Residents unaware of insurance costs

Word of mouth and past experience with providers are the most significant decision factors while choosing healthcare providers in the UAE.

Medical insurance is now compulsory for all Dubai residents, but a research commissioned by International SOS shows that half of UAE residents are unaware of their own healthcare insurance costs.

The research conducted in April by YouGov shows that while 84 per cent of people living in the UAE underestimate the country’s high level of medical inflation, 51 per cent do not know the cost of their health insurance.

The high level of medical inflation is a serious concern to employers as a growing proportion of the total cost of employment.

Medical inflation in the UAE was 9.5 per cent in 2015 according to Pacific Prime, a global health insurance broker. This means that a company’s health insurance policies which cost Dh1 million in 2010 rose to cost Dh1.6 million by the end of last year, according to industry experts.

Many employers in the UAE pay for health insurance directly. Individuals can choose which doctors, clinics and hospitals to use in most plans, sometimes from a list set by their insurer.

But when they have a concern, only a few have access to independent medical advice on which healthcare provider to use, or even whether a doctor’s visit is required at all, said an expert from International SOS.

How to choose the best healthcare for you

While hunting for quality healthcare, individuals should look for independent, medically-qualified information about which doctors and hospitals can provide the best possible treatment for their condition. Last year, SOS received a total of 4.6 million calls from clients around the globe seeking advice.

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