The ongoing Covid19 Pandemic has proved the importance of health/medical insurance in 2021. And in a developed nation like UAE, the government funds an extensive healthcare system for the people.
The healthcare system of the UAE is considered the best as compared to other countries. The reason is due to their advanced state-of-the-art private medical facilities and fast expanding network. But internally, the Northern Emirates has the best medical workforce due to higher salaries, improved employment conditions, and more numbers of medical centers and public/private hospitals.
In the government hospitals of the UAE, you can get free-of-cost medical emergency care treatment. But if the patient does not have health insurance, then the medical cost would be high. That’s why some government hospitals accept insurance cards from the patient and reimburse the treatment bill from the said insurance company.
Mandatory health insurance
If you are anywhere in UAE or Middle East countries, you would know that it is mandatory for ex-pats and residents to get medical insurance. Also, the employers/company must also provide their employees/workers with suitable health insurance coverage that meets the minimum limit as per the government’s mandate.
Improvement in the healthcare system
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has stated that the residents and ex-pats with medical insurance coverage can have access to excellent and complete medical care treatment. This proposal by DHA will allow people to get maximum benefits from medical services. But for ex-pats, this benefit is not free.
If we see the expenditure incurred by the government in medical services, it is bound to be costly. But, this expense will be reduced as more and more people get medical insurance. This will, in turn, allow the ex-pats in UAE to obtain the best medical services from the best medical centers and clinics at a lower cost.
However, the public medical centers exclude services like eye care, ear care, and dental care.
Private health insurance
Suppose you are in Dubai, then as an ex-pat, except for Emirati nationals. In that case, you should get private health insurance in Dubai. Because your employer will only provide you (employee) with basic health insurance, that too excludes your dependents’ medical coverage (if any).
Nonetheless, every Dubai resident is legally bound to get some private health cover. But make sure that the personal medical insurance plan you are getting meets the minimum standards of Dubai legislation. This private coverage is applicable across all Emirates. You will also get all the essential vaccinations along with access to semi-private hospital accommodation.
Value for money
The advantage of getting a particular surgical operation in UAE emirates is significant of lesser cost than in western countries. One of the crucial reasons for the lesser price is inexpensive labor in UAE than in other western nations.
The patient also gets to choose from various medical insurance policies. You can get an international plan, a local plan, premium or basic plans, deductible or non-deductible plans, etc. Also, similar insurance plans will be provided by different health insurance companies.
Maternity care benefits
Maternity care insurance plans apply to only those getting married or starting a family. But when you apply for one, check the benefits offered under the maternity care plan.
The plan should include all the out-patient and in-patient care services. Out-patient care should offer services like prenatal checkups, ultrasound scans, lab tests, etc. And the in-patient services should provide you cover for actual delivery along with emergency medical procedures if any.
The limit of the maternity care coverage also varies for standard delivery and C-section. So, make sure to double-check the maximum limit covered by the plan. However, the most essential condition to avail of this service plan is that you must be married in UAE itself. You also must prove your marriage with a marriage certificate before getting admitted to the hospital. Also, as an ex-pat, if one of the parents has UAE citizenship, then the child will be considered an Emirati citizen.
Essential benefits plan
The Essential Benefits Plan is for people who earn less than the average income. It results from the collaboration between a few small medical insurance companies and the Dubai government to provide affordable essential medical benefits to Dubai residents. The premium amount of this Essential Benefits Plan ranges between 650 AED and 725 AED annually.
Like how the employers are to provide their employees with medical insurance cover, the idea behind this new Essential Benefits Plan is the same. Let’s say that you hire a domestic help regularly who earns less than 4,000 AED a month. In that case, you are liable to insure that person under the EBP. But suppose their earnings exceed 4,000 AED a month. In that case, you can insure them under any medical insurance policy, considering it meets the minimum standards.
An important point to note is that employers cannot cover the employees’ health insurance with their salary deductions.