Choosing health insurance for your new life in Dubai

The UAE has become an increasingly attractive location for expatriates to live and work, with the expat population currently totaling more than 8.9 million.

This number is expected to increase further in coming years, following the government’s launch of a range of visa schemes to attract and retain the best international talent.

One of these, the Golden Visa was introduced in 2019 and saw 44,000 visas issued in Dubai in the first year alone to beneficiaries including investors and entrepreneurs. Recent amendments to the scheme have further extended eligibility, enabling more foreign nationals to live, work and study in the UAE, without the need for employer sponsorship. Golden Visa holders can now also sponsor their spouse, children and support staff without any limit.

As well as offering a prosperous place to work and study, the UAE is also home to an excellent healthcare infrastructure. Health insurance is a legal requirement for all residents in Dubai and policies need to meet criteria set by the Dubai Health Authority.

For the best protection, new (and existing) expats living in Dubai may want to consider a plan that offers enhanced benefits that exceed the local regulatory requirements. Considerations could include:

Coverage at home and abroad

While the pandemic led to a significant reduction in international travel, trips abroad, for work or for pleasure, are now back on the agenda. An international health insurance plan will cover individuals whether they are at home or abroad, including medical evacuation and repatriation.

When it comes to global coverage, Oman Insurance customers can benefit from the combined experience of Oman Insurance Company, the insurer and local administrator of the plans, and Bupa Global, the international administrator of the plans.

Thanks to this partnership, their plans in the UAE provide direct access to some of the best doctors and hospitals locally, regionally and internationally. Their in-house service advisers speak multiple languages, thus giving customers confidence that language will not be a barrier to getting the right advice and treatment.

Customers also benefit from Global Virtual Care* a telemedicine app providing access to a global network of doctors, via phone or video, for same day appointments, 24/7.

A focus on prevention

Findings from Bupa Global’s research Executive Wellbeing Index 2021 ** found more than seven in ten high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) in the UAE want to focus more on preventive health measures in the wake of the pandemic. And they are looking to their health insurer to support them on this journey.

Oman Insurance Company in partnership with Bupa Global provides policyholders with well-being programs to support them and their family from day one. The programs come at no additional cost and use of the services will not impact policy premiums or erode benefits from the customer’s plan.

Other everyday benefit options could include health assessments, dental and optical cover (waiting periods apply), as well as access to a range of alternative preventive treatments, which can help keep individuals and their family in good shape all year-round.

Mental health conditions

The pandemic had a marked impact on mental health, affecting individuals across the world. Bupa Global’s research found the majority (96 per cent) of HNWIs in the UAE experienced at least one symptom of mental stress in 2021. With the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2022 citing that mental health deterioration will become a critical threat to the world in the next two years, it’s a challenge that’s not going away any time soon. Cover for mental health conditions should be a key consideration.

“An issue that often isn’t discussed in relation to expat health is relocation depression,” adds Dean Pollard, General Manager for Bupa Global in the Africa, India and Middle East. “Moving away from family and friends, the pressures of a new job, and adapting to a new way of life and culture can be difficult. For some people this can even develop into a form of depression. “

Mental health is just as important as physical health. Appreciating this, Oman Insurance Company in partnership with Bupa Global offers enhanced mental health coverage across all their plans.

A family affair

Couples and families may want to consider taking out a family policy to ensure their entire family is protected with the same level of cover. Oman Insurance Company in partnership with Bupa Global provides adaptable plans that grow as the family grows and on their Elite plan, two children under 10 years of age can be insured at no extra cost (subject to underwriting).

Ready to discover their range of global health plans that suit your needs? To know more about their global health plans, waiting periods, limitations and exclusions call 04 210 8088 or simply get a quote at www.oicglobal.ae

*Global Virtual Care is provided by Advance Medical, a Teladoc Health Company, a third party, directly to you. Oman Insurance Company and Bupa Global assume no liability and accept no responsibility for information provided by this third party; or the performance of the services. Support and information provided through this service do not confirm that any related treatment or additional support is covered under your health plan. By availing any of these services, you hereby also agree to hold harmless Oman Insurance Company and Bupa Global from any costs/damages/liabilities arising from your usage of any of these services. To discuss the cover under your health plan, please contact Oman Insurance Company or Bupa Global. This service is not intended to be used for emergency or urgent medical treatment

** Bupa Global Executive Wellbeing Index 2021

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