Getting your health insurance sorted is key to a healthier life. But you don’t want to focus only on your insurance, especially if you have dependents living with you. It’s important to ensure everyone in your household is covered. But the best way to do that can depend on your individual circumstances.
If you are living in the Gulf region, then you have a lot of opportunities available to you. Whether you moved to the United Arab Emirates for work or leisure doesn’t matter – you will still need proper health insurance to make your stay successful and healthy.
But health insurance rules and regulations can differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While anyone who lives in the country with a valid Visa needs insurance, how you deal with dependants can differ.
Here’s a quick guide to everything you should know to ensure you choose the best health insurance for dependants in UAE.
What are the different rules across the region?
Let’s first cover the basics in terms of how health insurance works in different parts of the region. There are slight differences in what you need to do in regards to dependants, depending on where you live.
In the Emirate of Dubai, employers need to provide health insurance to each employee. But the responsibility to cover people only applies to employees and not their dependant.
This differs slightly from the rules in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. There employers are required to cover not only the employee but also their dependents up to the 3rd child. From 4th child onwards, employees would have to ensure the dependants are covered.
Furthermore, if you happen to live in the Emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah, then you need to know that your employers have no legal requirement to provide you with health insurance. You need to have health insurance but it is important that you pay for it yourself.
The above means that if you have dependants and you live in the UAE, you most likely need to look for individual health insurance for your dependents.
Read: Home Health Care
So what do you need to know to choose the best option?
Cover the basics with your individual health insurance
You might want to start with the basic plans. These can vary from region to region. Individual health insurance in Dubai is called Essential Benefits Plan. The plan is offered by around 12 health insurance providers and it covers the essentials you would need. The system allows you to shop between the different providers and comparing different plans is a good idea even if you are going for the basic plan. There are slight differences to these different plans.
However, the system is different if you are in Abu Dhabi where the basic plan is offered by the National Health Insurance Company. The insurance means you pay 50% of the premium of the policy for dependants. Again, remember that this only covers dependants including wife and up to three children. Beyond this the cost of the cover falls fully on you.
Different health insurance for different dependants
It is also worth noting that health insurance plans differ depending on the relationship you, as the Visa holder, have on the dependants. Certain dependants might be costlier to insure which means it is a good idea to look for health insurance options and consider opting for a family medical health insurance.
In fact, certain companies in the country demand that employees get family health insurance. They do this because the risk of rejection of insurance claims tend to be lower in these situations.
The easiest plans are when you are looking for health insurance to cover children and your spouse. For these types of situations, comprehensive family health insurance is the easiest option. These plans are often the cheapest to get as well.
If you are trying to get health insurance for your parents, you should be aware of the difficulties it could bring. Finding health insurance for people over the age of 65 can be a little difficult, especially if there are any pre-existing conditions. The premium charges are high so look for special health insurance plans for seniors.
When you have household workers as dependants, you will be required to insure them. The responsibility falls to the head of the house but health insurance for domestic workers tends to be cheap.
Compare health insurance plans
Once you know what type of health insurance you need, you can start looking for the right plan. The key is to compare different providers to make sure you get the most value for your insurance. Use online tools and platforms that make this easier.