How to Select the Right Medical Insurance Plan in the UAE: 6 Helpful Tips

No one plans on getting injured or falling ill, but life is unpredictable that way. Should something unexpected happen, and with hospitalisation and medication costs always on the rise, having an extensive medical insurance plan can be a lifesaver.

Aside from providing financial protection, medical insurance plans also offer many benefits, such as preventive care like regular check-ups, screenings and vaccinations, emergency services, access to a network of skilled specialists and essential medications.

If you currently don’t have health insurance through your employer, spouse or parents, you can sign up for a private plan from a reputable insurance company in the UAE.

How do you go about picking the right policy for yourself and your loved ones? Read on to find out.

6 Tips to Choose the Best Medical Insurance Plan

Signing up for medical insurance in the UAE is an investment in your well-being and financial security. To ensure you choose the right plan for your needs, consider these six factors:

1. Coverage

A health plan’s coverage determines which medical services and treatment costs would be fully or partially paid for by the insurance company and which you’d have to pay out-of-pocket.

In weighing their choice of policy, many people tend to go straight for the ones with the lowest premiums, unaware of what this means for their coverage. Typically, a plan with low premium payments will only provide a limited range of services — a drawback that could end up costing you more in the long run, should you need medical care beyond what’s outlined in your policy.

For this reason, assess your medical history, any current health conditions you have, and the standard services most people require before picking a policy. If you plan on including your family, you’ll need to account for their medical needs as well.

Generally, an excellent medical insurance plan’s coverage includes, but is not limited to:

  • In- and out-patient treatment
  • Pre-existing and chronic conditions
  • Hospital accommodation and services
  • Surgery and anaesthesia
  • Lab tests, X-rays and other diagnostic studies
  • Intensive care and emergency services
  • Occupational and physiotherapy
  • Maternity and newborn care
  • Alternative medicine
  • Optical, dental and hearing services

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2. Sum Assured

In health insurance terms, sum assured refers to the maximum amount of money an insurer can pay for a policyholder’s medical expenses within a single year. If you exceed this limit, you’d have to foot the difference yourself. That’s why minding your sum assured is crucial when selecting a plan.

A general rule of thumb for choosing a sum assured is to base it on a multiple of your average annual income and age. For example, if you’re under 30 years old with a yearly income of AED 150,000, your sum assured should be anywhere between AED 2,100,000 and AED 2,250,000 (14-15 times your income). Alternatively, if you’re above 50 years old and make around AED 300,000, your sum assured should be between AED 2,100,000 and AED 2,400,000 (7-8 times).

The higher your sum assured is, the higher your premium payments will be, but also the more comprehensively covered you are.

3. Network of Hospitals and Doctors

When you’re in the market for health insurance, you’ll also need to check if your local physician or the medical centre you trust is in the company’s network. While some plans will partly cover your costs even if you visit a non-participating health facility or healthcare provider, others will only offer full payment when you go to their partner institutions exclusively.

Having an insurance plan that works with your preferred doctors and hospitals can be a huge advantage, especially in emergencies or when you need to make a cashless claim. That’s when the insurance company directly settles your medical bills with the facility, so you don’t have to worry about handling it yourself.

So, remember, before you buy that policy, take a moment to see how many and which healthcare facilities and doctors are in their network.

4. Lifetime Renewability

Most people need health insurance more later in life than in their early years since there’s a greater chance of falling sick or needing medical attention. So, when comparing policies, check for how long the plan remains valid and if it has a lifetime renewability option.

As the requirements for health insurance eligibility and cost of premiums can increase as people age, a policy with a lifetime renewability feature will allow you to continue on the same plan without any disruptions or changes in coverage or needing to buy a new one at a higher cost.

5. Claim Settlement Ratio

This one really speaks to your choice of an insurance provider rather than the policy itself. The claims settlement ratio (CSR) is a percentage that represents how many of the company’s customers’ claims were settled in a particular year.

A high CSR (usually between 80-90%) indicates the following to a potential customer about an insurance company:

  • It’s reliable and is committed to fulfilling its promises
  • It’s financially stable and capable of meeting claim requests
  • It has a good reputation for customer service

6. Flexible Plan

An ideal health insurance policy should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in your needs and preferences. For example, it should allow you to add family members like your spouse or newborn baby to your coverage, potentially at a reduced cost to what you’d have paid for a new or separate policy for them.

A flexible plan also means being able to choose the mode and term of your premium payments and, in some cases, to adjust the coverage or sum assured without having to switch policies.

Invest in Your and Your Family’s Health

Buying a medical insurance plan is one of the best investments you can make for yourself and your family. It’s the ultimate ticket to affordable, quality healthcare when you need it most. 

Use the above six factors to guide your research in finding a suitable plan from a trustworthy provider in the UAE and start taking steps towards securing your health and financial stability.


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