What is Health Insurance?
Health insurance is a kind of contract between you and your insurance provider where you a pay a certain amount of money to your insurance provider as premiums. In return, your insurance provider takes care of your medical expenses incurred in hospitalization. Based on the type of health coverage, the insured person either pay and get reimbursed by the insurance company, or the insurance company pays directly to the hospital.
Importance of Health Insurance
Health insurance enables you to protect you and your family against medical expenses/hospitalization caused due to illness or accident. A health insurance policy covers you and your family’s consultation fees, diagnostic tests, nursing care, surgeries, hospital accommodation etc. It also pays for your regular medical check-ups.
Key Features and Benefits of Health Insurance
Health insurance comes with a number of attractive features and benefits which include:
- Health insurance pays for your hospitalization caused due to illness and accidents.
- Provides hospital cash.
- Get cover for hospitalizations caused due to maternity for stipulated period of time.
- You can purchase both single and family floater plan. A family floater plan covers your whole family.
- Health insurance policies enable you to include you children under it and provide cover for sickness and accident related medical cost.
- You can renew your health insurance policies. You need to renew your policy your policy within a particular period stated by the insurance provider.
- Offers group health insurances plans.
- You can also enjoy certain portability benefits that enable to you to switch from one policy to another.
- Premiums rates are affordable and vary based on factors like your age, sum assured, policy tenure etc.
- Certain pre-existing diseases are not covered.
- Offers cover for critical illness.
- Get worldwide coverage.
- Easy documentation and fast processing.
- Offers free look period of 30 days.
- Get immediate sum assured payouts.
- Health insurance policies can be availed by both UAE nationals and non-UAE individuals.
- Covers in patient hospitalization expenses.
- Some policies cover the cost of drugs and medicines.
- Provides cover for emergency ambulance services.
- Also, get cover for expenses related to organ transplant.
- Provides cover for ambulance cost.
- Get cover for dental injuries caused by accident.
Although health insurance policies cover a major portion of medical cost incurred in hospitalization and treatment, it does not cover certain things. The exclusions include – medical conditions caused by illegal behaviour, certain pre-existing diseases, self-inflicted injuries, cost incurred in dental and optical treatments, medical condition caused by hazardous activities, injury caused by professional sports etc. Also, medical situation caused by terrorism, conflict, war, natural disasters are not covered under health insurance in UAE.
How to make a claim?
You can claim your health insurance by contacting your insurance provider. You can contact them via phone or email. As per your request, the company representative will get in touch with you and initiate the claim process. Also, you can make your health insurance claim online. To make a claim online, you need to validate yourself by providing your policy no, membership no, phone number, and date of birth and any other information required by the online page. Upon successful validation and submission of complete application form supported by necessary documents, your claim will be settled within a maximum of 15 working days.
Buy Health Insurance Online
You can buy health insurance policies online by visiting the website of your health insurance provider. These days, almost all insurance companies provide the provision of buying health insurance online. You can also renew them online.
How to choose the best Health Insurance
In order to choose the best health insurance in UAE, you need to study the insurance market and find out the various insurance providers that provide health insurance at competitive rates. Get quotes from these insurance providers and compare their premium rates and services. Then based on your requirements, you can choose a health insurance cover for you and your family.
Top Health Insurance providers in UAE:
Some of the top health insurance providers in UAE include:
CBD offers CritiCare health insurance policy. The policy offers lump sum coverage for 37 critical illness and provides worldwide coverage.
Emirates NBD offers health insurance plans like International Term Assurance and Futura Protection Plan. These plans also serve as savings plans. Both the plans are issued and underwritten by Zurich International Life.
FGB (First Gulf Bank) offers three major health insurance plans which include - Diabetes Care, Critical Illness and Well Woman Plan.
Mashreq Bank offers health insurance plans in association with Met Life. The plans are issued by Metlife. Mashreq Bank offers CritiCare Insurance to protect you and your family from increased medical cost. It is a protection plus savings plan.
Citibank UAE offers health insurance plans like Critical illness Plan, Income Protection Plan, Hospital Care etc., to help you secure you and your family against medical expenses.
Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs
Why do I need Health Insurance?
Does health insurance provide cover against organ transplant related expenses?
Can I purchase my health insurance policy online?
Will my health insurance policy cover my pre-existing diseases?
Can I get health insurance cover for my dental injury?
Does Mashreq Bank offer its health insurance plans directly?
How many critical illnesses are covered by CBD CritiCare?
Can I get worldwide coverage with my health insurance policy?
Do I need to go through medical screening before purchasing any health insurance plan?
How will a health insurance help me?
What medical expenses are covered by a health insurance?
Will I be covered for the existing illnesses?
Are there any conditions that may not be covered in a health insurance?
Do all hospitals accept health insurance policy-holders?
Is my health insurance valid in countries other than where I reside?
You need health insurance to protect you and your family against high and unexpected medical cost.
Yes, many health insurance policies provide cover against organ transplant related expenses.
Yes, you can purchase your health insurance policy online.
No, your health insurance policy will not cover your pre-existing diseases.
Normally, health insurance does provide cover for dental injury unless it is caused by accident.
No, Mashreq Bank’s health insurance plans are underwritten and issued by MetLife.
CBD CritiCare covers 37 critical illnesses under it.
Yes, you can get worldwide coverage with health insurance plans like CBD CritiCare.
Yes, some health insurance providers demand medical screening on your part before issuing you a policy. However, it is subject to your age and vary from one insurance provider to another.
A health insurance will offer cover against many kinds of illnesses and medical expenses. You can also select from several clinics and hospitals, specialists and doctors, and the time of treatment. You will also get private treatment at the hospitals that are partners with your insurance provider.
A health insurance covers hospitalisation charges for the medical conditions that you have chosen in your policy. This includes sudden or new illnesses too. Depending on the policy, you would be covered for complete or partial payment of hospital expenses.
Existing illnesses are not usually covered under a health insurance. Before applying for the policy you need to declare your existing illnesses. You may also have to get certified on your existing health problems by a medical practitioner. However, some group policies offer coverage for existing illnesses. Check with your insurance provider for further clarifications.
Treatment from some specialists that are not part of the pure medicine discipline, may not be covered by certain insurance providers. You may have to get referral to these specialists from a certified medical practitioner who falls under the insurance cover. It is advisable to check with your insurer before claiming treatment charges on psychological, chiropractic or dental problems. Physiotherapy and maternity expenses are also sometimes not covered.
No. You need to check with your insurance company on which hospitals or specialist clinics are partnered with it. You will be able to get the benefits of the policy only if you are hospitalised with the partner institutions of your insurer.
This depends on the policy area you have chosen. If you have selected a GCC coverage plan, then your health insurance will be valid in all member countries of the GCC. You may also be able to choose worldwide coverage including United States of America, Canada and the Caribbean, or worldwide coverage excluding the North American countries, or coverage for European nations under Schengen Visa.
News about Health Insurance in the UAE
85% of the critical illness claims are accounted for cancer and heart disease
Figures from insurance giant Zurich International Life shows that heart disease accounts for 41% and cancer accounts for 44% of the majority of the critical illness claims in the UAE. The average age of a person claiming is 48 and the youngest child who has claimed is 4 years old. Critical illness plans pay the policyholder a lump sum amount when he or she is diagnosed. The policy covers more than 30 medical conditions. The patient can choose how the money is used, they can use it to replace the income, pay for the healthcare, pay the repatriation cost, and finance the change in lifestyle. According to the Zurich International Life’s figures, more than 76% of UAE residents are underinsured and 85% of women do not have critical illness cover.
14th March 2017
Poorer workers in Dubai will get more choice on their health insurance
The Dubai Health Authority announced that it has added 2 more health insurance companies who can provide Essential Benefits Plan insurance package whose premiums range between AED550 – AED650. This offers adequate cover for those who earn below AED4,000 in a month. The Dubai Health Authority added Union Insurance, Noor Takaful Insurance, and Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company. Currently, there are 12 companies that offer Essential Benefits Plan insurance packages. The 3 companies were chosen out of 10 companies who applied to be a provider. The health insurance companies have to commit to protecting the members and providing them quality healthcare services. The offer Essential Benefits Plan insurance package covers services such as emergency, maternity, referrals, medication, and medical tests.
01st March 2017
Dubai residents will now get health cover in other emirates
All providers of health insurance have been instructed by Dubai Health Authority to cover clinics in the Northern Emirates and Sharjah. Some of the Dubai visa holders who are living in the other emirates were not covered by their insurance providers. As it was previously optional for the insurance providers to cover Dubai visa holders to be covered in other emirates, the companies did not offer insurance cover outside Dubai. This new mandate will ensure that the Dubai residents will have coverage in the emirate that they live in. The Dubai residents living in the Northern Emirates and Sharjah has complained that their insurance providers were only providing emergency medical coverage.
22nd February 2017
The deadline for the insurance programme in Dubai has been extended
The deadline for Dubai health insurance has been extended to 31st March for employees and their families. The Dubai insurance programme has not been extended to Abu Dhabi as it has its own health insurance policy, but it has been stretched to Sharjah and other emirates. A fine will be applied to the employers and sponsors who do not provide the mandatory health insurance coverage before the deadline. The premiums for the basic package ranges from AED550 to AED700. 98% of the population in Dubai are currently insured.
21st February 2017
UAE doctors want the insurers to cover weight-loss surgery
The doctors in the UAE say that millions of dirhams can be cut from the healthcare cost if the insurers cover weight-loss surgery and its follow-up cosmetic procedures. The weight-loss operation cuts the risk of strokes, diabetes, and heart attacks. Most insurers do not cover them as they are seen as a short-term cure and they believe that the patient must lose weight through exercise and diet. The weight-loss surgeries cost up to AED50,000 and patients getting the weight-loss operation is increasing by more than 5,000. The weight-loss operations have their drawbacks as well, there might be a need to remove excess skin and that lead to the patient having several operations. Most of the times, the patients are at more risk from complication arising during the surgery.
09th February 2017
Limited health insurance coverage for dependants of Dubai expats
The expats living in Dubai residence visas in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates were in for a shock when they recently learnt that the compulsory health care package for dependants has limited to no coverage in those areas.
While at least two of the nine companies that are listed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) that provide Essential Basic Packages for expats earning below Dh4,000 and minor dependants, do not have coverage in the Northern Emirates and Sharjah, a majority of others have limited coverage when it comes to clinics and hospitals.
For instance, an insurance cover for dependents by Takaful Emarat costs Dh650 for a minor, Dh1,750 for a married woman and Dh2,500 for people over the age of 60 years. Moreover, they don't provide coverage in Sharjah. However, these preliminary problems are bound to occur in the experimental stage of policy coverage and are expected to be resolved as the system matures.
07th February 2017
Residents warned against purchasing drugs online
Purchasing drugs or prescription medication online could be extremely risky, warned Dr Ali Al Sayed, the Director of Pharmaceutical Services Department at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
While there are websites that sell prescription and over-the-counter drugs legally, there are plenty of "rogue websites" that sell unapproved drugs and even drugs that may contain dangerous ingredients.
The director also advised consumers to make sure that the website bears a license by the concerned authority in the country and also has a licensed pharmacist available to answer queries about the medicines being brought online.
Listing out a few traits of an illegal website, the director said that they are the ones that offer prices that are suspiciously lower than the competition, sell prescription drugs without the need for a prescription, do not safeguard personal information of the customers and are inaccessible via telephone.
Even buying herbal products online could be equally risky since these products don’t undergo a thorough scientific study nor do the makers need an approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before introducing their products. Hence, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before turning towards any herbal product.
06th February 2017
Workers complain that their health insurance cards have not been activated
While the DHA is still implementing its insurance scheme, most workers are forced to pay for their medical treatment and visits even though they have health cover. The DHA has received 10 complaints from the workers. The health insurance is designed in such a way that there is access to medical insurance coverage to all Dubai visa holders. The complaints stated that the health insurance coverage wasn’t working and the hospitals and clinics that they visited denied the insurance coverage. The DHA has taken the names of the insurance companies and are investigating the complaints. The insurance companies will have to reimburse the workers for the sum that they had to pay at the medical facility. The people are requested to report to the DHA online about the denial of medical insurance coverage.
02nd February 2017
New Insurance Billing System to be Introduced
In order to ensure more transparency, DHA has introduced new insurance billing system that will give clear pricing for every medical procedure. This system will also simplify the payment process. The hospitals have been asked to begin shadow billing. The aim is to seamlessly adopt this payment process by 2020. This also means that no healthcare facility can ask the patients to do unnecessary investigations. The system will help establish quality and will add up to mark-up on quality. By establishing quality, there will be a composite measuring system in place to rate the failures and readmissions.
01st February 2017
ID cards to be used instead of insurance card
The Dubai Health Authority has activated Emirates ID card to be used instead of the insurance card to finalise the insurance policies. This has to be done as the residents were asked to submit a copy of health insurance card to renew their residence card and driving license. This increases troubles as there is a delay in the electronic link between the Economic Department and the Immigration Authority. The DHA merged the health insurance card so that the residents could avail medical treatment without having to provide their insurance card.
30th January 2017