Whether it's health insurance for your child, parents, or maid, we break down how to find the best health insurance for your dependents in the UAE
20 November 2019| Last updated on 23 January 2020
Find out how to pick the right health insurance for your family and maid in the UAE
Moving to live, work, or study in the UAE certainly comes with new opportunities, surprises, and challenges. If you didn't come alone, then it's a new place where memories with your spouse, children, and/or parents will be made and cherished.
It's natural that you want to protect your family in any way you can, which is why working expats secure health insurance for dependents in UAE. But while health insurance is mandatory for all visa holders in the UAE, the rules on health insurance for dependents vary across the country.
In Abu Dhabi, it's required for employers to provide health insurance to all their employees and their dependents up to the third child, from which the insurance for the fourth child and onwards is the responsibility of the employee. In Dubai, the law states that employers must provide medical insurance for their employees, however the policy for all dependents is the visa sponsor's responsibility, not the employer. In Fujairah, Sharjah, Ajman, Ras al Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain, employers are not legally required to pay for their employees' or their employee's dependents' medical insurance.
*It's well worth to note that regardless of whether you or your dependents have a valid health insurance policy, UAE healthcare facilities are strictly prohibited from denying emergency care to patients.
Regardless, you'd want to find the best health insurance for your dependents. Here are the things to know when choosing your dependents' health insurance in the UAE, so you can get the best value for your dirhams.
Basic health insurance plans for dependents
The basic health insurance plan in Dubai is the Essential Benefits Plan - this is offered by 12 insurance providers.
As per the UAE law, expats residing in Dubai can have a maximum health insurance cover of AED 150,000 per year.
For Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi's basic health insurance plan is provided by the National Health Insurance Company (Daman), and all employees under this basic plan must pay 50% of the policy's premium for their dependents (limited to one wife and three children). If their parents, nanny, or maid is a dependent, the employee must pay their health insurance themselves.
As per the UAE law, the maximum that health insurance can cover per year is AED 250,000 for those residing in Abu Dhabi.
Many of the insurance companies in the UAE provide Islamic insurance or takaful.
Opt for additional insurance benefits
A basic health insurance plan in the UAE may provide your dependents with certain benefits, but this could be limited from additional healthcare such as vaccinations, dental, or ocular health (eye care). The health of your child, spouse, parents, and other dependents is very important.
Opting for additional cover may be cheaper compared to the high medical expenses that will come with an unforeseen health issue. There are heaps of cases where UAE expats and tourists experience debt because of the medical bills they cannot afford while in the country.
Health insurance varies with dependents.
UAE health insurance policies differ based on the visa sponsor's relationship with the dependent, with some dependents costing more to insure. If you're on a tight budget, it is usually cheaper to subscribe to a family medical insurance plan.
There are few companies in the UAE that may require their employees to have all of their dependents insured under one family health insurance plan. This is because there is usually a lower risk of insurance claim rejections.
Do check with your insurer, broker, and company about this before securing a family insurance plan.
However, if you will only be sponsoring a small family or select dependents in the Emirates, here is how health insurance policies vary:
For those with parents as dependents, it's worth noting that it is more difficult to secure medical insurance for people who are 65 years old and above. Some insurance providers may refuse to cover pre-existing health conditions, which is common among the elderly, and even if the insurance company provides insurance, the rate will likely be much higher.
Health policies for seniors who are 50 years and above can cost more than for a spouse or child, with premium medical insurances going up to AED 30,000.
Domestic workers as dependents
In the UAE, the maid or nanny's medical insurance must be processed and paid for by the head of the house who will legally be her visa sponsor. Some health insurance plans for domestic workers in the UAE can start from AED 650.
Compare health insurances
When choosing the right health insurance plan for dependents, a few minutes of research on various UAE insurance companies will help you in securing the best value.
To start with, you can use tools like Expat Insure that help to bring you the best insurance quotations. Additionally, the Dubai Health Authority official website has a complete list of more than 40 registered insurance providers in the UAE. Comparison tools such as Bayzat, Compareit4me, YallaCompare, and Souqalmal can also guide you on finding the health insurance policy that is most suitable for your dependents' needs.
Consider international health insurance plans - it will provide you with stronger security as your family is covered worldwide.