Maternity insurance and the cost of maternity care in Thailand
If you’re looking to give birth in Thailand, obtaining a comprehensive maternity insurance plan is key to offset the extensive costs associated with maternity care. While the cost of public hospital care is generally a lot cheaper than what’s charged in private facilities, many expats feel discouraged to seek care in public facilities due to the considerably longer wait times and difficulty in finding staff that speak enough English or another language besides Thai in certain hospitals.
On the other hand, private facilities are attractive to expats and locals alike because of their world-class quality of care, medical staff who speak multiple languages, luxurious perks, etc. While private hospital care in Thailand is indeed a popular choice for a vast majority of expats, the cost of care is increasing year-on-year. As such, those looking to welcome a new addition to their family are highly encouraged to secure maternity insurance for peace of mind.
The cost of private maternity care in Thailand
As can be expected, the cost of giving birth will vary depending on which hospital you go to, whether there are any complications, the type of delivery, etc. Besides the cost of giving birth, you’ll also need to consider your prenatal expenses, which will also differ depending on the number of tests and consultations required. To give you a rough idea of the cost of maternity care in Thailand, we’ve compiled below the fees charged at some of the most popular private hospitals in the country, along with a private hospital that caters more towards locals and longer-term expats.
Bumrungrad International Hospital
Bumrungrad International Hospital in Bangkok is a popular facility of choice for many expats, and is famed for their world-class delivery and cesarean section suites, as well as being one of the largest hospitals in Southeast Asia. Their baby delivery package for 2020 costs THB ฿98,000 for a natural birth, THB ฿119,800 for normal delivery with epidural anesthesia, and THB ฿149,000 for a cesarean-section package.
Excellent doctors and high-qualified medical professionals
Choosing Bumrungrad International Hospital will give you access to expert specialists and medical teams. Specialists at the hospital include:
- An obstetrician who can provide quality care.
- A team of anesthesiologists who are on duty 24 hours a day.
- A neonatal pediatrician who is highly trained to provide neonatal care.
State-of-the-art delivery room
The hospital’s delivery rooms offer high standards of quality and safety. They are designed to give families the privacy and comfort needed to ensure delivery happens smoothly and safely, for both mother and child. The neutral color scheme and use of wooden furniture provide a calm atmosphere for what is a tense, but special event.
While the prices advertised for these packages all include a comprehensive range of maternity-related care (e.g. lab tests for the mother and newborn, doctors’ fees, private room), please note that additional costs such as take-home medications, procedures for complications, birth certificate translation from Thai to English, and any additional nights are not included. The price of the packages mentioned above is only reserved for customers of the hospital, who register for delivery and give childbirth before December 31st, 2020 only. Prices are also subject to change. For more information, contact the hospital directly and ask for the Women’s Center.
Bangkok hospital is well known as the leader in cutting-edge technology in Bangkok. Their obstetric delivery packages cost anywhere between THB ฿32,900 to THB ฿208,800, depending on the type of procedure required (e.g. normal labor, delivery with c-section, normal labor to c-section, tubal ligation post-delivery or cesarean section twins).
The price for normal labor delivery packages includes the operating room, recovery room, medical supply, medicine for the specific operation, surgeon team, inpatient room, nursing service, packaged food, medicine, medical equipment for specific operations, and anesthesiologist team only.
For more information on what’s included and not included, contact the Women’s Health Center and a medical professional will be able to assist you.
Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
As one of many sister hospitals, Samitivej Srinakarin hospital has been gaining a good reputation among the expat community in Bangkok for its high-quality childbirth packages. The price starts at THB ฿72,000 for the Natural Birth Program to THB ฿99,000 for the Cesarean Birth Program.
The packages include a number of things, such as:
- The delivery/birthing room and nursing team for the Natural Birth Program.
- Operating room, recovery room, nursing team, and operation preparation for the Cesarean Birth Program.
- A standard private room for the mother, food (as advised by the doctor), in-patient services, nursing service, room service, nursery room, nursing services, and a team of lactation nurses.
- A standard health examination after birth (offered once only).
- Necessary lab tests for mothers (complete blood count (CBC), anti-HIV screening) and newborns (blood typing test (A/B/O, Rh/positive/negative), hematocrit blood test, and more).
- Essential medications, medical supplies, and medical equipment
- Doctors fees
- The promotion period runs up to December 31, 2020
- These packages are only available at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital
- Check with the hospital directly as their packages can be updated at any time
Prepare for all eventualities when giving birth in Thailand
While the cost of maternity care in Thailand is generally cheaper than the cost in more expensive Asian countries (e.g. Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, etc.), it’s important to be aware of all the cost eventualities of having a baby in Thailand. For instance, prices can skyrocket in the event of pregnancy complications. This is why it’s highly recommended that you secure maternity insurance.
What is maternity insurance?
Maternity insurance in Thailand is considered an additional type of cover from what normally comes with health insurance coverage. Available as what insurers call a “rider”, maternity insurance can be purchased as an add-on benefit on top of your health insurance plan to address the costs related to giving birth, such as prenatal expenses (e.g. ultrasounds and tests), delivery, and medically necessary cesarean sections. Some plans may also provide cover for congenital birth defects and complications. Please note that no insurance plan will cover costs for prenatal classes and yoga, although these courses can really help you prepare for giving birth.
Things to watch out for when securing maternity insurance
Please note that there are a number of things you will need to look out for when purchasing your maternity insurance policy in Thailand.
What a lot of people don’t know until it is too late is that virtually all maternity plans will be attached with a waiting period of around 10 to 12 months (sometimes it may be as long as 24+ months). This means you’ll need to have a plan that covers maternity for this specified duration of time before the insurer will accept claims for maternity-related care. With this in mind, it is clear to see the importance of securing maternity (health) insurance well ahead of conception.
If you’re already pregnant and would still like to receive coverage, you still have the option of protecting your newborn. While prenatal and delivery costs won’t be covered, you can still secure newborn health insurance to cover your newborn’s medical expenses. Costs associated with incubation and NICU transfer can be very expensive, which is why having newborn cover can be very valuable.
It may also be worthwhile to consider an international health insurance plan that includes maternity cover. Although an international plan will be more expensive, it’s an excellent option for globally mobile expats as with this type of plan you will be covered for care in virtually any hospital, anywhere in the world.
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