Financial Advice For Expecting Mothers In Hong Kong
Getting some sound financial advice while you are pregnant is probably far from your mind right now. Pregnancy brings a mixture of different emotions. You feel excited, happy, anxious, and even dreadful at times. The highs and lows of your emotions are attributed to the raging hormones that pregnant women usually go through. It can be overwhelming to feel all of these while sensing the changes happening to your body. This is why your finances are probably the last thing that you want to think about right now.
But considering how expensive it is to live in Hong Kong, you need to start searching for the appropriate financial advice for pregnant women. According to an article published in the South China Morning Post, this city is among the top 10 most expensive cities to live in. In fact, the necessities are 31% more expensive compared to New York.
This fact should convince you to think about your financial position and get ready for the costs that you need to spend on for being pregnant.
Cost of having a baby in Hong Kong
Prenatal care and giving birth in Hong Kong can add up to an expensive health care cost. When it comes to your unborn child, you want to make sure that he or she will be born healthy and free from sickness. You need to take care of yourself because the baby in your womb is completely dependent on your well-being. If you don’t take care of yourself, you might end up compromising the health of your new born baby.
So what are the financial costs of prenatal care in Hong Kong? To understand the costs, you need to know the two ways you can get the care that you and your unborn child will require.
Public health care system.
Residents of Hong Kong can get free prenatal care from public clinics. Before you question the quality, both public and private health care are the same. However, since the public clinics are free, you can assume that a lot of people would want to avail of this benefit. You need to deal with a lot of things like waiting in line and overcrowded facilities. This is probably why a lot of pregnant women in Hong Kong opt to be treated by private physicians.
If you are a resident, the whole pregnancy can only cost you a couple of thousands. If you are not a resident, it can cost you HK$90,000 – and it even includes a check up after delivery. This is already inclusive of hospitalization costs when you give birth.
If your finances cannot afford a private doctor, you should be ready to be patient as you get your free prenatal care in any of the Maternal and Child Health Centres (MCHC) all over Hong Kong. Here, you will benefit from routine check ups and laboratory tests. In case you need to be seen by an obstetrician, you will be referred to a public hospital. It is very important for you to immediately schedule an appointment with the nearest MCHC as soon as you realize that you are pregnant because of the waiting line. You can find out more about the schedule of the public clinic through the website of the Family Health Service.
Private health care system.
If you are after convenience, which is most likely to happen considering how uncomfortable pregnancy is, then this is the right choice for you. Of course, that convenience comes with a price – a cost that can go as high as HK$1,000 per check up. Considering you have to get between 10 to 15 check ups until you give birth, that can add up. It does not even include the laboratory tests, ultrasound, and other procedures that you need to go through to ensure that your pregnancy is a healthy one.
Since private health care is more expensive, you need to prepare at least HK$150,000 – which is a very conservative estimate. To be safe, you need to prepare around HK$200,000 that will include everything that you need in terms of check ups, laboratory tests, hospitalization, etc.
Financial tips to prepare for child rearing in Hong Kong
Obviously, the high cost of prenatal care will take your finances back – probably a couple of hundred-thousands. And that is not even the end of it. The if you think that the cost is great during the prenatal and giving birth phase – you are mistaken. It gets even more expensive once your baby is born. According to an article published on the Hong Kong Stories, a middle-class family living in Hong Kong is expected to spend HK$4 million dollars for their children to live a comfortable life. So the HK$150,000 estimate that you will spend is actually nothing compared to what you will need to raise a child in this city.
This is why you need to do some research to get the appropriate financial advice after you get pregnant. Ideally, you should get one before having a baby. There are so many financial preparations to be made. You do not want to stress over your finances while you are already physically exhausted from being pregnant. Believe it or not, you want your finances to be in good condition before your body starts changing as a new life grows inside you.
To make sure your finances will be ready for parenthood, here are some tips that you can follow.
Know your health insurance coverage.
Some health insurance companies do not cover pregnancy because technically, it is not an illness. Think about getting a Maternity Health Insurance to help you with all the costs associated with pregnancy.
Research about your options.
Find out which health care system you want to rely on during your pregnancy. Do you want to rely on the public health care system so your finances will not be stretched too thinly? Or do you want to opt for the private health care even if it will cost you a lot of money?
Analyse your financial capabilities.
The difference in expenses for public and private health care in Hong Kong is too great to ignore. However, the convenience and comfort is also great. Weigh what is more important. Is it your convenience or your finances? If your finances can afford to get private health care for your pregnancy needs, then spend the money and make sure you and your baby will not be inconvenienced by the long waiting time in public clinics.
Have a budget.
This will help you anticipate the costs involved in the whole process of your pregnancy. It will not only help you identify the costs, it will also give you the time to prepare for them as they are needed.
Boost your emergency fund.
Although you have everything planned, things can still go wrong. You may be saving for a vaginal delivery but suddenly need to have a caesarean section done because of complications. The cost is far different for both. Make sure your emergency fund is secure and will help you survive these times.
Follow these financial tips so you can enjoy the whole process of pregnancy. It is a wonderful time in your life. Do not let financial difficulties ruin the experience for you. It is very important to fix your finances so you do not end up being broke. Your new baby will need all the help he or she can get – physically, emotionally, and even financially.
She is a Singapore Management University 2nd year undergraduate specialising in Strategic Management. From Tampa, Florida, she possesses an International Baccalaureate diploma from C. Leon King High School, and previously held the position of Treasurer of the King High School Division of the French National Honour Society and the Science National Honour Society. Abigail is currently acting as President of the French Cultural Club for SMU International Connections, and as a Resident Advisor and Fire Warden for the SMU Residences at Prinsep.
Abigail is a Former Florida Science Olympiad Champion in chemical forensics and protein modelling, and former Health Occupation Student’s Association District Champion in clinical nursing.
In her free time, Abigail enjoys interacting and caring for animals. She has previously volunteered for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay as an Adoption Assistant.
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