Expatriates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should check their health insurance carefully to ensure it doesn’t leave them out of pocket. With so many choice available when it comes to health insurance coverage it can be hard to choose the right one for you.
Reports have shown many expat workers in the Gulf state end up travelling to neighbouring countries when medical treatment is needed. The reasons for this medical migration are likely due to:
- the policyholder not being covered in the UAE for the treatment they need
- long waiting times for some treatments
- difficulty finding a doctor who speaks English
The cost of health insurance in the UAE can be very high, so having to travel to receive treatment can add to the stress of an illness abroad.
Cover every eventuality
Experts recommend expats in the UAE buy coverage for every eventuality, no matter how unlikely. Specialist treatment can be hard to come by in some hospitals that are not equipped for specialist treatments. Though some people argue many expats are not expert enough to accurately assess their coverage needs in this way.
Other small print expats should check is whether their policy gives them specific access to a doctor that speaks English or their native language. Also, if they should need to travel to another country to receive treatment, whether their policy covers this.
While travel costs outside the UAE for treatment may be covered by your insurance, the additional costs of accommodation and living costs won’t be covered. Expats should also check the hospital or clinic they are travelling to can treat their specific problem.
If you lack sufficient coverage in the UAE you can be forced to pay extra to receive treatment – and these out of pocket costs are rising. With these costs going up some expats will be forced to choose cheaper hospitals, which in turn may mean longer waiting times.
Overall it is best to ensure you have comprehensive coverage in the UAE, not only for your current health but considering long-term future health issues.