Understanding Basic Cover Health Insurance in Dubai

Everyone living in Dubai must be covered for at least basic health insurance and this is law as of June 2016, under the Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme. It is up to every employer to implement health cover for all employees (and their families, subject to conditions).  In response to the law, the Dubai Health Authority has given 43 insurance companies permission to operate as medical insurance providers for the government’s Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme.  Seven companies were approved to provide the basic level of coverage.

The minimum health insurance coverage is particularly designed to insure people that earn less than DH400 and it is believed to meet the most basic of medical needs.  The cost to employers per employee for basic cover is approximately DH600 although premiums vary depending on the insurance company used. However the actual level of medical cover should be very similar.  In addition to basic insurance, there is coinsurance which must be paid by the insured.  This is set at 20%, although there is a limit to it which is capped at DH150,000.

While the basic cover is designed for those earning less than DH4000, it is still usable for those on higher incomes although the actual premium would cost more and be based on the individual’s income.  As far as pre-existing conditions, the Basic Health Plan (BHP) cannot deny individuals the insurance however, severe pre-existing medical conditions might be excluded for the first six months of cover so check with your medical insurer first.

What does the Basic Health Plan (BHP) Cover?

Here’s a useful list of what the Basic Health Plan covers:


  • Examination
  • Diagnostics and treatment by doctors, specialists and consultants
  • Lab testing
  • Radiology diagnostic services
  • Medicines
  • Vaccines and immunisations
  • Physiotherapy
  • Diabetes screening (limited to every three years from the age of 30 or age 18 for high risk patients)
  • Diagnostics for dental
  • Treatment for dental and gums
  • Hearing aids
  • Vision aids
  • Corrective laser and surgical treatment (vision)


  • Tests, diagnostic treatment, surgery
  • Emergency treatment


  • Maternity care
  • Newborn care
  • Ante natal care

Always Use a Certified Health Insurer

As a final note, obviously, it is always in your best interest to use a certified provider for basic medical cover.  Do also remember that the Basic Health Plan is only local and won’t cover any treatment required outside the UAE.  Additionally, each insurance provider has its own network of health services (hospitals, clinics etc.) defined in their agreement so there will be differences; check your health insurer covers your preferred local hospital.