In Dubai it is necessary that you have a health insurance. You get two options for medical insurance, one is the health card issued by the government and the other is a private insurance health card. You can have both the cards, but it is mandatory that you atleast have the government issued health authority card.
Key points to remember while taking a medical insurance
If you are an expat, the following are the key things that you should remember when you are taking a medical insurance in Dubai:
- Minimum coverage: It is mandatory for the expat workers to have a minimum level of medical insurance. The employer is to cover the cost of this basic insurance. The insured will incur co-payment which is 20% of the medical expenses, that is up to 1,000 dirhams per year. The premiums for a basic Dubai Health Authority coverage is 500 - 700 dirhams per year to get a cover of 150,000 dirhams per year. This is a basic coverage to ensure that everyone living in Dubai will receive adequate medical and emergency medical treatment at the right time when required.
- Coverage for dependents: The sponsored employee must ensure that their dependents are covered by medical insurance in Dubai. Even if the employer provides you medical insurance, they will not provide one for your dependents. You as the sponsored employee are responsible for your dependents and must purchase an additional coverage for your dependents. Some employers do insure the dependents of the employees, but a lot of the employers don’t. Even if you wish to top up on the insurance you have to cover for your dependents, the cost will be taken out of your paycheck.
- Getting a health card from the Dubai Health Authority: If you are to be treated in the government clinics and hospitals in Dubai, you must have a DHA health card. In order to apply for a health card, you must visit the DHA Health Centres and you must bring with you a copy of passport, residence visa copy, visa application if you are applying for the first time, Emirates ID, tenancy contract, 2 passport sized photos and a duly filled registration form for application of the new health card. For the visa to be processed in Dubai you will have two screening tests, one for HIV and the other for tuberculosis.
- If you are choosing a private insurer: If you are not happy with the private health insurance offered by the employer, you can choose to top-up the premium to enhance the coverage. The enhanced options do not require the co-insurance or the deductible payment. You can find a private medical insurance through health insurance brokers such as UAE Medical Insurance to help you choose an insurance that suits your needs.
- Inclusions that you must consider in your medical insurance: The first thing you check is for insurance coverage throughout the UAE and in areas outside the Emirate of Dubai. You must then ensure that the clinics that you are comfortable visiting are included. If you are going outside the network, you are required to pay the full treatment cost and then claim for 80% of the bill. Childhood vaccinations and other medicines are included in the basic coverage. If you plan to travel outside Dubai, you must check if there is international coverage as well. This ensures that even if you have paid towards medical bills outside of Dubai, you will get reimbursement. Dental and optical coverage must be agreed upon by you and your employer. If you are pregnant and are delivering in Dubai, you must ensure that maternity coverage is included. When you have more maternity coverage, you have a better chance of finding a private room in the hospitals.
- Extras that are included in your medical insurance: You can get the following to be included in your insurance- vitamins, LASIK surgery, infertility treatment, cosmetic procedures, preventive medical check-ups, psychiatric treatment, acupuncture, homeopathy and chiropractic treatment.
- Emergency medical treatment: If you need emergency medical treatment in Dubai, you have to call 999 and the ambulance will take you to a preferred hospital and one which do not turn away medical emergencies.
- Using the medical insurance card in Dubai: The process is simple when you are using a medical insurance card within the network. At the reception of the clinic or the hospital you will have to complete the application and you will have to submit your medical card. Some treatments will need pre-approval to get covered, the clinic and the hospital will help you with getting the approval. After receiving treatment you will get a printed record of the visit and prescription. If you have to bear the co-insurance fee, you will have to pay it at the end of the visit. If you are getting treated by a doctor or a clinic outside of the insurance network, you will have to pay the associated fee and then use the claim form to request reimbursement. You can download the claim form from the insurance providers website you can also submit the form online. You must not forget the save the printout of the doctor’s prescription, treatment and diagnosis as these are required when you are making the claim.
What will happen if you don’t have a medical or a health insurance in Dubai?
If you do not take a health or a medical insurance, you will have to pay a heavy bill after receiving treatment. The hospitals and clinics in Dubai do not turn away people that are in need of medical assistance. But, the hospitals and clinics will not release you until all the medical bills are paid. This is one of the main reasons why you must renew your health or medical insurance.
Taking a health insurance for yourself and your dependents is not an unnecessary expense. You will appreciate it when you have a huge medical bill to pay. Make sure that you atleast have the basic coverage and choose a medical insurance that suits your needs.