UAE: Mental Health Insurance Premiums Surge Annually by 10-15% Due to Rising Demand

UAE: Mental Health Insurance Premiums Surge Annually by 10-15% Due to Rising Demand

While enhanced plans that provide a wider range of coverage start at Dh3,000, base coverage is priced at Dh950.

The United Arab Emirates' premiums for mental health insurance have been rising annually by 10 to 15 percent, and it is anticipated that this trend will carry over beyond 2024. Executives in the insurance sector claim that as awareness of mental health issues has increased in the wake of the epidemic, UAE citizens' need for mental health insurance is still growing.

Since the pandemic, medical inflation has caused mental health insurance premiums to rise annually from 10% to 15%, according to Anas Mistareehi, the founder and CEO of eSanad.

He stated,

"This trend is projected to continue in 2024, so policyholders will have to pay more for their health insurance premiums as a form of adjustment owing to the high utilisation,”

as about half of the insurance companies in the market have already raised their rates.

According to Unitrust Insurance's executive director, Moin Ur Rehman, the cost of medical procedures has led to a general increase in health insurance premiums in 2023, including those for mental health. Therefore, insurance rates are a way for this to trickle down to the regular person.

"Medical costs may also be a factor; mental health therapies can need a medium- to long-term commitment and result in substantial costs.

Rehman stated,

"The trend for 2024 points to a continuation of this situation; we do not see a decline in medical insurance rates anytime soon.

The World Health Organization reports that since 2020, the cost of mental health services has increased six-fold in the United Arab Emirates.

Demand growing

According to Moin Ur Rehman, the need for mental health insurance has grown as a result of cultural changes, an increase in the number of immigrants from nations where mental health awareness is common, and increased knowledge of mental health conditions like anxiety, depression, and stress-related disorders.

According to Mistareehi, the need for mental health insurance has surged in the United Arab Emirates as a result of the rise in mental health therapies. This is particularly true since the COVID-19 pandemic made many people's mental health worse as they battled with relationship and financial issues.

Base coverage for mental health coverage starts at Dh950, while enhanced plans that offer a wider spectrum of coverage start at Dh3,000, according to eSanad.

Insurers usually follow the guidelines and limitations imposed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) for mental health coverage.

Do all insurance plans cover mental health?

While not all health insurance plans include mental health, Mistareehi said that medical insurance in the UAE does cover a number of psychological problems, including depression.

Specialized insurance policies for mental health are also provided by certain insurance companies. Medical insurance providers in the United Arab Emirates increasingly consider mental diseases to be on par with physical ailments. As a result, the coverage area is comparable. From inpatient stays to counseling, medical exams, prescription drugs, and other treatments. The UAE's medical insurance policies can also include consultations, counseling, rehabilitation, etc., the speaker continued.

Rehman reiterated Mistareehi's remarks, saying that most insurance plans do not cover mental health and that requests for coverage must be made directly.

"At the moment, not all insurance providers in the UAE offer mental health coverage. Nonetheless, there is a movement in favor of adding mental health services to more all-inclusive insurance packages.

Seeking maximum, wider coverage

The CEO of eSanad went on to say that people and organizations frequently search for plans that address a variety of mental health ailments, ranging from common problems like anxiety and depression to more complicated disorders.

"Individuals are looking for insurance plans that cover not just therapy or counselling but a wide spectrum of mental health services, including preventive care, alternative therapies, and digital mental health solutions,"

he stated.

Rehman observed that people and businesses were typically looking for insurance with greater coverage limitations.

"They give coverage for hospital stays, consultations, psychotherapy or therapy sessions, and prescription drugs priority. Additionally, there's a growing need for coverage that offers complementary and alternative forms of treatment. People are more likely to look for this coverage. Conversely, larger or international businesses are typically the ones that offer this coverage to their staff members,"

he continued.

According to Rehman, consumers are now looking for the highest level of coverage for mental health therapies because these treatments can be expensive, time-consuming, and require a lot of support.

"More people are considering options, however, most people are still concerned with the high premium costs associated with it, and the majority may still opt for cover without it."

News Source: Khaleej Times

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