Alternative Medicine Treatments You Can Add to Your Health Insurance Plan15 Mar, 2023
Alternative treatments include homeopathy, ayurveda, herbal medicine etc. But are they covered under health insurance plans in UAE? Read to know more about alternative medicine treatment coverage.
Health Insurance Coverage for Ayurveda and Homeopathy Treatments
As the benefits of ayurveda and homeopathy are gaining currency, people are resorting to alternative treatment methods. And UAE is no exception to this trend.
Switching to organic foods and making health-conscious choices is the norm in this age. This has led to a growing interest in therapies that have lesser side effects than conventional treatment methods. Standard treatments are known to provide quick results; however, they can also have negative effects on our health. Side effects that last longer than the cure and lack of effectiveness in treating viruses and bacteria are some of the reasons why people opt for alternative treatments such as ayurveda and homeopathy.
Quick Read Section
- The most inexpensive health insurance option in Dubai is called the Essential Benefits Plan, or EBP plan.
- As per DHA regulations, alternative therapies will now be covered by basic health insurance plans.
- The annual sum limit for alternative treatment cover ranges up to AED 2500 and a copay percentage of 20 percent.
- Due to the inclusion of alternative medicine in health insurance coverage, ayurvedic therapies in the UAE have expanded in scope and accessibility.
- Aromatherapy, acupressure, and massages are not covered by alternative medicine insurance.
What does Alternative Medicine mean?
Alternative medicine refers to treatments that are utilized to cure in place of traditional modes of treatment. Health insurance plans in UAE did not previously include alternative medicine treatments under basic coverage. Since 2021, alternative treatments are covered even under the basic health insurance plans in Dubai, as per DHA regulations.
What are the alternative medicine treatments available in UAE?
You can get treatment through these various streams of alternative medicine here in the UAE:
- Chinese/ Eastern Medicine
- Acupuncture/ Chiropractic Medicine
- Naturopathic Medicine
- Therapeutic Massages
- Osteopathic Medicine
Alternative Medicine Insurance in UAE
The Essential Benefits Plan or EBP plan is the most basic health insurance plan available at affordable rates in Dubai. Mandatory EBP plans were started in 2016 to ensure that all residents, employees, their working and non-working dependents, and domestic workers get access to medical insurance at reasonable rates.
As health insurance is mandatory for all citizens, an EBP plan is suitable for those residents who have an income lesser than AED 4,000 a month and for those who cannot afford to get coverage for their dependents. EBP plans offer coverage for general consultations, referrals to specialist doctors, surgery, lab tests, ER services, checkups, and maternity care at affordable premiums. Now, the health insurance plans in Dubai also offer coverage for alternative treatments such as homeopathy and ayurveda. The annual sum limit for alternative treatment cover ranges up to AED 2500 and a copay percentage of 20 percent. (subject to insurance policy-specific terms and conditions)
The inclusion of alternative medicine coverage in EBP plans is beneficial to low-income workers as they can get to choose from various modes of treatment. Previously, alternative treatment coverage was only accessible as an add-on to those who purchased costlier health insurance plans.
Ayurveda treatments in UAE
The addition of alternative treatment in health insurance coverage has led to the age-old treatment of Ayurveda becoming more inclusive and accessible to UAE residents. Patients can now get ayurveda to treat diseases at the primary level for affordable rates. Alternative medicine insurance covers any treatment or therapy given by a UAE-licensed Ayurveda medical practitioner. However, not all alternative treatments are covered under health insurance. Exclusions include aromatherapy, acupressure, and massages.
Homeopathy treatments in UAE
Homeopathy has been recognized as a licensed treatment method only quite recently. But as per DHA reports, around fifteen thousand people visit alternative treatment facilities in UAE every year. Homeopathy is a natural treatment method that aims at improving your body’s immune system through the use of herbal extracts. It is an alternative method of treatment to the conventional use of antibiotics to treat illnesses.
Acupuncture and Chiropractic treatments in UAE
Acupuncture is a well-known alternative treatment method that helps remove stiffness and pain from the body by releasing tension and increasing the circulation of blood. This alternative medicine is popular in UAE as it is pain-free and provides immediate results. Acupuncture involves rubbing the various pressure points of the body to ease tensed muscles into relaxation.
Chiropractic treatment is another alternative treatment available in the UAE. It is used to correct skeletal alignment by working on bones and joints of the body. Chiropractors helps improve posture and release stress on the nervous and muscular systems.
Which insurance companies offer coverage for alternative medicine and therapies in UAE?
Health insurance companies that offer coverage for alternative treatments are:
1. Adamjee Insurance-
Adamjee Insurance offers coverage for these alternative treatments- Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, and Acupuncture. The sum limit of coverage offered is up to AED 1600 and is only available on reimbursement basis.
ADNIC’s Shifa Plan offers coverage for alternative treatments only under Silver, Gold and Platinum plans and is not available for Bronze plans. The sum limit of coverage is AED 1500, AED 7500 and AED 15,000 for Silver, Gold and Platinum plans respectively.
3. GIG Insurance (previously AXA)
Alternative treatment coverage is offered by GIG (Gulf Insurance Company) health insurance plans under their Smart Health Global and Gold plans. Their Bronze and Silver plans do not cover alternative medicine. The Smart Health Global plan has a sum limit coverage of AED 5000 and the Smart Health Gold plan has a sum limit coverage of AED 3000.
Daman Insurance Company covers alternative treatments as an add-on benefit for its enhanced and premier plans. Daman offers coverage for these alternative treatments- Acupuncture, Osteopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Herbal and Chinese medicine.
Cigna Insurance offers coverage for these alternative treatments- Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese medicine. The annual sum limit for treatments for each of these treatments is AED 3500.
6. Orient Health insurance-
Alternative treatment coverage is offered by Orient health insurance under their Health+ plans. Orient Insurance offers coverage for these alternative treatments- Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Homeopathy, Acupuncture, Ayurveda, and Herbal Treatments. The sum limit of coverage offered is up to AED 1600 and is only available on a reimbursement basis.
7. Takaful Emarat-
Takaful Emarat Insurance offers coverage for these alternative treatments- Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Chiropractic, and Osteopathy. Alternative treatment coverage is offered under their Enhanced medical plans at an annual sum limit of AED 2500.
8. Watania Insurance-
Watania Insurance offers coverage for these alternative treatments- Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, and Acupuncture. The sum limit of coverage offered is up to AED 1600 and is only available on a reimbursement basis.
9. RAK Insurance-
RAK Insurance’s Family plans offer coverage for these alternative treatments- Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicine, and Acupuncture. The sum limit of coverage offered is up to AED 1600 and is only available on a reimbursement basis.
As awareness of the effects that food and medicine have on our bodies increases, more people are turning to alternative medicine. Alternative medicine can be effective in treating a variety of ailments, and many doctors now recommend it for their patients.
Alternative treatments are a more flexible option for patients. Chiropractors and other alternative medicine practitioners often change their treatment plans according to lifestyle changes, whereas mainstream medical professionals do not.
Health insurance plans can help you secure your finances from the high costs of medical treatment. Many health insurance plans in UAE offer alternative medicine cover for treatments. Talk to your insurance broker or provider to know more about the alternative medicine adds-on in your health insurance plan and how much coverage you get.
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