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Health Insurance

Due to the high costs of medical care in the United Arab Emirates, choosing the right health insurance is essential. Currently, health insurance is already compulsory in Abu Dhabi and Dubai – while residents in other emirates will still get free medical service in life threatening emergency cases at the public hospitals.

However, with the right insurance plan you will be covered for most medical expenses and you will be able to give yourself and your family a secure access to medical services.

There are many insurance providers in the UAE and choosing one can be a difficult task. Price should be one consideration when comparing policies. You should also consider the benefits and restrictions of the different policies. InsureMe.ae has done the hard work for you. It allows you to compare the best insurance options side by side, thus allowing you to select the most suitable cover for you.

Health Insurance in Dubai – Things You Need To Know

Dubai announced in 2015 that all residents would have to get health insurance, which will offer basic health care coverage. It currently provides Dubai Health Authority (DHA) facilities, such as clinics and hospitals, as well as private clinics with emergency access to hospitals.

In accordance with this law, every Dubai resident is entitled to a Dubai health insurance policy, which provides access to several hospitals, clinics and other health facilities.

Employees with salaries below 4,000 AED (LSB or Lower Salary Bracket) should have at least the minimum benefits required by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
Employees with salaries below 4,000 AED (LSB or Lower Salary Bracket) should have at least the minimum benefits required by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
For those who earn more (Non LSB) can instead take advantage of a more comprehensive health insurance scheme.

This health insurance has better coverage and a wider network list and is commonly offered to the staff and management level who earns more than 4,000 AED. The total cost estimated will amount to AED 525-588 per year for the LSB category. The maximum health cover will reach AED 150,000. In particular, lower-ranked workers will benefit greatly from this. However, for many workers in Dubai, this does not provide the sufficient cover they need.

What do you do if you do not have health insurance?

Your employer or visa sponsor is responsible for finding insurance companies that offer affordable group policies. In the event that you do not have health insurance, you may contact the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), as this is not permitted by the Mandatory Health Insurance regulation. Some companies provide better health insurance than the minimum requirements as part of their compensation package, however, not all companies are able to do so.

As a result, when choosing a company in Dubai to work for, you should check if they offer better health insurance. Some can even offer health cover to your dependents as well.

The things you need to know before purchasing health insurance

With the mandatory Dubai health insurance plan, you will be able to visit the designated doctors within the designated clinics for a regular checkup, which will cost between 150-300 AED per visit. In addition to tests and medications, your health insurance will cover a portion, called the co-insurance payment, that the insured must pay. The higher the co-insurance, the cheaper the premium contribution.

As part of the mandatory health insurance scheme, members have access to certain hospitals within the designated network list, which includes inpatient hospitalization.

Maternity cover is available for all married females for Dubai residents. In addition to prenatal visits up to eight times, child delivery is covered with a minimum benefit of 7,000 AED. Therefore, if you are a married woman, you can expect to pay more since this benefit will be included.

Dental and optical care are not covered by the minimum health insurance policy, unless the treatment is an emergency. More comprehensive plans cover routine services such as tooth fillings and routine procedures. You also need to consider several factors like which hospitals, clinics, and doctors are part of your insurance network. Learn which healthcare providers are listed under your Dubai health insurance, not all of them are created equal.

Especially if you are an expat, it’s essential to know which health insurers will provide you the best possible coverage, like giving you the option to consult the doctor or health expert of your choice. Otherwise, you will need to shell out AED 200-300, or even more, if the doctor you visit is not part of your health insurance network.

FAQ - Health Insurance UAE

  • Why do I need Health Insurance?
    Being a private health insurance member allows you to be treated in a private facility as a private patient. This means that you may be able to choose from a range of clinics and/or hospitals, the doctor that treats you, and the time for treatment that suits you.
  • What does health insurance cover?
    The exact amount of hospital treatment you are covered for depends on the level of hospital cover that you purchase, as well as the hospital and doctor you choose and whether they have an agreement with your health insurer and are included in their network. You can also purchase extra cover that includes services that are generally not provided such as services for dental treatments, optical and routine or wellness.
  • Do I need to have a medical examination before being accepted for the health plan?
    You need to complete a medical declaration form, and sometimes you might be asked for a medical report from your doctor. This varies from each insurance company and will depend on your answers on the declaration form.
  • Will I be covered for any pre-existing conditions?
    Currently, for Dubai visa holders, medical conditions for any medical or related conditions for which you have received treatment, had symptoms of, existed to the best of your knowledge or you sought advice for “prior” to your date of entry are mandatory to be covered. However, there are exceptions and if you would like to discuss the options then please contact our helpdesk. If you seek group insurance, you might be able to cover the group despite pre-existing conditions of one or more group members. The insurers, however, will decide the outcome, on the merit of each case. You should contact our helpdesk if you wish to discuss your individual scenario.
  • Am I covered if I travel away from my area of residence?
    This depends on the type of plan you have chosen. For example, if you have selected a GCC coverage then you are also covered in the other GCC territories. If you have selected Worldwide cover excluding the USA/Canada then you are covered worldwide except for USA and Canada.
  • How do I know that I am covered before receiving treatment?
    Some treatments or planned admission to a hospital might require prior authorization. You can check the schedule of benefits. However, in most cases the Medical Practitioner will contact your insurer to receive the approval prior to the treatment.
  • Is Chiropractic/Osteopathy covered?
    Most insurance companies do offer cover although treatment by a Chiropractor/Osteopath must sometimes be referred by a Specialist only. A referral cannot be obtained retroactively. Coverage might be limited to a certain number of sessions. Be sure to check the schedule of benefits.
  • Is Physiotherapy covered?
    Insurance companies do offer cover although claims for physiotherapy might have to be pre-approved or accompanied by a referral from a Medical Practitioner. Cover might be restricted to a number of sessions. Be sure to check the schedule of benefits.
  • Are maternity services covered?
    Cost associated with normal pregnancy and childbirth, pre and post-natal check-ups and delivery costs are already mandatory to be covered for Dubai residents. This is covered up to a limit though or to a number of visits only.
    There usually is no waiting time to get covered however this may vary with the plan you will choose and the visa you hold such as employment or under your husband’s visa. If you address your concerns, we will be able to select the right insurance plan for you.
  • Are dental services covered?
    This depends on the additional cover you choose. If included in your policy it mainly offers routine dental treatment for examinations, tooth cleaning, fillings, extractions, and root canal treatment. The number of times these services can be performed and/or the maximum covered amount will be restricted to certain limits as mentioned in the policy terms.
  • How is the policy excess/deductible applied?
    Policy excess is the amount for which you are responsible, and which must be paid at the time of the appointment and before the insurer will pay. The higher the deductible or so-called excess or co-insurance, the lower the premium you pay.
    This is an advantage for small business owners to provide a cost-efficient way to provide health insurance to their employees. It may also be a good idea for an individual to look for small deductibles if he or she is happy to pay for medical care for minor ailments out of his or her pocket. So, you should check the possibilities of deductibles if it is within you budget to pay for minor ailments out of your pocket as it could substantially lower your annual premium.
  • How to reimburse a claim?
    Once you enrol under a health insurance scheme you are free to enjoy the benefits under the plan of your choice. You will receive a health insurance policy and sometimes, a health insurance card.
    The card will grant you quick and easy access at the providers included in the insurer’s network. Most insurance policies are now linked to the residents’ Emirates ID number thus you must present it every time you go to your network facility to get a treatment.
    If you visit providers outside the network, you will need to check the percentage you can claim back from your insurer. This could be 80% or less, or even nothing. This depends on your plan. Certain inpatient and outpatient services require pre-authorization. Any emergency case (life threatening) does not require pre-authorization but has to be notified to the insurer within 24 hours. Each insurer will have an Emergency Assistance Helpline to provide advice and support.
    Most medical providers in the insurer’s network will accept direct billing but you will be asked to pay the deductible/excess amount before leaving the medical provider’s facility. In case direct billing is not applicable you will have to submit supporting documents to the insurer, within a certain period. Documents will often include medical reports signed and stamped by the treating doctor, lab/radiology tests, invoices/receipts and original prescriptions. Procedures will be clearly explained in your policy terms and conditions. Make sure you submit your supporting documents within the claim period.

Do you have more questions?

Please feel free to call us at 04 295 5884 Mondays – Fridays from 8am until 5pm and our consultants will be available to speak to you.

You can also send an email to [email protected] and we will get back to you on the next working day.