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Posted on Oct 02, 2019

3 Steps You Need to Take Before Getting Medical Insurance

Good news: If you are living (or planning on living) in the UAE, you will gain access to some of the best healthcare in the world. In late 2018, the annual Bloomberg analysis of healthcare systems rated the UAE in the top 10 in the world and best in the Middle East for the quality of its healthcare facilities. With Dubai as its capital and prominent business hub, the city is a shining example of how the region’s global-leading healthcare system serves its residents.  

Dubai’s healthcare system boasts a large, efficient network of modern facilities. There are plenty of medical facilities across the city, including more than 130 in Dubai’s Healthcare City alone. Dubai Health Authority oversees both private and public medical facilities and ensures very high standards in both. 

By purchasing health insurance in Dubai, you’ll have the peace of mind that these state-of-the-art medical facilities will be available to you if ever you need them. 

Dubai’s Healthcare System

In medical emergencies, initial treatment to stabilize the condition is free at public hospitals. Further treatment after this point must be paid for by the patient or their insurance provider. Without insurance, the cost of treatment for any illness or accident can be incredibly expensive. 

There are many very good public hospitals in Dubai. However, many residents, especially expats, choose to attend private medical facilities where they may experience more privacy and interact with multilingual staff, as well as more expat doctors. 

Medical Insurance Is a Must in the UAE

Between 2014 and 2016, a law was introduced that stated that all residents of Dubai must have valid health insurance. Without proof of health insurance, a visa will not be issued. 

At the same time, it was also made mandatory that all employers, including those families employing domestic workers, must provide their employees with at least a basic healthcare plan. 

This means that you will likely have some level of health insurance coverage through your employer. However, there are two important things to note about workplace healthcare plans. Firstly, they may not provide the comprehensive coverage you require. Secondly, your dependents may not be covered.

It is vital that you and all your dependents have adequate health insurance coverage, which may mean you need to make arrangements yourself.

Health Insurance in the UAE

Although coverage varies between policies, there are two basic bands of health insurance available.

The Essential Benefits Plan (EBP)

To ensure affordable health insurance for all, Dubai Health Authority oversees an Essential Benefits Plan. Rates are set by the government and insurance companies providing EBP coverage cannot exceed these. The cost of this plan is low but the level of cover is basic

Common treatments, including diagnostics, outpatient treatment, and general surgery, are generally included, as are basic maternity services. However, more specialist treatment is not always covered by an EBP. 

It is also important to know that full treatment costs are not covered by the EBP. Patients are currently required to contribute 30% of the cost of prescribed medicines and 20% of treatment costs. This means that a period of extended treatment or a serious medical emergency can still be very expensive with an EBP. 

Comprehensive Health Insurance

To protect yourself and your loved ones, and to prevent large medical bills, it is well worth considering comprehensive health insurance, even if your employer already provides some basic coverage. 

Having comprehensive health insurance means having freedom of choice, having no worries about unexpected bills, and you and your family being able to make full use of an excellent healthcare system. 

Comprehensive insurance policies will vary between providers, both in cost and in coverage. However, finding medical insurance for you and your family that suits your budget need not be complicated. 

Here are three straightforward steps to take: 

1. Get Quotes and Compare Insurance Deals    

You can compare the cost of premiums and the levels of coverage for several different providers in just one place using CompareDubai.ae. 

To get quotes and compare insurance deals, you will need to enter a few basic details about yourself and anyone else you wish to insure on the plan. These will include whether or not there are any pre-existing medical conditions. 

It is essential that you answer any questions about pre-existing medical questions accurately. Inaccurate or dishonest information can void future claims on the policy, whether or not the claim relates to the condition.  

You should now be able to narrow down your options based on your budget and the coverage you hope to have.

2. Check the Available Healthcare Providers    

You may have specific specialist clinics, pharmacies or hospitals you wish to attend when necessary. Be certain that these are available to you on the plan you are interested in purchasing as healthcare options will vary from plan to plan, including between EBP plans.

Available pharmacies, clinics and hospitals will be presented as in-network providers on your health insurance documents. Ensure you have adequate healthcare options available to you before you purchase any policy. 

3. Scrutinize the Small Print

Before you commit to a comprehensive policy, look out for mentions of “excess” or “deductibles.” These costs are a contribution that must be paid before the insurance company settles the full medical bill. 

You may also be responsible for co-insurance costs. Here you would pay a percentage cost of any medical bill, large or small. EBPs have a 20% co-insurance cost. 

Taking the time to complete each of these three simple steps will ensure that you and your family will receive excellent healthcare in Dubai and will be well-covered in the event of an illness or medical emergency. There will be no nasty surprises when it comes to associated costs either. 

Get in touch with CompareDubai today for more information.

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