Preparing for maternity care in Hong Kong

Do you need insurance?

Preparing for maternity care in Hong Kong

Planning for a family can be an exciting and magical time, but also one of increased health risks. In this article we give you the ins and outs of seeking hospital care and maternity insurance in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has a world renowned healthcare system that is well equipped around the country to deliver your baby into the world, safe and sound. However, this high standard of quality does come with a cost. Hong Kong has the second highest cost of international health insurance in the world , due to the often high costs of medical procedures. Many expats consider maternity insurance to help them meet these costs.

What is maternity insurance?

A maternity plan offers mothers and their babies peace of mind during pregnancy. It helps you organize your healthcare appointments, tests and vaccinations, and provides financial coverage for the costs of these procedures. Depending on your plan, it can provide for care to be carried out at a public or private hospital, and can include extra coverage for serious complications, newborn insurance, and premier hospital stay facilities.

Coverage will vary depending on the policy you have purchased, but you can generally expect maternity insurance to include:

  • Pre- and post-natal treatments and examinations
  • Medically prescribed c-sections
  • Normal deliveries
  • Deliveries with complications
  • Deliveries following fertility treatments
  • Hospital or home delivery costs

More comprehensive plans can also help cover fertility treatment costs, congenital birth defects, and post-birth treatment if something unexpected happens. Pregnancy can be a stressful time for some and a good maternity plan can help put your financial concerns at ease.

Do I need maternity coverage in Hong Kong?

Weighing up whether or not you need maternity insurance will essentially come down to two factors: how much can you afford to pay for care, and what level of personalised care do you want? As mentioned, the costs of healthcare in Hong Kong can be on the higher side - below is a brief comparison table of hospital delivery costs in each of the country’s regions:


Standard Delivery  (HKD)*

Cesarean Section (HKD)*

       Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Adventist Hospital



The Matilda International Hospital



Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital



Canossa Hospital



St. Paul’s Hospital




St. Teresa’s Hospital

31,800 - 32,800

35,800 - 36,800

The Hong Kong Baptist Hospital



     New Territories

Tsuen Wan Adventist Hospital



Union Hospital



* All prices current as of April 2017

Compared with the US, where a 2013 report by Truven Health Analytics  found that a standard delivery birth (including all costs) can cost HKD 233,000, with a caesarean section increasing to HKD 389,000. It’s also important to note that the figures in the table above only relate to the birthing process itself and does not include doctor’s fees, laboratory tests, theatre room charges, nursing care, and other additional costs that can stack up fairly quickly. It’s also important to note that the above figures only relate to the birthing procedure itself and does not include doctor’s fees, laboratory tests, theatre room charges, nursing care, and other additional costs that can stack up fairly quickly.

Complications are also extremely expensive and any unexpected circumstances during birth can leave you with significant additional charges that you might not have catered for. Anything from emergency procedures during birth to the need for your newborn to stay in a neonatal intensive care unit can easily add tens of thousands of Hong Kong dollars to your hospital fees. The right maternity insurance can ensure that you’re not caught by surprise after birth.

Seeking care through the public system, either with a basic maternity insurance plan or without insurance altogether, may mean you will see whichever physician is available at the time of your appointment. Your hospital stay may be in a large, shared ward, and there may be timing restrictions on when you can arrive to deliver, and when your partner or family may stay with you until.

More comprehensive maternity coverage will guarantee you access to a top-tier private hospital with care and service comparable to many five-star hotels . Mothers, their partners and/or family can choose from a range of semi-private to luxurious hospital rooms, and can elect to have a single physician oversee all aspects of their pregnancy. Whilst these plans are more expensive, they do offer a premium level of care.

What should I look out for with maternity insurance plans?

There are a number of small details regarding maternity policies that each mother needs to know before choosing one. Going through your specific requirements with a specialist maternity insurance broker like Pacific Prime Hong Kong  will help you find the most appropriate cover for you and your family.

The first is that nearly all insurers include a wait period with maternity plans that specify that no benefits can be claimed until the moratorium is up. Generally, this will be a 12-month period where falling pregnant during this time negates all access to the maternity benefits.

Another important aspect to understand about a maternity plan is how the benefits are organised. Some plans may offer quite low benefit limits, meaning that seeking more expensive care from private hospitals may see you paying a lot to cover the difference (e.g. a policy covers up to HKD 300 per day for ward stays, however your chosen private hospital charges 1,000 HKD per day).

Some policies also combine their total maternity coverage for both normal delivery and complications, but may not have a high enough level to cover the costs of complications should they occur. Others may put restrictions on the types of hospitals you might seek care from, so you will want to ensure that their chosen hospitals are convenient to you for when delivery time comes.

Get a plan as soon as you can

In order to make sure you’re covered by maternity insurance when you need to be, and have the protection that is right for you, it’s important that you start thinking about the right plan as soon as possible. Many international health insurers will make it easy for you to start before you even move to Hong Kong, so start looking today.

Further reading

Does this article help?

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here: