You’re cooped up inside your home, worried about the raging pandemic that Covid-19 has turned into. You read the news, and it only increases your concerns. Thousands upon thousands of people around the world have contracted the Coronavirus. You read about the health complications caused by the disease – Fever, a dry cough, and in the worst case scenario, pneumonia.
Your next thought – “Will my health insurance cover the testing, diagnosis and treatment in case I catch this dreaded disease?”
Our team reached out to a number of health insurance providers and did some digging to get you the facts.
What are the health authorities doing about it?
A few months ago, the UAE Ministry of Health & Prevention (MoHAP) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) had announced that all suspected and confirmed cases of Coronavirus had to be treated as emergency cases free of cost. This is irrespective of the type or grade of health insurance coverage the patient has.
So you can calm down, right?
But wait a minute – “If I suspect I have the Coronavirus, exactly how, where and when do I get tested?” With all of these stories in the news about how people are being turned away by hospitals because they don’t exhibit the appropriate symptoms or haven’t traveled recently – Where does that leave you?
Be aware of Covid-19 testing criteria
You probably know by now that not everyone with flu-like symptoms is being tested for the Coronavirus. To qualify for a test, you need to meet the following criteria:
- Respiratory symptoms (cough, cold, breathing difficulties) and a fever
- A travel history to a Coronavirus-affected country in the last 14 days or close contact with a confirmed (or suspected) Covid-19 patient
Speak to your health insurance provider
Now this is an important one that most people overlook. The DHA has given residents the option of visiting any hospital (public or private) or one of DHA’s Primary Healthcare Centers to seek medical assessment. You will first have to seek a consultation with a doctor (most likely a GP), who will evaluate your symptoms and refer you for Covid-19 testing if required.
If you decide to go to a private hospital, make sure you check with your health insurance company about the network of hospitals and clinics you have access to. This network coverage will be based on the grade/type of your health insurance plan. Naturally, more premium plans will give you access to a wider network of hospitals, compared to a basic no-frills plan.
After the testing, you’ve also got to worry about the diagnosis, quarantine and treatment too, right? That’s where having adequate health insurance coverage becomes important, so you can visit the hospital of your choice, without having to worry about the hefty bills.
It’s always a good idea to check with your insurance company about the protocol they’re following to cover the medical expenses of Covid-19 positive patients. Make sure you ask if a deductible (out of pocket expenses) applies. This will again depend on the insurance plan you have opted for.
Looking for the right health insurance plan? Compare your options and find one here.