The Middle East has always been one of the most standout regions in each yearly edition of our Cost of International Health Insurance report, and includes 14 countries where international medical insurance plans are popular among expats and High Net Worth individuals alike.
Taking into account the average premiums of Middle Eastern countries, the average cost of international health insurance in 2018 spans from between USD 9,917 in Dubai and USD 7,087 in Azerbaijan. This signifies a range of USD 2,830 between the most expensive and least costly location.
One major point to note here is Dubai's jump in ranking from 2nd most expensive in the Middle East region in 2017 to 1st most expensive in 2018. Globally, Dubai has jumped in ranking from 9th most expensive last year to 4th most expensive this year, surpassing other high cost countries like Singapore and China.
Dubai has experienced a number of monumental changes where health insurance is concerned, chief among them being the final implementation of mandatory health insurance at the beginning of 2017.
The Emirate's mandatory health insurance law has meant that every single resident - including expats and visitors - must have compliant health coverage. This high level of insured population means more people can use healthcare services when they need to, which in turn means more people are submitting claims. The most common way for insurers to profitably cover increases in plan utilization is to increase premiums.