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New health insurance law announced for Dubai

The mandatory health insurance law in Dubai have been in place for a few years now and has for all intents and purposes launched the Emirate down the path to not only a healthier society but also a society with world-class medical care. Of course, for this change to happen the law around healthcare and insurance will need to be updated and tweaked on a fairly regular basis. Case in point: The Dubai government has recently announced a new law furthering the power behind the existing mandatory health insurance scheme. Here we take a look at these changes and what they mean for you.

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The new health insurance law

Officially announced on May 6 and titled: Law No. (8) of 2018, this law introduced a number of changes to the healthcare sector that will likely have a lasting positive impact on not only healthcare but insurance.

While there are some ambitious goals the law sets out to meet, you can generalize the changes into two components: improving medical services and regulation of prices in the private healthcare sector.

Improving medical services

The government has stated on multiple occasions that one of their main goals is to transform Dubai into a destination for world-class medical care which not only meets the needs of local residents but attracts medical tourism.

On this, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE commented, “The new Law will facilitate a new growth phase in the healthcare sector and help cement Dubai’s position as a global hub for medical tourism. We want to offer the best healthcare facilities and services and attract top healthcare establishments, the best medical personnel and the most advanced technologies.”

In order to achieve this, the law allows the various government bodies in charge of the healthcare sector to prepare a strategic plan for the healthcare sector, define the future health needs of the Emirate, implement local and international standards around health education, and most importantly, develop the relevant policies and procedures.

In short, the law gives the governing bodies the ability to set the future for Dubai’s healthcare scene.

The law and regulation of prices

The other important action this law enables is the ability for the governing body to regulate and approve the price of care at private health facilities in Dubai. This further expands existing laws which, as this article from the government points out, allows the governing body to “regulate and facilitate the sending of patients for specialized medical treatment to healthcare facilities both within and outside the country.”  

What does the new health insurance law mean for those living in Dubai?

From the outset, these new laws give the government an enhanced ability to act when it comes to the future of healthcare in the city. Essentially, this law sets the stage for the future and will likely see health care in the Emirate become even better.

One of the most important takeaways from the new law is the fact that the government can now regulate the price of care in the private sector. While the particulars of what regulation will be implemented, this is a great start. That said, regulation of prices does bring about a number of benefits all residents in Dubai will benefit from. Two of the most useful benefits include:

Enhanced cost transparency

While medical coverage in the Emirate is mandatory, there are plans that have lower coverage limits. This makes it essential for people with these plans to budget carefully when they seek medical care lest they go over their limit and be required to pay remaining costs. Cost regulation often brings about increased transparency. If you are able to see how much a visit to a General Practitioner and any subsequent care (if necessary) will cost, you will be better able to budget for this care should you go over the limits on your plan.

Businesses and insurers can also use this information to implement cost containment strategies that try to push policyholders to hospitals that offer better value, and even work to put pressure on certain facilities to keep prices competitive.

Improved health insurance plans

Insurers also benefit from cost regulations. In an ideal situation, the data generated by regulations allows insurers to better predict the cost of claims and care. This can result in the ability to more accurately create and tailor plans to the needs of the population while also reducing inflation

For example, if an insurer knows that the cost of a GP visit will be set at X and from past data, Y number of claims have come in, they can use this data to figure out whether the benefits offered by their plans are sound enough, or need to be changed.

Simply put, this results in better quality and sustainable insurance plans.

Here at Pacific Prime Dubai, we are eager to see the positive changes the new health insurance law will bring but do realize it will take time to implement them. In the meantime, it is essential to find and secure sustainable health insurance. If you are looking for a plan for yourself or your employees, we can help. Contact us today to learn about your options.

Content Strategist at Pacific Prime Dubai
Jessica Lindeman is a Content Strategist at Pacific Prime. She comes to work every day living and breathing the motto of "simplifying insurance", and injects her unbridled enthusiasm for health and insurance related topics into every article and piece of content she creates for Pacific Prime.

When she's not typing away on her keyboard, she's reading poetry, fueling her insatiable wanderlust, getting her coffee fix, and perpetually browsing animal Instagram accounts.