Showing their dedication to the UAE market and capitalising on their depth of local knowledge in the country, InterGlobal has worked exclusively with Pacific Prime to create a product that is specifically tailored to meet the requirements of the growing demand for high level Individual Medical Insurance plans for expatriates in the United Arab Emirates.
The plan has been designed to match the needs of individuals in the UAE and to achieve this, a few crucial adjustments had to be made to InterGlobal's original individual plan. Firstly, InterGlobal needed to include the use of an outpatient direct billing network with enough geographical coverage to be made available to residents living in all areas of the Emirate. Regarding actual benefit changes, few changes were needed. Both the "Hospital Cash" and "Home Nursing" benefits were removed, as well as making Dental coverage optional. Finally, to make the plan more suitable in the UAE, per-conditions excess was removed and replaced with an outpatient co-payment option.
In growing expatriate communities such as in the UAE, with an equally growing number of international standard medical facilities, the requirement for benefits such as Hospital Cash and Home Nursing are not considered as necessary as other parts of the plan. To explain these benefits, the Hospital Cash benefit is a financial sum given to the insured member in the event of a hospitalisation that is not charged to the insurer; whereas the Home Nursing benefit covers the cost of a nurse to provide treatment at the patient's residence, as the name suggests.
The hospital cash benefit is designed to provide insured members with a cash incentive to utilise their home health system, or others, so that the insurer does not need to pay for the treatment. However, with the standard of international treatment rising, the tendency is weakening for expatriates to want to go home for treatment. Furthermore, seeing as costs will actually be more expensive for clients to pay for their journey home, the hospital cash benefit has become one of the most infrequently utilised benefits on the market as clients prefer to be treated locally in the private facilities.
The home nursing benefit is also something that has become less frequently used. The benefit is designed for patients to be treated in their own home after hospitalisation, rather than take up valuable hospital beds. In home government systems where there is a shortage of beds, this benefit can be very helpful to alleviate pressure on the need for bed spaces available. However, in expatriate hubs, where there is a larger quantity of private hospital beds available, the likelihood is that the patient will remain in the hospital until fully recovered thereby drastically reducing the need for home nursing. Furthermore, in cases where the patient may need home nursing, the costs for this would actually be much lower than in more developed countries with higher charges for nursing and travel.
Further to these benefits, InterGlobal and Pacific Prime chose to make the dental coverage on the comprehensive plan optional, as opposed to keeping it as a built in benefit. This helped to create significant savings on the premium as the costs for dental coverage are among the highest of any specific treatment type. The removal of this benefit alone will save clients 10% on the premium, helping to make the plan far more accessible.
The removal of the per condition excess and choosing to replace it with a choice of an outpatient co-payment has also helped to bring the plan more in line with the market standards in the UAE. In the UAE, local plans are more likely to have a per visit deductible, instead of per condition. The new option of choosing either a 10% or 20% co-payment for outpatient treatment will help clients save either 12% or 16% respectively on their premium.
For any inpatient treatment, InterGlobal will still cover this in full, so clients are protected against the extremely high costs for hospitalisation in the UAE. However, by agreeing to pay a portion of their outpatient treatment, clients will not only save on their premium, but will also help their insurer to control the increasing costs for outpatient treatment at some of the high cost facilities such as the American hospital or the Saudi German Hospital, which in turn will result in steady premium increases for the clients in the future.
The most significant benefit Pacific Prime clients will find on this plan is the inclusion of outpatient direct billing. With InterGlobal creating a wide network of facilities with locations in all major parts of the UAE, it is a major advantage to clients for them to be able to avail of this network. All the local providers in the UAE offer outpatient direct billing, and though InterGlobal offer excellent coverage on an international basis, it was previously unable to match the local market practice of having outpatient direct billing, proving to be a significant drawback for clients in this region. Now, however, InterGlobal have made all the necessary changes to ensure the plan is stable and accessible for the future in the Middle East.
Clients will still be able to enjoy all of InterGlobal's usual benefits, such as freedom of choice with full reimbursement at any facility (even if outside the network), the possibility of coverage for existing medical conditions, great family discounts (covering the 2nd, 3rd and 4th children for free) and a no claims discount on the renewal premium.
Pacific Prime is extremely pleased that it is able to offer InterGlobal's latest plan exclusively in the UAE and looks forward to being able to provide clients with comprehensive benefits in such a developing region for individual Medical insurance.