In some Asian countries, such as China, having a baby can be a source of concern at first because of the exorbitant cost of child delivery in private health facilities (it can go up to €8,000 for a simple delivery, and up to €13,000 for a C-section), but also because of sometimes unfamiliar local traditions.

Beyond the financial considerations, you should also consider the quality of maternity care, whether it is monitoring the whole pregnancy, the delivery itself or newborn care specifically. With private international health insurance, you opt for freedom and security: efficiency in the private sector, respected birth plan, 100% comfort guaranteed, and medical evacuation in case of any complications…

The advantage of international health insurance, including maternity expenses, is that you are covered in several countries at the same time. Imagine choosing to be accompanied abroad during your pregnancy, while still being able to give birth in your home country!

Need more details about our maternity coverage plans? Contact us for more information!

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