Private health insurance in Dubai

Is basic cover enough for you?

Private health insurance in Dubai

In Dubai it is mandatory for companies employing expats to offer basic health insurance as part of their employment package. Your employer is not required to insure your family. As a result, many expats decide to arrange their own private health insurance.

Cover from your employer

Health insurance became mandatory for all those residing in Dubai in June 2016. As a result, basic health cover is actually a requirement in employment packages for exapts in Dubai. The specifics of this will be discussed before you begin working. 

Insurance provided by your employer covers healthcare (listed below) costing up to a maximum of AED 150,000 per year (~USD 40,000). Employee contributions will usually be AED 500-700 (~USD 135-190) per year. You are then only required to pay 20% of your medical fees and the rest is covered by your insurance.

Basic cover provided by employers will usually include the following:

  • Clinic appointments
  • Referrals to specialists and for surgical and pathology investigations
  • Basic maternity health cover
  • Emergency visit to hospital
  • Surgeries

Limitations of this cover

Your employer may not insure the rest of your family as it is not a government requirement. Although you won’t be denied medical treatment without insurance, there is a risk of you being kept at the hospital  until you can pay the bill.

Additionally, with cover from your employer you may not always get a choice of which doctors, clinics, and hospitals are part of your insurance network. In most cases, hospitals with the highest quality of care and equipment will be exempt from your network as they are the most costly. If you arrange private insurance, you would have the opportunity to make sure that you are happy with the healthcare centres you can be treated at. 

Arranging private insurance

If you have moved to Dubai with dependent family members and they are not included in your insurance package, arranging private health insurance is a must. English is commonly spoken by private companies so arranging the cover you want is easy. 

Private health insurance can often give you a higher quality of care. You are also able to choose the extent of cover that will suit you personally. For example, Cigna Healthguard  offers three levels of cover in Dubai: from a defined list, up to treatment at all centres including the American Hospital Dubai (AHD). The additional cover that private companies may offer includes:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Mental healthcare and psychiatric treatments
  • Dental and optical care
  • Infertility treatments
  • Preventative medical treatments such as homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic treatment

Read our Dubai Health Guide for more general information on healthcare in Dubai including emergency care, hospitals and medication. 

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