navigating uae health insurance

Selecting the right UAE health insurance policy can cause a mixture of feelings ranging from confusing and frustrating to downright overwhelming. The medical insurance industry has become extremely competitive and complex to navigate. Unfortunately, some companies seek profitability to the detriment of your bank account. Premiums can range from several thousand dirhams for basic plans to tens of thousands for more complex plans.

The insurance experts at Petra have put together this helpful guide to help UAE residents with what they need to know to find the perfect medical insurance plan to suit their needs.

UAE Healthcare Insurance Guidelines

Across the globe, many individuals end up paying out of pocket for medical care, which often results in massive unpaid medical bills. Healthcare insurance helps to protect individuals from the costs associated with unforeseen illness or medical treatments.

The UAE has a well-developed healthcare system, with highly qualified medical professionals who speak several languages. Your employer is obligated by law to provide you with health insurance. However, you can still opt to seek independent coverage if you’re not satisfied with the coverage your employer offers.

Abu Dhabi and Dubai residents are required by law to have health insurance. The laws require employers to provide health insurance for their employees, and for individuals to provide medical insurance for their dependents. The responsibility to provide insurance sits with the visa sponsor.

Individuals who fail to comply with the health insurance laws can face fines of up to Dh500 per month. Failure to comply could also result in blocked visa renewals, as well as citations with an advisor for the Dubai Health Insurance Corporation.

How to Choose a UAE Health Insurance Plan

Are you comparing health insurance plans? There are several factors to keep in mind when determining which health insurance plan is right for your employees or dependents.  

First and foremost, not all healthcare networks are the same. Be sure to keep in mind which hospitals you prefer to visit.  If you have a preferred doctor or clinic, be sure to verify they are included under your plan of network providers.

As you shop around for health insurance policies, consider the following questions –

  • Which hospitals/clinics are important to me?
  • Will this insurer increase renewal premiums based on my usage of the plan?
  • Which benefits are built into the plan and which can be altered?
  • What are the exclusions of this health insurance plan?

All of these factors will play a major role in determining which health insurance is best for your personal or organisational needs.

Prenatal and Newborn Health Insurance

Married women must have maternity coverage as part of their insurance plan, but the exact specifics of this clause vary considerably depending on your location and selected insurance plan.

For example in Dubai, every health insurance plan must provide coverage for eight prenatal appointments, three prenatal scans, initial investigations, at least Dh7,000 for normal delivery or Dh10,000 for medically necessary C-section, and newborn care for up to 30 days from birth.

However, some premium policies provide medical coverage a newborn for up to three months. This allows plenty of time for new parents to sort out their newborn’s documentation for their future insurance policy.

Buyer Beware of Low Healthcare Premiums

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is! Some plans offer incredible benefits at very low premiums. However, these premiums may increase significantly over time. Generally, if you pay a little more now, your plan should be more sustainable over time. While there will be increases with any policy, most are commonly related to standard medical inflation and age-related increases.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Depending on the geographical level of the coverage you purchase, you may require supplemental medical insurance when you go abroad. In particular, some UAE health insurance plans exclude coverage in the US and in some areas of Europe.

Be sure to ask if your medical insurance covers you in the event of a medical emergency while you are traveling abroad. Are there any geological exclusions? Supplemental travel insurance is affordable. In addition to providing emergency medical coverage, travel insurance also covers a wide range of non-medical emergencies, such as loss of luggage, loss of passport or delayed flights.

Petra Insurance

Selecting the right UAE health insurance policy can quickly become overwhelming and frustrating. Not to worry, the insurance experts at Petra are here to help.

At Petra Insurance, we leverage the power of over 50 years of industry experience with the latest innovative technologies and best practices to protect your personal and organisational interests. If you are interested in learning more about which health insurance policies best suit your needs, contact a member of our team to schedule your free consultation.