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New insurance charges come to Abu Dhabi
Posted on Aug 02, 2016 by Travis Jones
In what has come as an unwelcome surprise for many in Abu Dhabi, HAAD has instituted new rules regarding the Emirate's public healthcare system. Particularly, the portion of health insurance premiums that employees will be forced to pay for them and their dependents. Read on to find out more about the update, as well as how you can get assistance in reviewing your own health insurance situation.
Since 2007 Abu Dhabi has basically operated under the same healthcare system and accompanying mandatory insurance scheme. Much like the program that has recently been instituted in Dubai, for years Abu Dhabi has required that all people working inside the emirate possess their own private health insurance policy; every man, woman and child. However, there has been a recent announcement from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) that may ruffle a few feathers. Here, we’ll take a look at the most recent changes to Abu Dhabi’s healthcare system, and what they mean for you and your family.
Even though every person in Abu Dhabi is required to have their own insurance, expats in the city are generally taken care of by their employers, as companies wanting to attract the best personnel would often point to an attractive and comprehensive benefits plan as a selling point for their company. Employees dependents have also been included in this in most cases. However, now HAAD has made it possible for companies to compel their employees to pay for their health insurance.
In July 2016, HAAD made a formal announcement that employees over the age of 40 will be responsible for 50 percent of their healthcare, even if it is sponsored by employers. The plan affected by this change, which is that administered by the National Health Insurance Company (Daman), has just seen premiums rise regardless of the insured[G1] [G2] ’s age. Plans that formerly cost AED 600 now cost AED 800. This will be leaving expats in Abu Dhabi paying AED 400 annually to cover themselves. As well, employees over 60 years of age will be on the hook for half of their annual premium of AED 5,500, but that is likely not the end of their costs. [G3]
This is because prices have been raised for dependents as well. For those under the age of 18, an annual premium of AED 800 is also charged, however, dependents from ages 18 to 40 will s[G4] ee a premium of AED 1,500, the premium for those aged between 41 and 59 is set at AED 3,000, and those over 60 will have a premium of 10,500. Again, the household will be held responsible for half of these premiums. Additionally, married women between 18 and 50 are required to pay a mandatory yearly surcharge of AED 750 for maternity coverage. Given all this, if a person in Abu Dhabi has many dependents in their household, the out of pocket payment requirements for their health insurance can really add up to a substantial amount. This is especially true for families with more than 3 dependents, as they will be required to cover the premiums for any dependents beyond the 3rdin full.
The changes to the health care law also Abu Dhabi citizens to cover 20% of private health care costs in the Emirate, as well as 50% of costs for treatment outside of Abu Dhabi if that same treatment could have been received in the Emirate. The only other charge mentioned in the announcement is that small investors will need to pay an additional surcharge of AED 1,900. The only exclusion to these new charges is for those that work as domestic helpers in local households.
Keep in mind, what each person with a Daman insurance plan receives for their annual premium is AED 250,000 in inpatient and outpatient treatment, so though the prices may be rising, the protection provided can still be extremely valuable should a serious emergency arise in your family. Nonetheless, Emiratis voiced their dismay over the new arrangement, with lower income workers quoting their concerns in a Gulf News article from July 10th. Most of the complaints were people acknowledging that the new charges would be a burden to them.
Help is available
So now the questions in the minds of many expats in Abu Dhabi are, “Is the product really worth the cost? Can I do better?” While these questions can be difficult to answer, especially when it comes to brand new regulations, you do have options that can readily be presented to you. In order to do this, contact a knowledgeable insurance broker, like those at UAE Medical Insurance. Not only can they give you the inside scoop on the details of these new rule changes as they relate to your current insurance policies, they may be able to present you with an entirely new way to insure your family in Abu Dhabi.
That’s because the international health insurance plans that UAE Medical Insurance works with go above and beyond the usual local plans that can be found in the UAE. With these plans, you will have a whole world of access to healthcare to choose from globally. Pick any hospital or doctor that you want, in virtually any country worldwide for you and your family. To find out more about our international health insurance plans, contact the experts at [G5] UAE Medical Insurance today for information, plans comparisons and a free quote!