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All About Private Health Insurance in the UAE

By PolicyBazaar

Don’t gamble with your health, get the right cover at the right price.

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Published: 31 December 2020Last Updated On: 20 January 2021

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It is no secret that most of the employers in the Emirates offer their workers a health insurance plan. In the case of both the Emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, now it is mandatory for the sponsors and employers for providing coverage for their dependents and employees. But some of the people check the quality of the coverage they are offering till they require a visit to the hospital.

For most of the residents, such an experience is a rude wake-up call. They find that they can’t visit a healthcare facility of their own choice or should venture far away from home for receiving the due treatment to the limitations within the scope of the insurance plan. There are also many treatments, which are not involved under the lists that are government-mandated, which regulate employer coverage starting from psychological counseling to an extended duration of rehabilitation, which is linked to neurological and debilitating conditions.

The medical insurance plans are also dependent on the geography that is covered. Some of the coverage policies extend beyond the borders of the Emirates, which means that if you or your family member catch a disease on a leisure trip or work, a huge healthcare bill might add to something which is already a worrisome experience.

Luckily, there are some insurance providers in the UAE that offer coverage, which addresses a lot of these issues and offers peace of mind to yourself and your family.

The Emirates, and especially the Emirate of Dubai, is marketing itself as the location to go for good private healthcare. Keeping this in mind, the quality matches the price tag, and the price of healthcare has been riding around 13% yearly.

In fact, now it way easier to visit Dubai for your medical purposes- the medical tourists are currently able to book the whole medical trip online with the Dubai Health Experience. Currently, there are 3 healthcare cities in the UAE. Within all these are some clinics, which serve all the healthcare needs. They are also famous among medical tourists.

  1. Sharjah City
  2. Dubai Healthcare City
  3. Sheikh Khalifa Medical City

Looking for a specialist or a doctor is relatively easy in the Emirates. The UAE is a nation of expats, therefore, it only makes sense that this applies to medical professionals also. In fact, the majority of the embassies hold the doctors’ records from that country practicing in the Emirates.

The doctors you select will be dependent on the insurance you hold. However, many organizations provide you a huge range of hospitals and centers to select from. But whenever it comes to medical specialists, you don’t require a referral from the GP first, even though they might have good suggestions to pick out of your health insurance network.

Both Dubai and Abu Dhabi have registries where you can look for a doctor depending on your requirements. 

Healthcare for Women in the UAE

The state-of-art facilities in the UAE also range to healthcare for women. There are many health centers for the females, which only employ females. Therefore, it is never an issue for seeing a lady doctor in case that is what you’re most comfortable with.

Access to contraception is easily available. You do not require a prescription for getting contraceptive pills (though it is recommended you go and speak to a specialist beforehand). But it must be noted that the morning-after medicines are not available in the Emirates. 

Who all should get Private Health Insurance in the Emirates?

It is simple to sum up- the expats in the UAE for the most part will be working either in Dubai or Abu Dhabi, and for that reason, they will require a health insurance plan. It is a requirement in legal terms and in case you are looking for a residence, you’ll need to be capable of proving that you have a plan. 

What are the pros of opting for a Private Medical Insurance plan in the Emirates?

The hugest advantage of opting for a private insurance policy in Abu Dhabi and Dubai is not having a fine per month, which usually exceeds the contributions.

Moreover, you will gain access to the best medical facilities in the country, which have doctors as well as other professionals who can communicate in English as the first language. With a private health insurance policy, you also get the option of choosing personalized and specific additional covers. 

How does the Private Health Insurance function?

In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is your sponsor or employer’s responsibility for ensuring that you have a private health insurance plan. But although all of you need coverage, your employment will not compulsorily provide it for you. Moreover, the coverage for the dependents begins around AED 599. This is based on the age and what treatments and alternatives you would want to be included in the plan.

Every insurance provider functions in a different manner when it comes to requesting a claim, hence, it is always best to check with the claim first. Usually, when a medical problem or visit comes up, you have to contact the provider first for seeing if the treatment will be included in your policy. After this, when you receive a receipt or invoice for your medical provision, you will have to pass this forward to the provider and receive the reimbursement for your payment. In a few cases or the case of some of the medical insurance policies, your insurance will make the payment directly.

The Insurance Authority in the UAE holds a list of all the insurance companies that are registered in the country so that one can check the cover validity.

An Example of a Private Health Insurance Company

The individual private health plan by Cigna, known as, “Cigna Healthguard” is one of the instances, offering 3 options for coverage depending on your requirements.

In every case, the premium insurance policies extend beyond the standard insurance plan offered by the employer and involve day patient, in-patient, costs of accommodation, out-patient treatment, and care, along with coverage for cancer, mental health, and maternity care as well as other critical & non-critical illnesses.

There is also an international plan and international plus plan, which includes a global coverage with an option to add the US and to the entire healthcare network in the UAE.

Finally, there is a regional plan for offering peace of mind to those families, which travel regularly in the surrounding area with the coverage in the wider Middle East, GCC countries, and Asia except Hong Kong, China, and Singapore.

You must take a closer look at the medical insurance provided by your employer today and determine whether you need to update to one of the comprehensive plans from Cigna.