In October 2014, Bupa Global released news of a major policy change regarding waiting periods applicable to maternity plans within Bupa’s main international health insurance product- Bupa WHO (Worldwide Health Options) and the associated benefits.
Waiting periods, or moratoriums refer to the amount of time that an individual must wait before any maternity-related treatments can be covered as part of an insurance policy and will typically range from 10 to 24 months. As maternity care and the associated costs can quickly become very expensive, these periods of time protect insurance companies from losing too much money from paying out on instant claims fees.
The waiting period applicable for any new Bupa policies starting after October 1st will change from 10 months to 24 months, meaning that maternity-related treatments can only be covered if they occur at least 24 months after the policy has begun. Clients should note however that Bupa has since confirmed that the change will not affect existing customers who purchase a policy before October 1st. Furthermore, this longer waiting period will not apply to the ‘Lifeline’ range of plans (also available to individuals).
It should also be noted that if an existing member were to add a spouse (wife) to their policy, the moratorium period on maternity benefits would remain as 10 months. Corporate insurance plans will also remain unaffected.
No other significant changes have been made to the plan in terms of the actual benefits offered to members, which still remain to be highly comprehensive and include coverage for items such as child delivery in hospital, complications inclusive of medically-necessary C-sections and excellent new-born care benefits.
For some individuals, purchasing maternity insurance 24 months before starting a family can seem like too much of a scope to comprehend, yet while shorter waiting periods are available, the average amount of time still falls at around 12 months. In light of this, and the fact that costs of maternity care are rising, Pacific Prime strongly recommends considering comprehensive maternity benefits early on in the process of starting a family in order to make sure that childbirth and more importantly, any unforeseen complications, are covered by an comprehensive insurance plan.
The change to Bupa policies is thought to be a consequence of the rising costs for child delivery across the globe, particularly in Asia, and it is expected that other insurers will likely follow suit and initiate similar measures in the future.
For more information regarding Bupa’s policy change, waiting periods or any other maternity insurance queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts know exactly which insurers offer which benefits on their maternity insurance policies and can talk you through this somewhat daunting process to find the best plan to suit your growing family.