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How to choose the best health insurance for dependents in the UAE

Moving to the UAE opens the door to new possibilities and challenges. If you’re relocating with your family, you’ll be able to make memories somewhere new with your loved ones. No matter where you go in the world, your priority is to keep your family safe.

Getting health insurance for your dependents ensures they are always protected, although navigating the insurance realm can be tricky for newbies. This Pacific Prime UAE article will help you choose the best health insurance for dependents in the UAE.

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Rules regarding health insurance for dependents in the UAE

All visa holders in the UAE are required to have health insurance. However, the rules regarding insurance for dependents differ throughout the country, as per the following:

  • Abu Dhabi: Employers must provide medical insurance to their employees and their dependents, but only up to the third child (under 18 years old). Employees with more than three children are responsible for providing health insurance for the fourth child and onwards.
  • Dubai: Employers are legally required to provide health insurance for their employees, though not for their dependents. Instead, visa sponsors are responsible for health insurance for dependents.
  • The rest of the UAE: In Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain, employers are not legally obligated to pay for either their employees’ or their employee’s dependents’ health insurance.

It’s worth noting that UAE healthcare facilities must offer emergency care to patients, regardless of whether they have a valid medical insurance plan. Even so, getting health insurance for your dependents is highly recommended.

Considerations for health insurance for dependents in the UAE

Selecting the right health insurance policy for your dependents can be confusing anywhere in the world. Choosing one in the UAE can be even more complicated since different emirates have different rules. Here are some considerations you should keep in mind to help you find the cheapest health insurance for your family in the UAE.


In Dubai, the Essential Benefits Plan offers the minimum level of health insurance coverage that is required by law. According to the UAE law, foreigners living in Dubai can have insurance cover up to AED 150,000 annually.

Abui Dhabi

In Abu Dhabi, the basic medical insurance plan is available through the National Health Insurance Company. Employers under this policy are required to pay 50 percent of the plan’s premium for their employees’ dependents.

Employer-provided health insurance in Abu Dhabi covers one wife and three children at most. Therefore, employees must pay for medical insurance for parents, maids, or nannies who are dependents. The UAE law states that the maximum health insurance cover is AED 250,000 annually for expats living in Abu Dhabi.

Supplement your policy with add-on benefits

While a basic health insurance policy in the UAE offers certain benefits, they could be missing some useful healthcare. For example, many basic plans do not include dental, vision, or even vaccinations. Choosing additional coverage could be more cost-effective than paying hefty bills for unexpected health problems out of pocket. Unfortunately, many expats and tourists are in debt due to the unforeseen medical bills that they simply cannot afford.

Health insurance based on the dependents relationship

Health insurance plans in the UAE vary depending on the relationship between the visa sponsor and the dependent. Some dependents will have to pay more to be insured. In some cases, it can be cheaper to take out a family health insurance plan.

Some UAE companies require employees to have their dependents insured under the same family health insurance plan. The reason for this is that it reduces the risk of insurance claim rejections. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider, broker, and employer before purchasing a family health insurance plan.

On the other hand, if you’ll only have to sponsor a small family or chosen dependents in the UAE, the health insurance policies may vary as follows:

Parents as dependents

If your parents are your dependents, it’s important to realize that securing health insurance for individuals over the age of 65 can be challenging. Insurers may refuse pre-existing condition coverage and charge a much higher rate if they do provide insurance. Health plans for seniors who are over the age of 50 can be more expensive than plans for a child or spouse. In fact, health insurance premiums can reach up to AED 30,000.

Domestic workers as dependents

Nanny, maid, gardener, or driver health insurance in the UAE has to be processed and funded by the head of the house, who is their visa sponsor by law. In the UAE, the cost of medical insurance plans for domestic workers can begin at around AED 650.

Compare health insurance plans

Whether you’re choosing health insurance plans for your dependents or yourself, you’re going to have to research and compare different insurers and plans to find the right one – unless you get help from an insurance broker. Pacific Prime Dubai can help do the hard work for you and make sure you’re looking at the best options. With over two decades of experience in the insurance industry, Pacific Prime has the know-how and connections to ensure you choose the ideal plan for your needs and budget.

Contact us to receive impartial advice or an obligation-free plan comparison or a quotation today.

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Content Creator at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jantra Jacobs is a content writer at Pacific Prime. On a typical work day, she writes and edits articles, guides and anything else word-related. She aims to produce content that is easy for readers to understand and enjoyable at the same time.

When she’s not writing, she’s likely searching for a new restaurant or cafe to try, reading or doing yoga.