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Should private companies in Dubai offer comprehensive maternity insurance?

Discovering that you’re pregnant can give you insurmountable joy, but can also be terrifying if you’re not financially prepared for it, especially if you’re planning on giving birth in an expensive place like Dubai. Luckily for many expat women working in Dubai, the DHA’s new insurance law requires all employers to provide at least a minimum level of health coverage that includes maternity insurance.

While the minimum level of maternity coverage can be enough to cover part of the maternity costs, more and more employers are considering enhancing their employees’ benefits packages to a comprehensive maternity insurance, as well as extending maternity and paternity leave.

As the trend of providing more comprehensive maternity coverage and extending maternity/paternity leave continues to rise, if you want to retain your best talent, your organization should definitely not be left behind. Here, Pacific Prime Dubai explores the benefits of providing robust employee maternity insurance benefits.

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Dubai obligatory maternity insurance requirements

Mandatory Maternity Insurance for employees

Under the Dubai Health Authority’s insurance law, all employers are obliged to provide at least a minimum level of maternity coverage to their female employees. The minimum coverage required is as follows:

Outpatient antenatal services:

  • 10% coinsurance payable by the insured;
  • 8 visits to OB-GYN;
  • 3 ultrasound scans & all necessary tests.

In-patient maternity services

  • 10% coinsurance payable by the insured;
  • Maximum benefit 7,000 AED per normal delivery;
  • Maximum benefits 10,000 AED for medically necessary C-section, complications, and for medically necessary termination (All limits include coinsurance).

Newborn cover

  • Cover for 30 days from birth

The cost of giving birth in Dubai

The minimum level of coverage won’t be enough if your female employee wants to deliver her baby in a private hospital, where antenatal prices cost around 6,000 AED, and delivery costs vary between AED 20,000 for standard delivery and AED 30,000 for cesarean section. Find out more about the cost of giving birth in Dubai in our special feature here.  

The obligatory maternity is therefore not sufficient to cover all maternity costs. This means your pregnant employees will likely have to pay for the majority of their maternity care out of their own pocket, which will add even more stress to their pregnancy.

Maternity insurance for a dependent woman

Employers in Dubai are not legally obliged to provide health insurance to their employees’ dependents, however, it is definitely a desirable option for many expat employees. If the employer does not provide coverage for the employee’s family, the employee will have to secure it themselves.

If a male employee is planning on welcoming a new addition to his family, he will need to purchase a comprehensive maternity insurance plan for his wife at least six months prior to the conception date, as most insurers apply a waiting period to their maternity plans.

However, if the employee’s wife is pregnant without having maternity insurance in place, getting the plan at this stage an be extremely expensive, and financially challenging for expectant parents; this can have a major impact on employee stress levels at the workplace.

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Why should private companies in Dubai offer comprehensive maternity insurance to their employees?

HR teams may think that maternity leave is the primary concern of many expectant parents, but in an expensive location like Dubai, employees often expect robust maternity benefits to be included in their employee benefits package. And while as a business you must provide the minimum level of maternity protection to your female workers, extending it to cover the cost in total, and offering maternity insurance for your workers’ dependent wife can provide a number of benefits to your organization as well. These include:

Reduce employee financial stress

As we showcased above, delivering a baby in Dubai is an expensive journey. By offering comprehensive maternity insurance to your female workers, you are relieving your staff of the already many concerns expectant parents face.

By offering health benefits, including maternity coverage to the families of your employees, they can sleep peacefully at night knowing that their company is supporting them in this significant step towards welcoming a new addition to the family.

You can also offer your employees the option of topping up their plans with comprehensive maternity insurance, either for themselves or their dependents. Pacific Prime Dubai has prepared an informative top-up guide on how to go about this process.

Higher loyalty among employees

When an employee goes on maternity leave, it can be challenging for any organization. It can be an even larger challenge if any complications arise during childbirth. Should an employee suffer any complications, having comprehensive medical coverage will mean that they can focus on getting back to health with peace of mind. Knowing that their employer cares for their well-being fosters loyalty, and increases the likelihood of the employee staying at your company for the long term and effectively becoming brand ambassadors themselves.

Retain talent

Replacing people is expensive, and this is especially true for specialized, skilled workers. Some families, especially those that can’t afford maternity delivery in Dubai, or don’t have sufficient maternity insurance, can opt for leaving Dubai to their home country to deliver their baby. Should this occur, however, the employee may end up quitting or taking extended leave to accommodate this. By offering comprehensive maternity insurance and newborn insurance, which ensures that your employees are covered for all pre- and post- maternity costs, your employees are less likely to leave the country.

There’s more in an employee benefits package than health benefits

Starting a family is perhaps one of the most stressful moments in one’s life. There are so many unknowns and possible complications that could arise. A supportive company will design their employee benefits package to accommodate to the needs of their employees. Benefits trends worldwide, and also in Dubai, show that extending maternity leave can not only boost productivity but also employee loyalty and advocacy.

There is more to raising a child than the first months of the baby’s life. Parenting is hard, and companies that offer flexible, or work from home schemes, will better be able to keep their employees happy.

Become the employer of choice for existing and future employees

One way of getting assistance and advice on structuring employee benefits is to use the services of an experienced employee benefits specialist, such as Pacific Prime Dubai.

As an insurance expert with almost 20 years of insurance experience worldwide, and an extensive portfolio of both private and corporate clients, we are a veteran specialist in broking insurance plans for our clients.

Let us help you design, manage, and negotiate group insurance plans for your employees, at no extra cost vs going directly to an insurance company. Our broad range of services extends to our website’s regularly updated insurance guides section, which you can view here. You and your employees can find a wealth of information on Dubai Maternity Insurance, IVF, DHA regulations, and the Cost of Health Insurance around the globe.  

If you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you design your employee benefits package, contact us today!

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!