How to manage your Healthcare expenses in UAE

How to manage your Healthcare expenses in UAE?

The United Arab Emirates has a high standard of Healthcare system in the world. 

In the year 2018, UAE was ranked as one of the top 10 best healthcare systems in the world. Modern Medical facilities are easily accessible for expats and emiratis. 

Health care expenses are a major concern. Medical expenses are more worrying for retired employees as aging factors and health-related issues are the major issues to take care of. Health Insurance rules in the UAE are different from city to city. It is different for UAE nationals and expats.

Health Insurance for UAE nationals

Abu Dhabi

The Government of Abu Dhabi provides medical coverage to the citizens of UAE living in Abu Dhabi and this is called Thiqa Program.

Citizens of Abu Dhabi can get Thiqa card and with that, they get access to public & private healthcare hospitals in Abu Dhabi. These are registered with Daman’s network.

Abu Dhabi nationals of 18 to 75 years are eligible for the Thiqa Program. They have to undergo Weqaya screening test done by the Health Department of Abu Dhabi. 

Click here to know about Medical coverage for everyone in Abu Dhabi (Thiqa)


In the emirate of Dubai, health insurance is provided in the name of Saada. It is applicable for citizens who are not covered under the Dubai government’s health plans.

The insurance holders can avail treatment from a wide network of private healthcare providers. An individual’s Emirates ID card has the details of the Saada programme they have opted in for.


In Ajman, the Government provides health insurance to all its citizens. The health insurance network provides the approved list of clinics, hospitals and pharmacies. The list is available on the Ajman Government Official website.

Health Insurance related to Expats 

Health Insurance will be provided for Expats working under Employers. The insurance coverage depends on designation and salary.

Generally, Expats can get greater cover than ‘Essential Benefits Plan’ which ranges between Dh650-Dh725 per year.

Expats such as non-working spouse and elderly parents can choose reasonably priced essential benefits plan. 

In Abu Dhabi, employers provide health insurance cover for employees and their families. The family insurance includes one spouse & three children who are below the age of eighteen years. 

In Dubai, employers provide insurance to expats. Sponsors should buy insurance for their dependents.

For a family of four for expats, a comprehensive cover plan is around AED 33,500. A basic cover plan for four members is 17,000 AED.  

Click here to know Top Medical Insurance Providers in UAE

Managing Healthcare expenses

Standards of healthcare are very high in the UAE. Healthcare is free to all UAE citizens and for expats it is expensive without insurance. Here we provide you with measures on how to manage your healthcare expenses.

Create a Plan

To have better control over your finances create a financial plan which will benefit you during health issues. If you are working and your employer provides you health insurance then you need not worry. 

If the Employer does not provide health insurance, You can opt for a private healthcare plan or essential benefits plan for your dependent family members.

Individuals who earn less than AED 4000 per month can get an Essential benefits plan.

In UAE, if you are employing someone for domestic help, you should provide health insurance for them. 

Most Expats choose Employee Benefit Plan, which costs between AED 550-650 per year.

Consider important aspects before investing in health insurance

Before you buy a health plan you need to consider a few important aspects. These aspects include a high inflation factor, your future expenses, uncertain future health conditions.

Imagine yourself under different aspects of your future health conditions. 

Plan for your future health insurance premiums and consider future unforeseen events, chronic and non-chronic ailments.  Depending on your choice you can buy health plans for you and your dependents. 

Invest in Health Insurance Plan

Health Insurance plans in UAE are in various forms such as basic plans, deductible plans, non-deductible plans, premium plans, local and international plans. 

Health Insurance plans are covered with an aggregate cover limit. The basic health insurance cover gets a maximum cover up to Dh150,000 and the beneficiary has to pay 20 percent.

For Example, if a beneficiary has an outpatient bill of Dh200 then they have to pay Dh40. 

Find out How much Health Insurance you need 

It is difficult to decide on how much insurance cover you would need for you and family.

Health Insurance can help you if you get hospitalised or diagnosed with a serious illness. You can consider a few things before coming to an expenses conclusion. 

Find out the cost of hospitalisation in your area. Family history of illness is a very important factor to find out the cost of treatment for specific health-related issues.

Calculate and compare various insurance plans. Decide on how much health insurance you need according to your requirement and then finalize on health insurance coverage. 

Review health Insurance policy

Every year review your insurance coverage because insurance policies change from time to time.

In order to have the best possible insurance cover, buy health insurance according to your changing needs. This will not only give health security but also ensures that your premiums will not get wasted. 

Click here to know about Affordable Health Insurance in the UAE

Plan for life after retirement 

After the age of 60, health issues become more serious. Special care is required for a long period of time.

Consider uncertain future and plan for a critical illness insurance policy which covers health issues of long-term care. 

If you are non-Emirati and planning to stay in UAE then health insurance is mandatory so plan for your health insurance after retirement accordingly. 

Stay Healthy

The best way to manage healthcare expenses is to stay healthy. If you are physically and mentally fit then you need not spend much on health insurance policies. 

Reduce your risk of health problems by maintaining a healthy weight, doing regular exercises, and ultimately staying healthy. By staying healthy you avoid medical expenses. 

Avail free Public Health Care Services

For Emirati nationals, the government has free public healthcare. Expats have to pay fees for clinic or hospital treatment. 

Free Public health care covers basic healthcare needs such as emergencies, maternity services, basic healthcare (diagnostic services, physiotherapy services, radiology, consultant, specialist and general practitioner services) and preventive services (vaccination for newborn and immunisation for children). 


It is mandatory to have Health Insurance whether you are employed or unemployed. If you are self-employed or freelancer, you have to manage your own healthcare expenses.

Resident visas are not issued if proof of health insurance is not provided. AED 500 is the fine amount charged for uninsured months. Hence having healthcare insurance is very important in UAE. 

Meet the author
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Vinay Kumar Goguru is a finance professional with more than 8 years of diverse experience as a researcher, instructor and Industry work experience with both public and private entities. Prior to MyMoneySouq, he spent 6 years in Berkadia, It’s a commercial mortgage banking company. He has a “Doctoral Degree in Commerce” and two master’s degrees with a specialization in Finance, one as Master of Commerce and other as Master of Business Administration. He has written several articles on personal finance, published by different International journals. He loves traveling, reading and writing is his passion. He has a dream of writing a book on his favorite finance topics.







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