Dubai: As health insurance is mandatory in the emirates of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, it is critical to get your parents covered if you wish to sponsor them as dependents.
However, residents can often pay a high premium as the rates increase based on age and pre-existing health conditions.
Speaking to Gulf News, Avinash Babur, Chief Executive Officer of Afia Insurance Brokerage service, said: “Over the age of 65, even the essential benefits plan comes up to Dh4,500, which is on the higher side. If you consider a comprehensive plan, it really touches the roof, with premiums from Dh20,000 going up to Dh50,000.”
These costs are per year.
If you wish to sponsor your parents as dependents, you will need to approach a health insurance company or third-party agency to initiate the process.
How much will it cost?
If your parent is above the age of 60, and has pre-existing conditions, the lowest premium available by most insurance providers is over Dh4,500. This includes coverage only within the UAE, with a yearly limit of Dh150,000, which includes hospitalisation, in-patient care, out-patient services as well as medicine.
If your parent has pre-existing conditions, or if you wish to have comprehensive or international coverage, the costs will increase accordingly.
What is the process?
To start the process, you will first need to provide the following:
- Your passport and visa copy
- Emirates ID copy
- A copy of your parent’s passport
- Medical reports, as requested by the company
Once you have provided these documents and filled out the application form by the company, this application is then sent for approval to the medical board or underwriters at the insurance company. They may revert with request for additional information, which would need to be provided. The underwriters then present the final premium amount, which will need to be paid by the sponsor (you).
Once you have made the payment, the insurance cover will be provided.
What should I check for?
• Does the insurance network cover the doctors, clinics or hospitals that you would like for your parents?
• What is the co-payment? It can be at least 20 per cent of the total costs in the basic plans.
• Shop around – never accept the the insurance cover provided by the first company you approach. As premiums are high, you should always look at the best option financially and medically.
• If your parents travel regularly, consider getting international or worldwide coverage.
If you follow these steps, getting your elderly parents covered for healthcare should not be a very long process. Also, while the premiums can be high, it is important to get the best medical coverage, as healthcare over the age of 60 can be critical, especially in times of emergency.