Rising costs in health insurance are affected by more things than pre-existing conditions and your claims history. If you’re wondering why your employee or dependant insurance is going up, here are key trends driving the rising costs of health insurance in UAE today.
1. Medical cost outpacing inflation
Medical costs are increasing, and always will be. Demands for the latest technology, drugs and tools for increasingly complex procedures needs to be covered somehow. While the growth rate is arguably slower than it was a decade ago, it remains a core reason for increasing health insurance costs.
While the UAE remains a relatively young population, the region suffers from high obesity rates.
In a survey released in 2015 by Zurich International Life, 47.5 per cent of UAE residents were overweight, with a BMI of between 25 and 30, while another 13 per cent were obese, with a BMI of over 30. With a higher quantity of the population requiring weight-related medical treatment, costs for health insurance are increasing to compensate.
3. Insurance opacity
Google can only provide so much. While researching your symptoms and costs of treatment through medical journals and the great wide world of the internet, there are few uniform ways to quickly understand treatment options, the costs associated with them, and if you’re on insurance, whether they are covered by your hospitals.
4. More tests, less efficiency
Ever go to the doctor for a check-up and end up getting an MRI, a CAT scan, 3 blood tests and a short ECG test for what ends up being the flu? Many people have probably experienced this scenario during a visit to the doctor and the reason is simple: most insurers pay doctors, clinics, and other medical providers a “fee-for-service” scheme that refunds every test and visit, resulting in a lot of overtreatment. A lot of time, effort and resources go into these tests, so when everyone is having 5000 AED treatment per visit, costs will rise for insurers.
5. Pharmacy costs
Pharmaceutical costs are skyrocketing around the world. New and innovative treatments don’t come cheap – and you’ll end up shouldering some of that cost.