Experts at Pacific Prime Dubai weigh in on the insurance options available for employees
17 April 2019| Last updated on 18 April 2019
This is indeed an effective measure to address the health needs of foreign workers, especially considering that Dubai has a whopping 7.8 million expatriates among its 9.2 million population.
However, it also means that many companies often offer insurance that only meets the officially-approved minimal coverage levels. Nothing more. Nothing less.
This is largely understandable, given the expensive insurance premium rate in Dubai, according to Pacific Prime’s 2018 Cost of Health Insurance report.
However, finding the right plan to top up their existing employer-provided insurance policy has become an important issue for these employees, so that they can receive adequate benefits and coverages to truly meet their medical needs.
In this feature by reputable insurance brokerage Pacific Prime Dubai, we take a pared-down look at the key insights of the Dubai Insurance Top Up Guide 2018-2019, which is a handy resource for anyone looking for additional coverage to complement their company group plan.
What’s a top-up plan?
As its name suggests, a top-up plan is designed to supplement the coverage gaps and deficiencies in employer-provided health insurance. It offers you extended benefits on top of the existing package you get from your company’s insurer. In other words, you can utilize your employer’s plan as the first level of coverage, and use the top-up plan if the hospital bills exceed the company cover.
The beauty of a top-up plan is that it is usually cheaper in premium so you can save money on purchasing a new policy altogether. Another big advantage of a top-up plan is that you can add other benefits such as dental or vision with either no or very low deductibles.
What are the common gaps in employer-provided insurance?
While your company may offer you comprehensive benefits, many other companies only provide Essential Benefits Plans, which have low limits and limited coverages. Below, Pacific Prime Dubai has identified a list of typical areas where company-sponsored plans usually lack in:
Low limits and coverage
When your company plan has low limits and coverage, it is likely that it cannot cover the entire costs of treatment. Thus, you will be liable to pay for the total or difference out-of-pocket.
Limited serious illness coverage
While treatment for certain cancers is now covered in full by even the most basic Dubai health insurance plan, all other serious illnesses are claimable up to the plan’s annual limit only, which means that, again, you will have to pay for outstanding medical fees out-of-pocket.
Portability, but with re-underwriting
Although employer-provided insurance usually allows policyholders to continue the plan after their employment period, they will have to go through the underwriting process all over again. Consequently, any conditions they have developed with the previous plan will be regarded as pre-existing conditions and may lead to drastically higher premiums.
Different surgical schedule coverage
Some employer-provided insurance rules that the maximum payable for surgeries is subject to a surgical schedule, which sets reimbursement percentages for certain procedures.
Other limits of an employer-sponsored plan include:
- Limited or no outpatient benefits (where hospital stays do not exceed 4 hours)
- Restricted networks of providers or panels (you may not be able to choose your preferred doctor/specialist)
- Limited geographical coverage (Dubai or UAE-only)
- The requirement to visit a GP before seeing a specialist
- No dental benefits
- And limited wellness benefits
More insights inside Dubai Insurance Top Up Guide 2018-2019
This is not where the information on our comprehensive Dubai top-up guide ends. Our guide is comprised of even more insights and issues to help you select the ideal top-up solution, including:
- Background information on health insurance in Dubai
- Dubai hospitals
- Common gaps in health insurance plans
- Costs of medical care in Dubai
- Solutions to address coverage gaps
Obtain a complimentary copy of our Dubai Insurance Top-up Guide 2018-2019 now to get a better grasp of why and how to properly top up your company medical group plan.
Top up with confidence
We do understand how frustrating and perplexing it is for expatriates to get their heads around the local healthcare system. That’s why you should consider leaving it in the hands of a professional insurance brokerage like Pacific Prime Dubai.
How should you identify your insurance needs? How much should a top-up plan be on average? Is the limit of your current plan high enough? How should you compare among different plans? The above are among some of the questions we receive every day.
With over 19 years of experience and nine offices across the world, our team at Pacific Prime Dubai can answer these questions for you in layman’s terms. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, an obligation-free quote, and a free plan comparison!