Dubai makes major change to newborn insurance cover

Dubai makes major change to newborn insurance cover

Dubai - The new directive is making it compulsory for all insurers to cover the child at birth.


Asma Ali Zain

Published: Sat 4 May 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 May 2019, 4:12 PM

A new directive from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) now covers the gap between insurance coverages for newborns, making it compulsory for all insurers to cover the child at birth.
In a statement issued to Khaleej Times, Saleh Al Hashimi, CEO of DHA's Dubai Health Insurance Corporation said, "The aim of the directive is to ensure that there is no gap in a newborn having access to continuous insurance cover from the time of birth."
"After the 30 day period of cover under the mother's policy is over or after utilization of the annual limit of the mother's policy, the new policy directive now stipulates that insurance companies must immediately provide the newborn medical insurance cover with the same Table of Benefits as the family's insurance. There will no longer be any waiting period," said Saleh.
A directive was also issued last month in this regard. "No insurer may impose waiting periods of any kind on newborns, whether they are waiting periods against pre-existing conditions or any other conditions," it reads.
The directive is aimed at clarifying the treatment of newborns when being newly insured or added to existing group policies. Currently, there are a number of insurers imposing six-month waiting periods on newborns when becoming insured, this has been noticed in cases where a newborn is being issued a new policy individually or added onto a parents' policy whether group or individual, read the directive.
"We would also like to reiterate that newborns must be covered under the mother's policy for 30 days and/or up to the mother's annual limit. In addition, backdating of up to a maximum of seven days is only allowed for newborn additions to achieve covering the newborn from the date of birth, this is the only exception to backdating," it reads.
The directive comes as welcome news for parents who are struggling or have struggled to pay huge hospital bills.
On May 13, 2017, Camellia Mohammed gave birth to an extremely premature baby boy, Omar, at 24 weeks. He weighed only 600 grams.
Her struggle to pay the bills at that time was not easy and it did not come without having had to put up a fight. "I am glad this directive has come out," she said.
"Parents are already stressed out with a sick child, and they do not need the extra stress of having to think about how to pay the bills," she told Khaleej Times.
It was after having to put up several fights on different occasions and for different coverages, the insurance company paid Dh140,00 from Camellia's policy and Dh400,000 from Omar's policy for the four-month-long hospital stay. However, the family still has not been able to find any insurance to cover the costs of rehabilitation treatments needed for Omar.

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