When looking to buy the best medical insurance in Dubai, one has to consider the following;
- Geography of Cover
- Network of Hospitals for both inpatient and out patient benefits
- Insurance Provider and or TPA ( Third Party Administrator)
- Optional Benefits
- Pre Existing Conditions
- Co-Insurance and Deductible
- Premium Payable
Geography of Cover
The geography of cover is one of the important factors determining the premiums on a medical insurance plan. One has to decide if he or she needs cover from the following regions;
- Local – Coverage in UAE Only
- Regional – Coverage in GCC and South East Asia
- Worldwide – Excluding USA and Canada
- Worldwide – Excluding USA
For most people a regional cover would be ideal, if they do not travel very frequently for business outside the region.
Most expats include worldwide cover assuming that they would need such cover while, travelling for holidays. Emergency medical treatment is usually covered by travel insurance, at a much lower cost.
Hence it is advised to choose a worldwide cover; only if the insured intends to travel very frequently and stay for long periods of time outside GCC or South East ASIA, otherwise a regional cover would be an ideal choice.
Network of Hospitals – inpatient and out patient treatment
People usually choose their medical insurance plan, based on the price, and later realising that the hospitals they preferred for treatment are not covered by their plan, and hence end up paying more money to get themselves treated at such places.
To avoid such confusion, one has to make a list if preferred hospitals and clinics to check which plans provide a Direct Billing facility for their preferred list for both inpatient and out-pateint treatment.
Some insurance providers have a different list of network hospitals for inpatient and out patient treatment, such lists should be carefully examined before finalising the plan.
Once the plans offering direct billing facility is identified, then the most suitable plan based on premium and other factors discussed here can be selected.
Insurance Provider and or TPA ( Third Party Administrator)
It is always recommended to choose a reputable insurance provider, even if it means a slightly higher premium payment. Small time or unfamiliar insurance companies charges lesser premium but they usually tend to cut costs when it comes to approving and paying claims.
Including optional benefits like Routine Dental and Optical coverage will increase the premiums of your medical insurance plan substantially.
Such benefits should be only included if the insured intends to use these facilities frequently. People who visit their dentist more than twice in a year can benefit from including Routine Dental treatment on their plan.
Pre Existing Conditions
While it is mandatory for Insurance providers to cover pre existing conditions upto AED 150,000 according to the DHA regulations, the premiums for covering pre-existing conditions can vary according to the health condition of the insured.
To be eligible for coverage; for pre existing conditions, the insured should declare all known symptoms and conditions when applying for insurance. Based on his or her declaration the insurance company will underwrite his application to arrive at final premiums.
It should be noted that all non declared pre existing conditions, whether known or unknown will not be covered by providers.
Co-Insurance and Deductible
Each medical insurance plan has different Co Insurance and Deductible options for Out patient treatment
Co-Insurance usually means the share of consultation charges, diagnostics and medicine costs borne by the insured. Most plans offer lower premiums for plans with Co-insurance( Typically 10% – 20%)
A deductible is similar to the excess paid on the car insurance, it is a minimum payment made before consultation, usually between 25 Dhs to 75 Dhs.
To help an individual choose the best medical insurance in Dubai, I have prepared a simple template.
Make use of this template to enter data gathered from various quotes, to see a one page snapshot of important aspects, to identify the most suitable plan at affordable premiums.
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