UAE Medical Insurance Explained

The UAE medical insurance can sometimes be confusing to understand, however, this article will help to demystify the process and provide a simple step-by-step explanation of what is required and how to obtain the insurance you need. 

Who needs medical insurance in the UAE?

There is no national health service in the UAE, similar to the NHS in the UK or Medicare in Australia and as such private health insurance is extremely important.

If you are a tourist visiting the country, securing travel insurance before your holiday is strongly advisable to ensure that you have some coverage whilst abroad. There are a variety of travel insurance policies available that offer single, multi-trip or annual coverage. Contrary to belief travel insurance policies only cover life threatening medical emergencies. They are not a substitute for private health insurance. There are a variety of both Government and private hospitals available in the UAE ranging in cost to suit all budgets. The UAE is considered to have the very best world-class facilities.

As a resident, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate health coverage in place and depending on the Emirate in which your residency visa was issued, it may be a mandatory requirement.

Mandatory Health Insurance

Dubai & Abu Dhabi 

On the 1st January 2014, a law was passed in Dubai requiring mandatory health insurance was for citizens and expats living in Dubai. This requirement ensures that every resident and national has access to quality healthcare treatment & services. Employers are responsible for providing a minimum level of health insurance coverage to their employees without any deductions from their salary. Dependents, including a spouse and children may also be covered by the employer, however this is at the discretion of the employer as to whether they cover the cost of health insurance for employees’ family members.

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) can impose penalties on individuals, employers, sponsors, or healthcare providers who violate the mandatory health insurance law. A monthly penalty of AED 500 to AED 150,000 can be imposed on an employer or sponsor who fails to provide the minimum health insurance coverage as specified by the DHA.

In Abu Dhabi, the Abu Dhabi Health Insurance Law was put into force on the 1st June 2006 and made basic health insurance coverage mandatory for Emerati’s, expatriates and their dependents. Employers and sponsors must provide coverage to their employees, spouse and up to three dependants. 

The insurance regulatory system was later further divided between two regulators, HAAD and SEHA.

Basic Health Insurance Plans (EAP Plan)

The Essential Benefits Plan (often referred to as an EBP plan) is the mandatory insurance coverage required by law. It generally covers emergency treatment at Government hospitals and provides access to a limited selection of clinics. 

In Abu Dhabi basic health insurance plans start at 950 AED and coverage for primary care services, maternity care services (for married women), emergency surgeries, tests and more. 

In Dubai, EBP plans start from 550 – 650 AED per year and are available to individuals who earn less than 4,000 AED per month. 

More Comprehensive Group Health Insurance Plans

Many employers elect to purchase a more comprehensive group medical insurance plan to provide enhanced coverage and options for employees and dependents and this is an added benefit to employees. This plan is similar to individual comprehensive health insurance plans, but it is designed for groups of people and can be tailored to a company’s requirements.

It typically provides coverage for a wide range of medical expenses, including inpatient and outpatient care, diagnostic tests, prescription drugs, and preventive care. Some plans also include coverage for alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or homoeopathy, and may provide access to private hospitals and clinics.

By providing comprehensive health insurance coverage for their employees, companies can demonstrate a commitment to their well-being and help ensure that their employees have access to high-quality medical care when they need it.

The cost of group medical insurance comprehensive plans in the UAE can vary depending on the size of the group, the age and gender of employees, and the type of coverage provided. However, compared to individual comprehensive health insurance plans, group medical insurance plans are often more cost-effective due to the economies of scale and bargaining power of the group.

Overall, group medical insurance comprehensive plans in the UAE can be a valuable investment for companies and organisations, helping to improve employee well-being and satisfaction, and promoting a healthy workplace. It is often an employee consideration when accepting a job role too so can serve as an attraction and retention tool for organisations.

The role of a Corporate Insurance Broker

A corporate insurance broker acts as an intermediary between insurance companies and corporations seeking insurance coverage. Their role includes:

  1. Assessing the insurance needs of the corporation based on the specific risks they face.
  2. Where applicable, understanding claims patterns and advising how best to utilise the corporate policy, avoiding over usage and improving efficiency 
  3. Consulting how best to approach the market and how to drive value from the current and perspective insurers
  4. Negotiating with insurance companies to secure the best coverage and the very best pricing for the corporation.
  5. Handling the renewal process for the corporation start to finish ensuring a smooth and seamless transition into the new policy year.

A good corporate insurance broker can help businesses make fully informed decisions about their UAE Medical Insurance coverage and ensure that they have the protection they need to mitigate risks and operate smoothly.

Stay posted for the second part in our series which provides further tips and information on UAE medical insurance. If you need further assistance related to UAE medical insurance, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Beneple and our team of qualified insurance brokers will be happy to help.