When it comes to the healthcare system, the UAE is amongst the top positions in the world.
In 2018, the United Arab Emirates was ranked amongst the top ten best healthcare systems around the globe. The medical facilities these days are easily available for both emiratis as well as expats.
However, healthcare costs are one of the main concerns. These expenses are more worrisome for the employees who are retired because aging factors & health-related problems are the main issues to look at. The rules for health insurance in UAE are different from one city to another. It also varies for expats and UAE Nationals.
Health Insurance for Emirati
In the Emirate of Ajman, the government ensures that health insurance is provided to all the citizens. The insurance network gives the approved list of hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics. This list is available on the official government website of Ajman.
In Dubai, health coverage is offered in the name of “Saada”. This coverage is applicable for those who aren’t covered under the health plan of the Dubai government.
The policyholders can opt for treatment from various private healthcare providers. The Emirates ID card of an individual holds the details of the Saada plan they have selected.
The Abu Dhabi government offers medical insurance to the UAE citizens who are living in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This is known as the “Thiqa” plan.
Abu Dhabi citizens can obtain the Thiqa card through which they gain access to private as well as public healthcare providers or hospitals in Abu Dhabi. They are registered with the Daman’s network.
The residents of Abu Dhabi, who are aged between 18-75 years are eligible for this Thiqa program. The Abu Dhabi Health Department will conduct the Weqaya screening test on the applicants.
Health Insurance in UAE for Expats
Health coverage is offered to expats who are working under employers. The insurance cover is based on their salary and designation.
Usually, expats can obtain greater coverage as opposed to “Essential Benefits Plan” that ranges between AED 650 to AED 725 every year.
The expats like non-working elderly parents and non-working spouse may select an Essential Benefits Plan with economical rates.
In the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, the employers offer health coverage for the employees as well as their families. The family coverage includes three children (who are below 18 years of age) and one spouse.
In Dubai also, the employers offer health coverage to their expat employees. The sponsors must buy insurance for their families. In the case of expats, a comprehensive health plan for a family of 4 people is about AED 33,500. A basic plan for 4 members is AED 17,000.
Management of Healthcare Costs
The healthcare standards in the UAE are pretty high. Healthcare is free to all the citizens of the Emirates and for expatriates, it can be expensive if they do not have insurance. Listed below are some measures for managing healthcare costs.
1. Important Things to Consider before Health Insurance Investment
Before buying a health insurance plan, you must consider some important factors. These factors include a high rate of inflation, the expenses in the future, uncertain health conditions in the future, and more.
Put yourself under various aspects of health conditions in the future. It is essential to plan for health insurance premiums to be paid and consider the unforeseen circumstance, chronic & non-chronic diseases that may occur in the future. Based on what you select, you can buy health policies for yourself and your dependents.
2. Creating a Plan
For having better control over your finances, it is important to have a financial plan in hand, which will help you during health-related issues. In case you are a working individual and your employer offers you medical insurance then you do not have to worry.
If your employer doesn’t offer you a health insurance plan, you can obtain a private healthcare policy or an Essential Benefits Plan for the dependent family members. The people who earn below AED 4,000 every month can opt for an Essential Benefits Plan.
In the Emirates, you need to provide medical insurance for the people who work as your domestic help. Most of the expats in the UAE select Employee Benefit Plan that costs around AED 550 to AED 650 per annum.
3. Investment in Medical Insurance Policy
The health plans in UAE are available in many forms like premium plans, deductible plans, basic plans, non-deductible plans, local as well as international plans.
Medical insurance plans include an aggregate coverage limit. The basic medical plan involves a maximum coverage of up to AED 150,000 and the nominee will have to pay 20%.
For instance, if the nominee holds an outpatient bill of AED 200, then they will be charged AED 40.
4. Reviewing Health Insurance Plan
Reviewing your insurance plan every year is important because these plans keep changing with time. For getting the best possible insurance plan, buy health insurance in UAE as per your altering needs. This will not just give security to your health, but also make sure that your insurance premiums won’t get wasted.
5. Figuring Out the Amount of Health Insurance Required
It is hard to determine the amount of insurance coverage you need to for yourself and your family. Health insurance may help you in case you get hospitalized or get diagnosed with a serious ailment. You may consider a few things before coming to a conclusion regarding your expenses.
Check the hospitalization cost in your area. The history of illness in your family is an essential factor in finding out the treatment cost for specific health issues.
You should also calculate & compare different insurance policies. Decide the amount of health insurance required as per needs and then finalize your health insurance cover.
6. Maintaining your Health
The best and most efficient way of managing your healthcare expenses is to stay healthy. In case you’re mentally and physically fit, then you are not required to spend a lot on health insurance plans.
Reduce the risk of health issues by maintaining the right amount of weight, exercising regularly, and staying healthy ultimately. When you stay healthy you are able to avoid medical expenses.
7. Planning for Post-Retirement Life
After you turn 60 years old, your health issues may start becoming more serious. Special care is needed for a long time period. You must consider the uncertain future and obtain a critical illness cover that covers health problems with long-term care.
In case you are an expat and plan to stay in the UAE, then a health plan is mandatory. Therefore, plan for your medical insurance post-retirement accordingly.
8. Getting Free Public Healthcare Facilities
For the UAE Nationals, the government offers free public health facilities. The expats need to pay charges for hospital and clinic treatment.
Free public health facilities basically cover healthcare requirements like maternity services, emergencies, basic healthcare (general and specialist practitioner services, consultant, radiology, physiotherapy services, and diagnostic services), and preventive measures (immunization for children and vaccines for newborn).
The Bottom Line!
No matter you are employed or unemployed, it is compulsory to have health insurance in UAE. If you are an employee, your employer will offer you a health plan; however, if you are a freelancer or self-employed, you will have to manage your healthcare expenses on your own.
Resident visas will not be issued if health insurance proof is not submitted. A fine amount of AED 500 is charged for the months uninsured. Therefore, having healthcare insurance in the UAE is very important.