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help! UK insurances that cover private maternity

(26 Posts)
samarcanda Wed 10-Nov-10 13:56:56

Hi all, I'm relocating to the UK from USA and i'm 22 weeks pregnant. My guy's work has offered him to pick insurance policies, within budget limits.

Do you know which ones are the companies that cover maternity ? (meaning all expenses in private care as opposed to only the ones that are justified by a medical necessity)

I know Bupa does, but I'm sure there are others and I would like to have a list to give to my DH when he goes and negotiate

Also do you know if the fact that i am already pregnant might mean they won't accept us in the new policies? In the USA they consider maternity a "pre-existing condition" (crazy eh?) and won't insure you if you are already pregnant - is the same in UK?

thanks ! xx

mrsbigw Wed 10-Nov-10 18:34:47

Hi, I would double check on the Bupa policy as maternity cover is not usually included on UK Bupa policies. Bupa class pregnancy as a normal life event & UK Health insurance is usually just for illness. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but I would definately check all small print before you choose a policy & don't just accept a brokers word for what you are buying. Good luck.

Sparklies Wed 10-Nov-10 18:47:26

Bupa for the UK only covers medically necessary c-sections, and then it's a token gesture. This is the situation I am in - I have full Bupa cover and a medically necessary c-section but it leaves us with a shortfall of a few thousand pounds at least in consultant fees.

However, Bupa International, which I think is what you're referring to, does seem to cover everything. I don't know a lot about it but I would guess only people from other countries who are temporarily here would qualify for it (i.e. you and your family) and those of us who are permanent residents do not!

Like you I haven't heard of any other companies though.

antoinettechigur Wed 10-Nov-10 20:26:52

It seems unlikely that insurance will cover you when you are already pregnant. The vast majority of people here have all their maternity care on the NHs, which is free. If your relocation is permanent you should be entitled to NHS care, though obviously you need to check this out.

samarcanda Wed 10-Nov-10 21:30:22

thanks - i think you're right.... does not seem to be common policy to cover maternity

the fact of the pre existing condition is actually a good point , and it might mean we will be left with out current USA insurance that covers 100% of costs - i'm praying every day about it

i am entitled to NHS care, but i really hope not to end up down this route.

I have many doctors friends that work in great hospitals in London and they are so overworked that they admit sometimes they are so tired that they do not know what they are doing...

they all had their budgets cut and are heavily understaffed (specially on the midwives front)...
if i was in a smaller place with better managed hospitals, i would have no problems, but the horror stories i hear from London are scary....

BagofHolly Wed 10-Nov-10 22:57:01

We're both Uk nationals and had the Aviva Enhanced plan, which covered everything for pregnancy IF you need a c section.
As a non UK national, you may not be entitled to NHS care - it's unlikely that they'd get arsey about it but beware that you fall outside the system at the moment so will need some sort of US-ExPat cover, and I doubt it's anything you'll find in the UK. Can you speak to the US Embassy in London? I'm sure they deal with this sort of thing all the time.

samarcanda Thu 11-Nov-10 01:08:33

that's interesting, the Axa cover we would get also pays only if you need medical intervention (i.e. C section or so)

but up to now we had an expat contract with a French-Canadian insurance that is valid everywhere in the world and covers 100% of private maternity even if you do not need medical intervention... I really hope we can keep that on the basis that no one in UK would insure us because I'm already pregnant... grin

I am Italian and as a European we have access to all the healthcare systems of every European country, so I am entitled to NHS care. Also I resided in UK for over 10 years before moving to the US and my DH is British national, so no problem about that...
but i just don t want to be solely in NHS care...hmm

BagofHolly Thu 11-Nov-10 01:13:34

We are currently with AXA on a UK policy and they suck, in my opinion. Their policy limit for c section is £600 despite the fact that there isn't a surgeon in the country who will do the op for anything like that. I hope your policy is different but it's worth checking the limits sooner rather than later.

skandi1 Thu 11-Nov-10 12:30:14


You will need to have been a resident AND a tax payer in the UK for a minimum of 6 months to qualify for NHS treatment - any NHS treatment. To qualify thru your partners national insurance (tax) contributions, he needs to be your husband.

As you're already 22 weeks, you will not qualify for NHS treatment in time for the birth.

It may sound disappointing but many of us here can assure you that an NHS birth isn't particularly fabulous....

Its unlikely that you will find an insurance company which will cover you for any pregnancy/birth treatment as you are already pregnant.

The only option for you and your husband is to request that his new employers pay for all of your maternity/birth care as part of your relocation package. If I was in your situation, I would not set foot outside my country unless I had this in writing.

You can pay for private maternity here (I am currently considering this despite being entitled to NHS treatment as my last birth wasn't great). It will cost you between £10,000 and £13,000 (for either a VB or C section) and this is assuming they are straightforward and you go home within 36hrs.

As for care for your baby - your baby will be born in the UK and therefore entitled to NHS treatment as soon as he/she is born. This means that if you give birth privately and pay for it and your baby needs NICU or special care, he/she can be tranferred to NHS and treated for free. And NHS neonatal/children care is fantastic!

My DH was offered a job in Singapore when I was last pregnant, we had to turn it down as Singapore Immigration would not let me enter Singapore and give birth there, I had to give birth elsewhere and then join/rejoin DH (they don't like to give out Singaporian passports). So job was turned down. Again we would have had to pay for the birth as I would have left the UK and spent 6 months outside UK and lost by free NHS entitlement.

Hope that helps. Relocating can be depressingly complicated at the best of times, I hope it works out relatively stress-free for you.

mrsbigw Thu 11-Nov-10 13:21:05

It might be worth googling about your entitlement to NHS care, I read a report not long ago (sorry cant remember where) advising that under EU law antenatal/ aternity care must be provided although trusts have been placing barriers in the way of those requesting it.

carlyvita Thu 11-Nov-10 13:46:20

yeah, ditto. Also, I really don't think the NHS hospitals cannot by law turn anyone away in an emergency. So if you did need an emergency c section, they would just have to do it.

I'd reccommend one of our many glorious and talented independent midwives to look after you throughout pregnancy and birth. 3-4k depending on who and where.

Best of luck.

Lorelai Thu 11-Nov-10 13:55:00

Also, I doubt any hospital would turn away a woman who showed up on the doorstep in active labour (although routine antenatal care might be more tricky!)

pinkpeony Thu 11-Nov-10 14:17:37

I have BUPA International and they will cover you for routine antenatal care and delivery (within a cap), but you have to be covered for 1 year before you qualify. Previously, I was covered by Allianz (80% cover for routine delivery) through my job, which had similar provisions - minimum 1 year before you qualify. Most insurance policies have a minimum 1 year cover requirement before you can qualify for maternity cover. As an expat and already pregnant when you have to relocate, you may be able to get the company to negotiate something special on your behalf with the insurance company so that you are covered, or retain the same policy that you have at the moment - I think that is your best bet for maternity cover, esp. if you have 100% cover with no limits, which is rare in the UK even with the most comprehensive policies.

uglyforeigner Sun 07-Apr-13 14:55:35

Hello everybody, I am new to this site, found it through google search and decided not to start a new string.
With regards to private medical cover/insurance - are there any policies in the UK that would cover fertility treatment (both diagnostics and actual treatment) and is it any different to what NHS has to offer (in terms of scope, diagnostics methods used, procedures, treatment, choice of doctors). I feel like I might be embarking on that road, and do not want to dive in without any prior knowledge. I have used NHS doctors in the past and found that a disappointing experience. Maybe was just bad luck.
I lived in the UK for 10 years, self-employed.

QTPie Sun 07-Apr-13 15:12:06


Can't answer the first question, but I have a strong feeling that they don't (my various policies haven't).

I have just had a series of fertility investigations and am mid cycle of IVF (ICSI) at the moment. We are doing it privately (self pay). The investigations/methods are not different here (I live in Bath, but am using the BCRM in Bristol) - the IVF/ICSI cycle is exactly the same as those getting it paid for by the NHS. The main difference is "time" to get to the start of IVF cycle: self referred to a fertility specialist (who is also lead consultant at the BCRM) in September, had investigations straight away, surgery mid December (hysteroscopy and laparoscopy) and started IVF cycle on 19th Feb (would have been a month earlier, but we were off skiing then). Things would not have been nearly as quick on the NHS: wait times to see Consultants, have surgery and get an IVF referral are generally longer).

I would not have qualified for IVF at Bristol, I believe, because we already have one child. Not all areas have that rule though.

Why don't you post on the "infertility" section of Mumsnet? You might get more answers.


uglyforeigner Sun 07-Apr-13 15:45:31

Hi QT, and thank you for taking the time to post flowers

Perhaps you are right and I should move to the section of the site you suggested. I was not sure if would get any responses.
I just looked at NHS options
and they are remarkably similar to what BUPA offer
All the methods look pretty invasive to me (use of hormones, pumping dye through tubes, etc.).
I guess the main query was if private approach could be any different, I feel I would benefit from initial consultation/examination, could be something minor. I have not had examination for a number of years.
I am 34 and no children, so I would be eligible, but if I speak to GP now, they would most likely turn me away, telling "to keep on trying" for another year.

meditrina Sun 07-Apr-13 15:57:47

There is no minimum residenc period in UK to qualify for NHS treatment; but you will need to be able to demonstrate that your move is that of your main residence and expected to be permanent. So yes, you can drive at 22 weeks and be covered (especialy as parturition is never chargeable).

The doctors are probably telling you the worst horror stories they can think of to make you gasp and stretch your eyes. Yes, of course ere are times when things go wrong, but there are thousands of deliveries in Londn, and only a tiny proportion have problems with the care provided.

meditrina Sun 07-Apr-13 16:00:05

Silly me.

Responded to an OP from 3 years ago and the discussion it provoked, not the unrelated new enquiry.

uglyforeigner it might be worth looking for an existing thread that asks the question you want answered (not one about delivery) or starting a new one in "Infertility".

uglyforeigner Sun 07-Apr-13 17:10:48

Not to worry, meditrina - I am sure someone else will find your answer very helpful.
A few years ago it took my a few utility bills and a bank statement sent to my home address to register at local GP practice. As always in the UK, address is a key to everything.

QTPie Sun 07-Apr-13 19:39:42

Uglyforeigner, how long have you been trying?

If you went down the private route, you can dictate what you want to do pretty much. For example you could go for:
- a general gynaecological check-up (including an ultrasound and maybe smear) and see what they suggest. These cost about £180/£300 depending on Consultant and area etc.
- a full "one stop fertility check-up" (ie all the initial bl

QTPie Sun 07-Apr-13 19:43:50

initial blood work and scans etc and a semen analysis). This would be about £500/£600 or so.

They may then suggest you go on to have a lap and dye or try treatment like clomid or IUI/IVF/ICSI. If you then qualified for the treatment on the NHS, you could fill out the forms then (with the support of your GP).

It is always idea to conceive naturally, but sometimes people need help.

QTPie Sun 07-Apr-13 19:49:14

My current IVF cycle is going to cost about £7k all in. We don't qualify for the NhS to pay (because we already have a child). It is a lot, especially if you are not successful and have 2 or 3 cycles. My private IVF treatment is no different than that being received, at the sane centre, on the NHS.

uglyforeigner Mon 08-Apr-13 20:58:05

QT, what you are saying is incredibly helpful.
This means, if my GP digs his heels in, I can still do initial investigations privately, and move on back to NHS fertility treatment track once the problem is identified. I do not think I would need that though.
We've tried for just over a year, but it was not consequent, so all we are talking about is 5 cycles max, when it could have happened. Irrespective, this is a sign something is wrong with me.
My feeling is I know what the problem is. I had a termination just over two years ago that went wrong (misopristol did not work, it quite often does not), so I had vacuum evac and it was not followed up by a course of antibiotics or ultrasound scan, so I suspect the problem is damaged endometrium that prohibits implantation. Good news is - no D&C, so basal layer is not permanently damaged, bad news - if it is damaged by inflammation and does not recover, the only route would be surrogacy sad
Again, it can be treated (at least attempted to) by taking hormones.
Whether they do that in the UK or not - still needs clarified.

It is always good to know there are alternatives and other options and help. I am just trying not to make this a major issue at the moment, as it puts a strain on relationship. And the cost, privately, is quite staggering.

mayhew Mon 08-Apr-13 21:24:14

I don't think any UK HCP would consider 5 cycles without conceiving of any significance at all. Its well within the parameters of normal for a young woman. Your termination history is not at all sinister, no actual infection happened. As a mw i would be reassured by the history of an actual conception in the last 2 years! I think Dr Google might be frightening you unneccessarily.

If you want to get pregnant, both partners
: attend to the quality of your diet, check your vitamins and minerals are within normal range, this improves conception and reduces miscarriage rates
: keeping BMI in normal range massively improves fertility for borderline people
: stop smoking and any other substances
: caution with alcohol
; consider checking for normal thyriod level, if its low, fertility is reduced
: have a lot of sex! Seriously, a lot of couples in established relationships just don't do it enough…..

If, after a year of sex 5 times in the fertile week of every cycle, there is no pregnancy, then consider investigations if you are over 35.

You'd be amazed at the number of babies I've delivered for people who have conceived naturally after onerous and expensive, and often failed, fertility treatment.

uglyforeigner Mon 08-Apr-13 22:44:50

mayhew, your opinion as a midwife is invaluable. I do mean it.

My BMI has never been outside of norm. I just checked it - it is 20 something;
My diet is as healthy and varied as it can possibly be;
I had thyroid test done less then a year ago - within norm;
I have been with the same partner for a number of years.
My drinking and smoking habits have not changed much over last 10 years.

The fact that I had three conceptions "at a drop of a hat" (24 y.o, 31 y.o.,32 y.o.) and it suddenly became impossible at 34 y.o. clearly suggests there was an issue with last termination. Or rather after effects of it.
I do feel the change.

I want that addressed sooner rather than later. That is why I was exploring options with private cover.

You can have all the sex you like, if it does not happen when it should have (after day 10 in your menstrual cycle and all the way up to 22-24), not much point in hoping it would ever happen.

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