Dubai removes waiting period for newborn baby insurance cover

Insurance must cover a child from birth, says health authority

Dubai removes waiting period for newborn baby insurance cover

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

All newborn babies, including those born prematurely, will no longer have to wait to be covered by an insurance policy, following a directive by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

“No insurer may impose waiting periods of any kind on newborns, whether they are waiting periods against pre-existing conditions or any other conditions,” the directive said.  

“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,” it continued. “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.”

The directive addresses a gap, where some insurers in the emirate impose a waiting period of up to six months before an infant can be covered by a health insurance policy, according to a report by the Khaleej Times. This has led to some new parents struggling with huge medical bills, especially with pre-term babies, which are more susceptible to health complications.

In one case, Camellia Mohammed’s son Omar was born after just 24 weeks of pregnancy, weighing only 600 grams. Mohammed went through a long and arduous process to get insurers to cover the expenses needed for her son’s numerous treatments. After a long period of struggle, she was able to claim AED140,000 from her own health policy and AED400,000 from her son’s policy. However, the family was not able to claim insurance for Omar’s rehabilitation costs.

“I’m glad this directive has come out," she told the Khaleej Times. “Parents are already stressed out with a sick child, and they don’t need the extra stress of having to think about how to pay the bills.”

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