Wondering whether your chronic ailment is covered by insurers in Dubai or not? Keep reading to find out exactly what’s covered and how the coverage for such conditions works in Dubai.

What is a pre-existing condition?

In health insurance terminology, a pre-existing condition is a medical condition that exists before the insurance policy coverage comes into effect. A health condition is usually considered pre-existing if it was diagnosed and you received treatment or medical advice for it prior to applying for the insurance policy.

A pre-existing condition could be chronic or not.

[Related: Get instant health insurance from Souqalmal.com]

What is a chronic condition?

A chronic condition is a disease or illness that requires long-term treatment and monitoring to manage the symptoms. It may continue indefinitely and is likely to come back once treated. It may or may not have a known cure.

Here are some examples of health issues that can be classified as chronic conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • Obesity
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s

Covered or not: What does the law in Dubai say?

The new Health Insurance Law in Dubai states that insurance coverage cannot be denied due to pre-existing or chronic conditions. As a general rule, treatment for such conditions is excluded for the first six months of enrolling into any health insurance plan in the Emirate of Dubai, and included thereafter.

[Related: 7 Things to consider before buying health insurance]

Six-month waiting period under the Essential Benefits Plan

Under the Dubai Health Authority’s affordable Essential Benefits Plan (EBP), coverage of pre-existing and chronic medical conditions is subject to a six-month waiting period. This waiting period is only applicable to new members enrolling into the EBP for the first time.

The waiting period will not apply if you were previously insured. You will have to provide proof of your last health insurance cover to avail this benefit.

However, if an emergency develops due to a pre-existing or chronic condition within the six-month waiting period, it must be covered up to the annual aggregate coverage limit.

Pregnancy is not treated as a pre-existing condition under this plan, and is therefore not subject to a waiting period.

Can you get coverage for pre-existing conditions from Day 1?

The Essential Benefits Plan is the most basic and no-frills form of health insurance cover that you can opt for. Apart from this scheme, there’s various other premium health insurance policies offered by insurers in Dubai.

Many insurance companies offer plans where coverage for pre-existing and chronic conditions is included from Day 1, with no waiting period applicable. The only requirement is that you must declare these existing medical conditions at the time of applying for the policy. Any existing chronic disease or medical condition that hasn’t been declared will be excluded from coverage throughout the policy term. Keep in mind that the premium for such policies will be higher than the usual too.