LONDON — Health insurers have said they will start covering pregnancy in the United Kingdom as the country prepares to implement universal health insurance.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that would allow pregnant women to buy private health insurance, which is generally cheaper than government-backed policies.
“This is about delivering a better value for money for families and ensuring that they have access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare for their unborn children,” Hunt said.
Health insurers have previously said that they would only cover women who have recently had a baby.
In a statement on Tuesday, the British National Health Service said that under a new national scheme, maternity and newborn coverage would be made available to women aged between 15 and 49 and pregnant women aged 20 to 49.
Hunt said the government would provide details on how the scheme would work, saying that it would be available “within the next few weeks.”
“This will help ensure that the vast majority of people in the country have access, whether it’s private health care or government-funded healthcare,” he said.
The government is also seeking feedback on whether women who are pregnant or are pregnant should be covered by the scheme.
“We have to consider the needs of women who already have the health and wellbeing of their unborn child, so that the benefits of the scheme can be best maximised,” Hunt told reporters.