Dubai’s push to mandate health insurance coverage for all residents of the emirate has forced insurance companies in Dubai to create low cost options for individuals. Phase 1 of the Dubai Health Insurance Law (ISAHD) rollout plan requires companies with a workforce of 1,000 or more employees to provide their workers coverage by October of this year. One issue is that some companies will cover their employees but not the employees’ family members. In addition, it is almost impossible to find an insurance company that will provide cover for children under a separate plan from their parents.
In preparation for the next phases, health insurance companies in Dubai are creating basic packages for residents who do not work, or are dependents of a sponsor, but who are not covered by the group health insurance plan.
This basic package provides access to a general physician, specialist referrals, certain surgical procedures, laboratory tests, emergency services and maternity care. Certain in-patient coverage, such as diagnostic tests, treatments and surgeries in non-life threatening cases will require prior approval or pre-authorization from the insurance company. A few of the companies offering the Essential Health Benefits (EHB) package include AXA, Arab Orient, Alico and Daman Insurance.
The plan costs AED 500-700 per dependent and is designed for expat workers that earn less than AED 4,000 per month. The maximum coverage from the insurance company will be AED 150,000 excluding any of the co-insurance or deductible payments.
The co-insurance, or payment made by the insured on medical visits, is set at 20% of the total bill and capped at AED 500 per visit. There is an annual aggregate cap of AED 1,000, after which the insurer will need to cover 100% of the treatment. The package limits medicine purchases to AED 1,500 each year, while the insured must cover 30% of the cost of the prescription from their own pocket. Chronic and pre-existing conditions are covered but only after a 6 month period from the date the insurance is purchased.
Dubai Health Authority deserves a show of support for developing a much-needed solution in order to provide coverage for everyone and offer affordable services to the population.