Types of Health Insurance in UAE

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What Does Health Insurance Mean?

Health insurance is a type of insurance scheme that covers all expenses related to medical treatments. These expenses primarily arise due to hospitalization, doctor’s consultations, diagnostic procedures, and the cost of medicines.

Health insurance protects your family against financial hardships due to exorbitant medical expenses. A comprehensive health insurance plan helps you get high-quality medical care without worrying about medical bills.
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What are the Types of Health Insurance in the UAE?

There are four different types of health insurance in the UAE:
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1. Basic Health Insurance

A basic health insurance plan provides coverage for the treatment of any disease or injury in a hospital. Every health insurance provider in the UAE offers basic medical insurance for both individuals and families.

A basic plan offers policyholders a choice to select the sum insured amount by paying the required monthly or annual premiums. The individual or family is covered for a year up to a maximum of the sum insured amount.

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2. Comprehensive Health Insurance

This is one of the most important types of medical insurance plans. A comprehensive health insurance policy is an all-inclusive plan that covers the entire spectrum of medical expenses. You also have the option to add different add-on covers, such as critical illness cover, maternity cover, dental cover, etc., by paying an additional premium.

A comprehensive health insurance plan covers inpatient hospitalization as well as pre and post-hospitalization expenses. Most of the daycare procedures that do not require overnight hospitalization are also covered. You get health coverage for the entire family (that includes your spouse and children) under a single policy.

Most health insurance providers also include critical illnesses like cancer, heart attack, kidney failure, stroke, etc., in these types of health insurance plans. Unlike basic plans, a comprehensive health policy also covers outpatient expenses like pharmacy bills and preventive health checkups.

This plan provides a cashless treatment facility to the policyholders at any of the network hospitals. The medical bills are paid directly by the insurance company to the hospital.

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3. Shariah Compliant Health Insurance

This type of health insurance is also called Takaful Insurance. It is based on Islamic religious laws that emphasize the importance of cooperation and charity. So the medical expenses of a few people are met by the contributions made by many people.

Under Shariah-Compliant Health Insurance plans, the policyholders become members of a fund. They do not pay any policy premium but contribute money to this fund. A member’s contribution depends on the type of coverage and personal situations. The member(s) who suffers a loss and makes a claim shall be compensated out of this fund.

The set of principles that govern these types of medical insurance in the UAE is as follows:

The policies are designed in accordance with the Islamic principles of purity, certainty, and mutuality.

The insurance company manages two separate funds: (1) policyholder fund (2) shareholder fund.

Any claims must be paid out of the contributions made by the members of the fund.

The reinsurance commission must be received from or paid to Islamic insurance & reinsurance companies.

The process of managing the funds and the claims will be taken up by the Takaful operator for a fixed fee.

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4. Health Insurance With Direct Access to Hospitals

Most health insurance providers partner with hospitals across the country to form a good network. Policyholders can claim the benefit of cashless treatment at any of these network hospitals.

Health insurance with direct access to hospitals provides the option to avail of medical treatment without paying for its expenses. The medical bills will be directly paid to the hospital by the insurance company. This offers several advantages to the policyholders:

It reduces the paperwork involved in paying the bills and later claiming reimbursement from the insurer.

It eases the financial burden on the family and enables them to get good-quality medical care without worrying about expenses.

The insurance provider maintains a vast network of hospitals that provide anytime, anywhere healthcare services. This is highly beneficial during medical emergencies.

Why is Health Insurance Important?

There are different types of health insurance in the UAE. It is important to have health insurance on account of the following reasons:

It is mandatory for the residents of Dubai & Abu Dhabi to have medical insurance coverage under the health insurance laws. The law imposes stringent penalties for violations.

The health insurance plan provides financial security to the entire family by protecting them against rising medical expenses.

It saves you from depleting your hard-earned savings and falling into a debt trap due to medical emergencies.

A comprehensive health insurance policy covers a wide range of healthcare services. It saves out-of-pocket expenses incurred on preventive health checkups and long-term medical treatment for lifestyle diseases.

Policyholders can enjoy peace of mind and focus on other important aspects of their lives if they are covered by insurance.

How Does Health Insurance Work?

Health insurance plans compensate the policyholders for their medical treatment expenses. Every policy has a sum insured amount, which is the maximum limit that you can claim in a year. The policyholders are required to pay the premiums regularly to keep the policy active. The premium depends on various factors like the sum insured, age, occupation, medical history, etc.
There are different types of health insurance in the UAE. Every plan has its own features & benefits. The scope of coverage differs from one plan to another. You can also buy add-on covers to customize the policy and enhance the coverage.

How to Choose the Right Health Insurance that Fits Your Needs?

Here are some great tips to help you choose the right health insurance plan:

Know Your Requirements

You must have a clear idea of the type of insurance you need for yourself and your family.

Compare the Plans

Study and compare the features, benefits, and pricing of various plans available in the market. Check their online reviews and ratings.

Hospital Network

The insurance provider must have a wide network of hospitals & clinics to provide cashless treatments. You also need to check the claim settlement ratio and the quality of customer service of the insurer.


The health insurance plan should provide optimal coverage at a reasonable price. Do not compromise on the level of coverage to reduce the premium.

Frequently Asked Questions on Types of Health Insurance in UAE

Yes. You can purchase more than one health insurance plan to suit your requirements. If your employer has provided group health insurance coverage, you can buy individual and family floater plans.

Both these plans cover regular hospitalization expenses. But a basic plan provides a lower sum insured limit and does not cover all medical conditions. A comprehensive plan offers higher insurance coverage and also protects you against critical illnesses.

Health insurance claims in the UAE are of two types:

  • Cashless Claims: The policyholder need not pay the medical bills at the hospital. It will be directly paid for by the insurance company.
  • Reimbursement Claims: The policyholder first pays the medical bills at the hospital and later claims reimbursement from the insurance company

Disclaimer: The health insurance policy or plan may have limitations, exclusions, and other terms and conditions that may affect coverage. It is important to carefully review the policy wording before making any decision.