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Rising Healthcare Costs in Abu Dhabi: Why You Need Comprehensive Health Insurance?

Aditi Bhatt

Providing quality healthcare has never been an inexpensive endeavor, and as the saying goes, "demand will always meet supply" holds in the healthcare industry. The constant advancements in medications, surgical techniques, equipment, and genetic research ensure that the healthcare sector constantly evolves. However, this evolution also applies to the financial side of the industry, leading to rising healthcare costs, not just in Abu Dhabi but worldwide.  

Health insurance in Abu Dhabi, while an age-old concept in various forms, has also evolved. The concept of insuring against illness can be traced back to ancient civilizations, with modern healthcare insurance taking shape in the early 19th century. Initially, the market offered accident plans, gradually expanding to cover specific diseases and surgical procedures.  

The Inevitable Rise of Healthcare Costs 

As healthcare costs continue to rise, difficult decisions must be made regarding what is covered by insurance and what is not. Excluding treatments like cosmetic surgery or cosmetic dentistry may not be the hardest omission. Still, when it comes to denying access to expensive cancer drugs for those in their 90s or withdrawing the option of palliative care treatments that could extend life for a few more weeks or months, the choices become much more challenging.  

One of the primary factors contributing to the rise in healthcare costs globally is the aging population. Aging populations require more healthcare, more frequently, and for more individuals. This demographic shift can significantly increase the costs of underwriting health insurance, making it unaffordable for all but the very wealthiest individuals.  

In 2006, Abu Dhabi implemented a mandatory health insurance policy for all residents. Following this example, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) also introduced a law that requires both Emiratis and expatriates to have health insurance in place to cover the costs of medical treatments or care. The northern emirates, including Sharjah, Ajman, and Fujairah, are expected to establish similar laws in the coming years.  

How Healthcare Works in the UAE? 

The healthcare system in the UAE is unique, with the government heavily involved in providing care to its residents. The UAE government and each emirate's government oversee healthcare, ensuring that the population receives top-notch medical services.  

Each emirate in the UAE has its approach to healthcare delivery, but the quality of treatment remains high regardless of location. Emirati citizens can access public hospitals and clinics without incurring significant expenses and sometimes even receive care for free. However, expatriates are required to pay fees for their healthcare services.  

Why is Healthcare so Expensive in the UAE?  

Several factors contribute to the high cost of healthcare in the UAE:  

  • Expatriate Population: The UAE hosts a substantial expatriate population, significantly outnumbers Emirati citizens. As a result, there are more private hospitals and clinics than public ones.   
  • Specialist-Centric Care: In the UAE, people often seek care directly from specialists rather than starting with a general practitioner. This preference for specialist care leads to more tests and consultations, which can drive up medical bills.  
  • High Quality of Care: The UAE's healthcare system is known for its top-notch care, driven by highly skilled doctors, state-of-the-art equipment, and ongoing medical research. While this level of care comes at a premium, patients can trust that they will receive excellent medical services.  

Benefits of Buying a Healthcare Plan in the UAE  

Given the rising healthcare costs and the need for quality medical care in the UAE, obtaining a comprehensive health insurance plan is a smart move. Here are several benefits of investing in health insurance in Abu Dhabi:  

  • Access to Low-Cost Medical Services: Health insurance in Abu Dhabi provides financial protection during medical emergencies. Young, healthy individuals can purchase policies at lower premiums and continue to benefit from them as they age.  
  • Coverage for Unexpected Medical Expenses: Unforeseen health issues can cause significant stress. Having health insurance in Abu Dhabi can alleviate the financial burden of unexpected medical costs.  
  • Access to Add-Ons: Comprehensive health insurance plans offer add-on options like home care facilities, maternity care coverage, hospital stay rent coverage, and more, allowing you to alter your policy to your specific needs.  
  • Discounts on Premiums: Long-term health insurance plans often offer more affordable premiums, saving you from hefty expenditures during medical emergencies.  
  • Visa Issuance and Renewal: In the UAE, health insurance coverage is mandatory for visa renewal. When applying for or renewing your UAE visa, you must provide a copy of your health insurance card.  

Final Thoughts 

In a nutshell, you must consider collaborating with insurance brokers in Abu Dhabi to help you understand the complex world of health insurance and choose the best plan for your requirements. These knowledgeable experts can provide you a variety of insurance solutions, saving you time and assisting you in making wise choices. By collaborating with insurance brokers in Abu Dhabi, you can ensure you have the suitable coverage you require to protect your health and financial well-being in Abu Dhabi's evolving healthcare world. 

Aditi Bhatt
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