Healthcare just got a little more costly. The added insurance costs to Emirates and Expats in Abu Dhabi may leave them searching for ways to stay afloat and still pay the new premiums recently enforced by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad). The change in coverage does not affect every Emirate and Expat, only the Emiratis with the Thiqa plans and expats and their families with coverage from Daman insurance’s Abu Dhabi Basic Plan, who seek treatment at private facilities. Procedures sought at public hospitals will not be affected.
What has changed ?
⇒ Previously, Thiqa cardholders were covered 100% at private healthcare facilities in Abu Dhabi. Now they are covered at 80%.
⇒ Thiqa cardholders were covered at 90% for care sought outside of Abu Dhabi, they are now covered at 50%. However if the treatment is not available in Abu Dhabi then it will be covered at 100%.
⇒ While it remains unchanged in public hospitals, in private facilities in-vitro fertilization treatments have been reduced to one per year, down two from the previous years.
⇒ Expats, ages 40 and up, that are covered under the Abu Dhabi Basic Plan may be subject to pay 50% of their policy’s premium. If their employer decides to implement this, co-payment and percentage are optional.
⇒ The change to the Abu Dhabi Basic Plan also means that workers will have to pay 50% of the policies premium for their wives and up to three children, a fourth child and parents will not be covered.
Initially, some citizens of Abu Dhabi may only view the downside to these changes, but the overall goal is to create a more viable and healthy healthcare sector. Haad is working towards a more sustainable healthcare sector by encouraging competition and further improving the quality and breadth of the healthcare offering. Implementing these changes is an important new step towards fulfilling our vision for a ‘healthier Abu Dhabi’. These measures will further contribute to our ongoing efforts to increase efficiency, standardize operations and increase the sector’s financial viability – for the benefit of the patient, and the healthcare system as a whole,” said Adeeb Al Zaabi, manager of corporate communication department at Haad.
The changes enacted will not only increase patient retention, but will also help to support investors who want to build health services in Abu Dhabi strengthening the sector. This will likely result in less out bound patients and potentially more inbound.