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Moving to HK from NYC at 32 weeks

  1. #1
    Gibbs75 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Moving to HK from NYC at 32 weeks


    I have been reading through all the forums and posts on this site and find them very helpful but I have a few specific questions that I have not been able to find up-to-date answers to.

    I am currently beginning my 27th week of pregnancy. This is my first pregnancy. So far everything has been going very well and easy. My husband is about to accept a job with a HK company and so we will be moving from NYC to HK around the time of my 32nd week. We don't know yet whether the company's insurance will cover my pregnancy. We are still looking into the details to see whether the insurance company will classify my pregnancy as a "pre-existing condition" and therefore deny coverage.

    Has anyone had experience with changing insurance coverage during the last trimester of their pregnancy?
    If our insurance does cover the pregnancy and delivery, can anyone give me information about how insurance coverage works in HK? Does the patient pay up front and then get reimbursed by the insurance company or does the insurance company pay directly to the doctor/hospital? Do doctors only accept certain insurance carriers? Do I have to pick a doctor based on my insurance carrier?

    I have been researching and reading everyone's comments about specific doctors on this website but am wondering about the doctors' availability. Many of these threads make it sound like you can't get any services if you haven't booked everything well in advance. What happens when people move to HK in their last trimester and don't have an ID card? Everyone keeps talking about how you have to have your delivery date booked in advance at a hospital but what happens if I won't be able to even make an appointment with an OB/GYN until my 31st week?

    Thank you in advance for any advice/clarifications any of you can provide. I really appreciate all of your thoughts!

  2. #2
    Matty is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sai Kung

    Insurance coverage varies here from policy to policy.
    With our medical coverage through my husband's company, all bills are paid for upfront by the insurance company, and yes we have to choose from panel Dr's.
    But I have friends who have to pay upfront and are then reimbursed.

    You will need to find out if there is a limit to your coverage, maternity costs here can run over $100,000.
    Our insurance was useless for maternity.
    It is hard to know how quickly and easily you will be able to book into a private hospital, it will depend on the Dr and hospital.

    You should be able to get your ID card within a few days of arriving, if not physically, you'll at least have other documentation.
    It should be done as quickly as your husbands.
    Can someone who has arrived recently verify this? It's been awhile since I've dealt with Immigration!

    If you do need to deliver in a public hospital you can rest assured that you will receive excellent care.

    Good luck with everything, if you need help when you arrive just ask, there are plenty of us that will give you a hand.

  3. #3
    kashismum is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Hong Kong

    You'll have to check the details of your own insurance. If it won't cover you, you certainly won't be able to take out insurance at this stage. That leaves you with two options; go public or pay for private. Since you'll have had most of your pre-natal checks, the actual cost of just the delivery shouldn't be close to $100k - I'd say $30k is more realistic.
    As Matty says, going public is not the end of the world. You can get your temporary ID card the first few days you are here and register with your local hospital.
    Try not to worry!

  4. #4
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong

    I might be making a mistake but isnt 32 weeks a little to travel?

  5. #5
    meimei is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Hong Kong

    I agree with Neha. I had my daughter at 33 weeks. I think it's pretty normal to have an early delivery especially if this is your first pregnancy. Can you come earlier so you can settle down before your delivery? I think there's sooo much work after your pregnancy that you should try to settle down beforehand. Just my suggestion. Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Neha View Post
    I might be making a mistake but isnt 32 weeks a little to travel?

  6. #6
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    You can travel up to 36 weeks and most women actually deliver after the due date first time round so i wouldn't worry.

    As for the insurance questions you should really try and negotiate something with your husband's employers as these are the people paying the bill for your coverage. They will determine whether you are covered and how much coverage you have. We moved out here when I was 32 weeks pregnant and were given full coverage, every last cent. this is quite unusual however but perhaps if the firm hiring your husband really want him/believe in him it is also something he can negotiate.

    The hospital bill will depend on where you deliver of course. Ours was $100 000 at the Matilda. Our insurance company sent a letter to the hospital (there's a term for it but it's slipped my mind) so we didn't have to pay for it up front.The hospital billed them direct. We do pay upfront for your more run of the mill medical needs, doctor and dentists visits etc.

    You shouldn't have an issue with pregnancy being a pre existing condition. It would be quite unreasonable for them to hold it against you. When my husband negotiated his contract we looked at it from one simple stand point - whatever we would have had in Australia we should at least have in Hong Kong as we have uprooted the family to come here.

    You shouldn't have problems booking into a hospital. Apparently it was mainly June that was the problem month.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Konradsmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Had a gf who moved to HK with hubby but found out that the company insurance does not cover an employee or spouse for maternity until the employee had been with the company for over 9 months - so better check your hubby's co policy, it really depends on the individual policy. She ended up having to pay for her delivery in HK

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