A guide to obtaining the right medical insurance

This is a topic that arises again and again so it’s about time I wrote about it. This article is about plans for individuals and families and I will cover the options for employers and companies in a later piece. (If you are running a small company you should read on.)

There are many medical insurance providers operating in the UAE, each with several different plans, so how do you decide which is best for you? Company and individual plans are often quite different so someone else’s experience is often not relevant. It’s an almost impossible task even if you read the paperwork as there is the still the issue of servicing and claims settlement to consider. As a consumer you want the best value for money, but also the best cover for you and your family.

Health insuranceUsing an experienced and qualified independent broker can save you a great deal of time, reduce the stress, get you the best plan at the best price and will not cost you any more money. Why wouldn’t you use a broker?


There are many issues that we consider when selecting a provider including:

• Area of cover – UAE only, regional, worldwide etc
• Scope of plan – basic, intermediate, comprehensive
• Dental cover – the limits & waiting periods
• Is there cover for alternative treatments such as chiropractic or acupuncture?
• Existing conditions
• Billing arrangements
• Clinics and hospitals permitted. Are you restricted? Or free to choose your preferred clinics and hospitals?
• Is maternity cover required? What is the waiting period? Co-pay arrangements?
• Cost & payment options (monthly, quarterly, annually)
• Excess or co-pay arrangement
• Are prescription costs included?
• Out of country treatment & emergency evacuation
• Annual plan limits
• Financial security of provider
• Level of service
• Claims settlement – both approval and speed of settlement
• Add-ons such as optional travel cover, accident cover
• Free cover for second and third children
• No claims discounts
• Additional services such as emergency helplines

When it comes to recommending a provider all of these issues are taken into consideration. Whilst cost is important, getting value for money is more important than the lowest premium as a plan with very limited cover, from a provider who rejects claims, is a waste of money.

Health care cartoonThe role of the experienced broker is to know not only the differences in providers, but also the differences in each of their plans. With this knowledge, plus an understanding of what cover you both want and need, we can narrow down the options in accordance with your budget.

It is also worth mentioning here that even small companies can set up competitively costed medical insurance schemes, starting with just three members of staff. Dependents can also be covered and significant savings can be made.

We will give you all the information that we need as we have already been through the fine print of the plans and can also assist should you have any problems with an insurer or difficulty in claims being met.

Your medical insurance plan should provide peace of mind. Being ill is a stressful time and problems can be made worse if you also have to worry about affording the right treatment.

There have been news reports that the Emirate of Dubai will be announcing that it will be compulsory for employers to provide cover for their employees, but this has yet to be confirmed and no one has any details. Even if this is the case, it will take quite some time, as in many months if not longer, to come into effect as it cannot happen overnight and I do not recommend that anyone delay arranging this important cover based on speculation and expectation.

For further information regarding medical insurance for you, or for your company, please contact me at  keren@holbornassets.com

About FinancialUAE

A qualified and experienced Independent Financial Adviser based in Dubai, UAE. Professional and ethical. Freelance writer on personal financial issues & the On Your Side column in The National. Founder of Facebook group British Expats Dubai. Senior Partner at Holborn Assets LLC, Dubai, UAE.
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4 Responses to A guide to obtaining the right medical insurance

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