Looking at renewing your health insurance plan?
Almost all health insurance plans sold in Dubai are structured to provide coverage for one year. This means that after 12 months have elapsed, you will need to renew the plan if you want to maintain your coverage. A common, and easy thing to do is simply tick the 'auto-renewal' box and continue with your existing plan while paying any premium increases.
Throughout the life of your plan, however, your situation might change meaning your current plan might not be meeting your needs. This means it is important to review your coverage options each year before you renew your plan. Here at Pacific Prime Dubai, we have a dedicated renewals team that works with you to not only help renew your plan but also identify better coverage options should they be available. Learn more about how health insurance plan renewal works with Pacific Prime Dubai.
Why should I bother looking into my health insurance renewal?
Obviously, you picked your current insurance plan because you liked the benefits it provided you at the price you have been paying. That is unless you obtain your insurance through your employer. (More on this later.) So, why should you worry about your renewal when you already know that your current plan works for you? The answer is simply that maybe the plan you had no longer does work for you.
Over the course of a year, quite a bit can change. With regards to your medical insurance policy, not only can your situation change, but also your insurer’s situation, and subsequently your policy specifics. For example, If you have welcomed a new baby to your family in the past year, you may need to add them to your policy, which could lead to you wanting to change the benefits on the policy, which will alter your premiums significantly. At this point, working with Pacific Prime Dubai's Renewal team to do a plan comparison of what is available on the market is likely to result in a better result than just ticking the ‘auto-renewal’ box.
Other major events that may lead you to reexamine your current medical insurance plan include the development of a new chronic illness, moving abroad, or finding a new employer.
Speaking of employers, if you are insured via your employer’s group health insurance policy, your renewal doesn’t work in the same way as an individual plan would. The major decisions about the options available to you are largely out of your control, as your company’s plan administrator and other decision makers will decide the benefits that will be available to you.
Furthermore, there will be a renewal window each year where you can make changes to your plan, though your options may be somewhat limited. If you have any special requests, you will have to approach the plan administrator with them and hope that they are approved. If the choices available to you are all unsatisfactory, you may have to purchase a separate individual health insurance plan, or a top-up plan, in order to obtain all of your preferred coverages.
What should I be looking for?
When you are examining your options at renewal time, depending on your situation, there may some key terms to watch out for. The most common being:
- Guaranteed renewal: A term used by insurers to say that your plan will always eligible for renewal at the end of the policy's term.
- Automated renewal: A feature of many health insurance plans where your plan is automatically renewed and your credit card charged on your plan's renewal date.
- Lifetime renewability: Similar to guaranteed renewal, but some policies will only be guaranteed renewable to a certain age, or if a condition is met e.g., you go over the policy's lifetime claim limit. Lifetime policies can be renewed as long as you are alive.
One thing to be aware of here when it comes time to renew your health insurance plan: While many people have their policies set to automatically renew, if you let your policy lapse, the guaranteed renewable portion of it will be void, so be sure to let it be known well in advance that you would like to renew if that is your intention. That way you won’t be left out in the cold.
Other health insurance renewal tips
- Health insurance plan premiums generally rise each year in order to keep up with medical costs, as well as a number of other factors. However, if you cannot believe your eyes when you see the price tag on your renewed policy, it may be time to talk with an insurance broker like Pacific Prime Dubai about why the premiums are going up so much. They may be able to shed light on the subject, or even negotiate the premiums with your insurer on your behalf.
- Start looking at the renewal process one to two months in advance of your current policy’s expiration date. Should you decide to change over to a new plan, it can take a few weeks for a new insurer to process and approve your application.
- Pre-existing conditions are one of the hot topics when it comes to health insurance. Generally, if you have an illness or injury prior to obtaining a health insurance policy, these conditions will not be covered. Of course, if you develop a condition while you are insured, you will continue to be covered for it upon renewal. However, if you were to change insurers, there is a good chance that your pre-existing condition would not be covered without an additional cost, if at all.
- A pre-existing condition may no longer be considered a pre-existing condition if you can go for a set period of time without an occurrence. For instance, if you had previously been diagnosed with a heart problem, but go five years without having any heart issues, your insurer may no longer consider the problem to be a pre-existing condition.
- Premiums are determined by an insurance company's underwriters. They take a number of details into account before deciding on your premiums. This includes age, pre-existing conditions, and medical history, geographical location, area of coverage, policy benefits, and more.
- Auto-renewal makes the whole renewal process easy, but don’t forget that you may have a better option.
With the information provided above, hopefully, you are now better prepared to approach an upcoming health insurance policy renewal. If you still have any questions, though, please reach out to one of our knowledgeable insurance advisers. They are happy to answer any questions you may have, as well as provide you with a free plan comparison and price quotation.