International Health Insurance

Due to the ongoing pandemic, ‘health’ has become a priority for individuals. This is also why an increasing number of people have started securing health insurance on time to ensure they are covered against any uncertain health condition.

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A health insurance plan is a financial cover that financially secures you in case of medical emergencies, covers treatment for pre-existing medical conditions, and more.

The above plans and premiums are for AED 1,000,000 Sum insured for 1 Adult of 30 Years for Dubai city.

But what happens if an individual is recommended to get treated overseas? This is where an international health insurance plan comes into the picture. In the UAE, most health insurance and Takaful providers offer health insurance plans with global coverage. This makes it easy for a patient or insured individuals to get timely treatment abroad without worrying about hefty medical bills. 

In this article, we will dive deeper into what international health insurance is, why one should secure an international health insurance plan, its features, and more. 

International Health Insurance - An Overview

International health insurance is there for people who spend a lot of time travelling or working abroad. It provides expats with freedom with regard to selecting a doctor and hospital, with the opportunity to obtain treatment anywhere within their territory of coverage. These plans also include treatment for both urgent and routine healthcare.

International health insurance could be essential if you are migrating or if you have to live overseas for work or higher education. With this type of health insurance, you can receive the necessary medical care when you need it during a medical emergency or even for normal medical care in a nation where the healthcare system is unfamiliar to you and you may not understand the language.

Benefits of International Health Insurance

  • Inpatient stays
  • Routine examinations
  • Pre-existing condition coverage
  • Coverage for persistent ailments
  • Optional medical practitioners

International health insurance is specifically designed to help you receive medical services for a pre-existing or emergency medical condition overseas. This plan is essential because even though the healthcare sector in the UAE has improved over time, some people may still prefer to get treated abroad. Moreover, there is no denying the fact that any medical expense - be it domestic or international - can take a serious toll on your saved funds. 

With an international health insurance plan in place, the insured individual(s) can get treated for their medical condition anywhere across the globe. The plan will financially cover everything from inpatient costs to preventive care, diagnostic tests, and more. 

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Features of International Health Insurance in the UAE

An international health insurance plan usually offers similar services and has features similar to your domestic health insurance plan. Nevertheless, the following are the salient features of an international health insurance plan in the UAE -

  • An international health insurance plan covers costs pertaining to medical services like outpatient visits, preventive care, hospitalisation, diagnostic tests, and more.
  • You can get treated in the best network hospitals abroad and avail of cashless treatment, daycare procedures, and more.
  • It helps you get coverage for long-term treatment of a lifestyle disease.
  • If you get treated in a network hospital abroad, the option for direct billing is available. However, if you get treated in a non-network hospital abroad, you can file a reimbursement claim with your insurance provider.
  • This type of health insurance plan will also financially cover the costs of air ambulance, medical examination, and more.

Why Buy an International Health Insurance Plan?

Listed below are some benefits of buying an international health insurance plan -

  • International health insurance plans help you eliminate the financial crunch related to unexpected medical emergencies, as you would be able to access prompt and suitable medical care wherever you go without worrying about finances.
  • If you are a student planning to pursue higher education abroad, international health insurance in the UAE will cover all your medical costs in case of emergencies during your stay overseas.
  • Anyone can buy an international health insurance plan, irrespective of age and medical condition.

How Does International Health Insurance in the UAE Work?

An international health insurance plan comes into the picture when -

  • You settle abroad - If you are planning to settle abroad for the long term, say for work or family, you should secure an international health insurance plan in the UAE.
  • You need to get medical treatment abroad - In case your medical condition cannot be treated within the country, you may need an international health insurance plan to get treated abroad for the condition.

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Top International Health Insurance Plans Available in the UAE

Here are the top international health insurance plans in the UAE -

Plan Name

Medical Cover

Pharmacy Limit

Adamjee Insurance - Silk Road

Up to AED 1,000,000

Up to  Medical Cover

Takaful Emarat - Iridium

Up to AED 1,000,000

Up to AED 5,000

Dubai National Insurance - Silk Road

Up to AED 1,000,000

Up to Medical Cover

Cigna Health Insurance - Healthguard International WWE General

Up to AED 7,350,000

Up to Medical Cover

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company - Shifa Gold OPT 16

Up to AED 2,000,000

Up to Medical cover

Inclusions for International Health Insurance Plans

Stated below are the inclusions for the above-mentioned international health insurance plans in the UAE -

Plan Name

Inclusions

Adamjee Insurance - Silk Road

  • Maternity Cover

Outpatient Maternity Services 

  1. Subject to 10% co-insurance
  2. Prior approval from the insurance company required
  3. Subject to 10% co-payment

In-patient Maternity Services 

  1. Benefits - Up to AED 10,000 per normal delivery; up to AED 10,000 per medically mandatory C-section; AED 150,000 for pregnancy-related complications and termination
  2. All the benefits are subject to 10% co-payment

Neonatal Cover - Covered for 30 days as per the DHA benefit guidelines

  • Dental and Gum Treatment - Up to AED 3,500 (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • Hearing and Vision Aids - Covered only in case of emergency due to accident (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • Outpatient Services - Covered from 10 pm to 8 am. The insured can access outpatient treatment in the available network hospital; coverage of up to AED 50 per consultation (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • In-Patient Services -
  1. Accommodation - Private Room
  2. Ambulance Service - Ground transportation service in  the UAE (from an authorised party in case of a medical emergency)
  3. Companion Accommodation -
  • Attendee for a Child up to the age of 16 years - Covered
  • Attendee for a person above the age of 16 years - up to AED 100 per night
  • Geographical Coverage - Worldwide; only for UAE visa holders
  • Network - Mednet-Silk Road (for outpatient, inpatient, and emergency medical services)
  • Other Services -
  1. Laboratory Tests - Covered (subject to 20% co-payment)
  2. Radiology-Diagnostic - subject to 20% co-payment
  3. Physiotherapy -
  • Subject to 20% co-payment
  • Advance approval from the insurance company required
  • Up to 15 sessions per year covered
  1. Test, treatments, and diagnosis associated with surgeries - Require prior approval from the insurance company or third-party administrator
  2. Emergency Treatment - Approval is required from the insurance provider within 24 hours of the admission to the network hospital
  3. Medical Services for Emergency Situations - Prior approval from the insurance provider required
  • Medication - Up to the policy limit (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • Essential Vaccines and Preventive Services

Takaful Emarat - Iridium

  • Maternity Cover

Out-Patient Maternity Services 

  1. Covers up to 12 visits and 6 ante-natal ultrasound scans
  2. Pregnancy should be declared at the time of applying for the health insurance plan and is subject to medical underwriting.

In-Patient Maternity Services 

  1. Up to AED 12,500 (subject to 10% co-insurance)
  2. In an emergency case, all the necessary medical expenses will be covered up to the annual aggregate cover.
  • Hearing and Vision Aids and Vision Correction Surgeries and Laser - Subject to 20% co-insurance
  • Outpatient Services -
  1. Laboratory Tests - Subject to 20% co-payment
  2. Physiotherapy Treatment - 10 sessions per member per year
  3. Repatriation of Mortal Remains to the Native Country - Up to AED 10,000 per person per year (settled via reimbursement)
  4. Prescribed Medication and Dressings - Up to AED 5,000 (subject to 20% co-insurance)
  • In-patient Services -
  1. Accommodation - Private
  2. Pre-existing Medical Conditions - Up to AED 150,000 per member per year. All pre-existing medical conditions should be declared in the medical application form and are subject to medical underwriting.

Any newly diagnosed medical condition in the policy tenure will not be subjected to a waiting period. 

  1. Hospital Accommodation - AED 250 per day
  2. Cash Indemnity Benefit - Covered via reimbursement of up to AED 250 per night for up to 10 nights. The claim should be settled within 15 days post hospital discharge. You need to present the proof of hospitalisation including a discharge summary
  • Network - NEXTCARE RN2
  • Other Services -
  1. Physiotherapy Treatment - 10 sessions per member per year
  2. Dental - Covered up to AED 1,500 (subject to 20% co-payment); in-network - direct billing
  3. Psychiatric Treatment - Outpatient covered up to AED 10,000 per person per year; inpatient covered up to AED 10,000 per person per annum (20% co-insurance for outpatient services)
  4. Alternative Medicine - up to AED 1,000 per person per annum (subject to 20% co-payment)
  5. Cancer Treatment - Covered according to the terms and conditions given by DHA
  6. Home Nursing - Up to AED 5,000 per person per annum (reimbursed)
  7. Vaccinations for Adults
  8. Domestic Road and Air Ambulance Service

Dubai National Insurance - Silk Road

  • Maternity Cover

Outpatient Maternity Services 

  1. Requires prior approval from the insurer
  2. Subject to 10% copayment and 10% coinsurance

Inpatient Maternity Services 

  1. Up to AED 10,000 per natural delivery
  2. Up to AED 10,000 for medically required C-section
  3. Up to AED 150,000 for complications and medically required termination
  4. Subject to 10% co-payment

Neonatal Care - Covered for 30 days as per the DHA guidelines

  • Gum and Dental Treatment - up to AED 3,500 (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • Hearing and Vision Aids - Only in case of emergency due to accidents (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • Outpatient Services - Up to AED 50 per consultation (subject to 20% copayment); accessible from 10 pm to 8 am
  • Inpatient Services -
  1. Room Type - Private Room
  2. Ambulance Service - Ground Transportation Service
  3. Attendee Accommodation - Covered for a child up to the age of 16 years; for the insured above the age of 16 years: up to AED 100 per night
  • Territorial Coverage - Worldwide (available only for UAE visa holder)
  • Network - Mednet - Silk Road
  • Other Services -
  1. Laboratory Tests - subject to 20% co-payment
  2. Radiology-Diagnostic - subject to 20% co-payment
  3. Physiotherapy Treatment - up to 15 sessions per year (subject to 20% co-payment)
  4. Diagnosis, Test, and Treatments Associated with Surgeries in Hospital
  5. Emergency Treatment - Requires approval from the insurance company within 24 hours of admission into a network hospital
  6. Healthcare services for medical emergencies
  • Medication - Covered up to the annual policy limit (subject to 20% co-payment)
  • Essential Vaccines and Preventive Services

Cigna Health Insurance - Healthguard International WWE General

  • Maternity Cover

Outpatient Maternity Service - Covered

Inpatient Maternity Service - This benefit is payable outside the UAE once the mother has been covered by the international health insurance plan for 12 months or more. 

Covered up to AED 10,000 (USD 2,720) (subject to 10% mandatory co-payment)

  • Hearing and vision aids and vision correcting via surgeries and laser - Covered only under medical emergency
  • Outpatient Services -
  1. Laboratory Tests
  2. Dental - Emergency cases only
  3. Alternative Medication - Homeopathy, Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda covered
  4. Vaccinations for Adults - AED 7,500 (USD 2,000) or AED 2,000 (USD 550)
  5. Prescribed Drugs - Up to AED 18,000 (USD 5,000) or up to AED 9,000 (USD 2,500)
  • Inpatient Services -
  1. Room Type - Private Room
  2. Attendee Accommodation - AED 100 (USD 28)
  3. Laboratory Tests
  4. Physiotherapy Treatment - Up to 30 sessions
  5. Hospital Accommodation and Associated Services - Up to AED 1,000 per night (USD 270); this is for a parent or a legal guardian
  6. Treatment for Coronary Artery Disease and Intensive Care Unit
  7. Non-emergency Mental Health Treatment - up to AED 12,000 (USD 3,265) or up to AED 10,000 (USD 2,720)
  • Network - General
  • Other Services -
  1. Home Nursing - Up to AED 18,000 (USD 5,000)
  2. Cancer Treatment
  3. Domestic Road and Air Ambulance Services

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company - Shifa Gold OPT 16

  • Maternity Cover - Subject to deductible per consultation (10% up to AED 50 per consultation)
  • Outpatient Services -
  1. Physiotherapy
  2. Test, treatment, and diagnosis related to surgeries in hospital
  3. Pharmacy
  • Inpatient Services -

Accommodation - Private Room: limited to AED 1,500 per day for hospitals outside the network in the UAE and overseas for elective and emergency cases.

  • Other Services -
  1. Dental - up to AED 5,000 per person per year (subject to 20% co-insurance)
  2. Psychiatric Treatment - up to AED 10,000
  3. Psychological Counselling Services - up to AED 10,000

 

International Health Insurance vs Travel Insurance: Know the Difference

Discussed below are the key points of difference between international health insurance and travel insurance -

  • If you are going overseas for a short journey such as a business trip or vacation that doesn't last longer than six months, you should purchase travel insurance. Medical emergencies and other trip interruptions are covered by travel insurance.
  • If you are relocating for employment, school, retirement, and so on, and plan to spend most of your time overseas, you should purchase international health insurance. The majority of your medical expenses when traveling are covered by long-term international health insurance, although trip interruptions are not covered.

The following table further details the differences by covering the benefits offered by both types of insurance -

Benefits Travel Insurance International Health Insurance

Medical Emergencies

Prescribing Medication

Repatriation

Maternity Care

Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

Rehabilitation

Dental Emergencies

Vision Care

Trip Interruption

Loss of Personal Belongings 

Non-Emergency Medical Condition

Medical Evacuation

Regular Check-ups

Neonatal Care

Mental Health Care

Cancer Treatment Costs

Non-Emergency Dental Treatment Costs

Trip Cancellation

Flight Delay 

Liability Insurance

You should purchase travel insurance if -

  • You are traveling on a vacation, a business trip, or a brief journey overseas.
  • You will be away from home for less than 6 months.

On the other hand, an international health insurance plan would be suitable for you if -

  • You are relocating abroad for a job, school, retirement, to be with your spouse, or for any other reason.
  • You will spend most of the year living overseas.
  • You want to travel abroad, perhaps, repeatedly to your homeland.
  • In the event of a serious medical emergency, you would prefer to have the option of being transported back (evacuated) to your country of origin for treatment.

How to Choose the Right International Health Insurance Plan?

Here are some tips to help you choose the right international health insurance plan in the UAE -

  • Hospital and Doctor Network - The size of the international network of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare providers that the insurance company and plan you choose to participate with is one of the most crucial factors to consider when selecting an international health insurance plan. This is crucial to ascertain that you have a network of specialists if the need arises and that there are enough hospitals and doctors in the area in which you will be living.
  • Coverage for Pre-existing Medical Conditions - Make sure the plan you select will provide coverage for any serious pre-existing illnesses you may have and require medical attention for. Pre-existing conditions are frequently not covered by insurance companies, or they may charge you more to cover them. Unfortunately, because international health insurance plans are offshore plans designed to cover expatriates and as such need medical underwriting, you can also be rejected.

In order to avoid being taken by surprise by unforeseen medical expenses, be sure you are aware of what the plan you select covers and what it does not. Additionally, avoid switching global health plans unless you are certain that the new plan includes coverage for any existing medical conditions or treatments.

  • Deductibles - There will almost always be some level of extra costs when choosing a plan in the shape of deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance. In general, smaller out-of-pocket expenses are associated with more comprehensive plans with higher premiums. If you don't have many health problems, you may want to pick a plan with greater deductibles and cheaper premiums. Although deductibles and coinsurance are excellent methods to lower your premiums, keep in mind that the results are not all that noticeable sometimes.
  • Evacuation or Ambulance Service - This is an area where the plans may differ, so it is necessary to consider how the coverage and out-of-pocket expenses vary from one plan to the next when comparing your available options. Choosing a plan with benefits at a level you are comfortable with will help you avoid the high cost of ambulance transport or medical evacuation from one nation to another.

Make sure your international health insurance includes medical evacuation coverage and that you will be covered for treatment in the country to which you are evacuated if you live in a place with subpar medical care.

  • Premium - The costs of international health insurance plans vary greatly. Your health may also have an effect on the rates you pay, depending on the degree of coverage you select.

While higher-priced premium plans provide more thorough coverage and lower deductibles, smaller premium plans frequently have fewer features and greater out-of-pocket expenses. If you add riders to broaden your protection and cover dental, vision, or other services, you can pay extra fees on top of the price of your standard plan. 

Pre-existing medical issues may also result in higher premiums. When you apply for an insurance plan, you will be questioned about your health status, age, and other factors, all of which have an effect on your premiums. This process is known as medical underwriting.

How to Apply for International Health Insurance in the UAE?

As we have understood so far, having international health insurance is crucial, especially if you want to receive reasonable medical care overseas. You can visit Policybazaar.ae, a third-party aggregator website, to get a health insurance plan in the UAE. On this platform, you can discover the top extensive international health insurance plans from the leading international health insurance providers in the UAE.

Click the "Health Insurance" tab on our home page or choose the "Health Insurance in UAE" option from the ‘Insurance’ tab in the menu bar to apply for a health insurance plan. A lead form will be opened for you. Give the form all the information it needs, since this will assist establish how much of a premium you could have to pay. Once finished, select the next tab.

Examine the features and advantages of the offered plans, and select the one that seems most appropriate by clicking on the "apply" button. You will be directed to fill out information regarding your current medical condition. To finish the application process, adhere to the guidelines provided on the website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How does your pre-existing medical condition impact your application for an international health insurance plan?

Ans: Pre-existing medical conditions can impact your insurance premium costs. Furthermore, if you do not declare your condition, the insurance premium will remain low but you would not be able to avail of treatment benefits as per the insurance policy. Thus, you should be honest when declaring your pre-existing medical condition so that you are covered as per the policy’s terms and conditions as per the policy benefits.

Q. How is an international health insurance plan different from a travel insurance plan?

Ans: An international health insurance plan is curated to offer you (the insured) a high degree of comprehensive health care as you relocate or move to another country for a long period. A travel insurance plan, however, offers you coverage only for emergency medical conditions, that too when you travel to another country for a shorter time duration (generally less than 6 months). 

Q. Why is international health insurance important?

Ans: An international health insurance plan will come to your rescue in case you need emergency treatment while studying or working abroad. It will cover you for inpatient services and outpatient services, and provide you with cashless treatment or direct billing service. 

Q. How can you file a claim for your international health insurance plan?

Ans: If you are getting treated at a network hospital, your insurance provider will bill directly and you would not need to file any insurance claim form. However, if you are seeking treatment at a hospital outside the network hospital, you can file a claim for reimbursement. 

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