Mental Health Coverage in Insurance: A Guide for UAE Residents

Mental health coverage- medical insurance- Gargash Insurance brokers- UAE 29 Feb, 2024

Are you a UAE resident seeking mental health coverage in your health insurance? Look no further! This guide will provide you with the information you need.

In recent years, the awareness and understanding of mental health have significantly increased across the globe, including the UAE. As the importance of mental well-being gains recognition, individuals are increasingly seeking comprehensive health insurance that covers mental health services.

Recognizing the importance of mental wellbeing, health insurance providers in the UAE have taken significant strides to ensure comprehensive mental health coverage for their policyholders. This article highlights the benefits of mental health coverage in insurance and the key factors to consider when choosing a plan.


Quick Read Section

  • When choosing mental health insurance, it is important to consider the inclusion of mental health services, the network of providers, coverage limitations, out-of-pocket expenses, and coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • The cost of mental health insurance in the UAE varies depending on the level of coverage, with basic plans starting at Dh950 and more comprehensive plans starting at Dh3,000. (subject to policy terms and conditions)
  • The extent of mental health coverage varies among insurance companies and plans, but it commonly includes consultations, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, medication, rehabilitation services, and more.
  • Commonly covered psychological disorders under health insurance include psychotic disorders, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and depression.


Is Mental Health covered under Insurance?

In the past, mental health conditions were excluded from health insurance plans in the UAE. Many insurance companies did not consider psychological disorders as eligible for coverage. However, there has been a recent shift in this perspective, leading to mental healthcare services being covered under many health insurance plans in the UAE.

The post-Covid period saw a heightened awareness of mental health among residents in the UAE, resulting in an escalating need for mental health insurance. Insurance providers have recognized this growing demand for mental health support and have ensured the inclusion of various mental health services and psychological disorders in their coverage. These services typically encompass psychiatric consultations, psychotherapy sessions, counseling, and inpatient or outpatient mental health facility treatments. By offering coverage for mental health services, insurance providers aim to prioritize the mental well-being of their policyholders and provide necessary support when needed.


Benefits of Mental Health Coverage

  • Access to Quality Care: Mental health coverage ensures that policyholders have access to a network of qualified mental health professionals and facilities. This ensures timely and appropriate care, reducing the burden of finding and affording mental health services independently.
  • Financial Protection: Mental health treatment can be costly, especially for severe or long-term conditions. Health insurance coverage helps mitigate the financial burden by covering a significant portion of the expenses associated with mental health services, including consultations, therapy sessions, and medications.
  • Holistic Approach to Health: Mental health coverage promotes a holistic approach to healthcare, recognizing that mental well-being is as important as physical health. By including mental health services in insurance plans, individuals are encouraged to prioritize their mental well-being, leading to improved overall health outcomes.
  • Therapeutic Support: Rehabilitation therapy stands as an essential treatment approach for psychological disorders. Health insurance plans in the UAE now encompass provisions for covering the expenses associated with rehabilitation therapy, ensuring comprehensive protection for policyholders.
  • Professional Guidance and Therapy: Health insurance plans also feature benefits catering to doctor consultations and counseling services for individuals dealing with mental health disorders. The necessity for a referral from the primary care physician may be contingent upon the chosen plan, especially for specialist consultations.


Key Factors to Consider While Choosing Mental Health Insurance

  • Inclusion of Mental Health Services: When choosing a health insurance plan, ensure that mental health services are explicitly mentioned in the coverage details. Look for terms such as psychiatric consultations, therapy sessions, counseling, and mental health facility treatments.
  • Network of Providers: Check if the insurance provider has a broad network of mental health professionals and facilities. A robust network ensures that you have access to a diverse range of experts and treatment options.
  • Coverage Limitations: Review the policy to understand any limitations or restrictions on mental health coverage. Pay attention to factors such as the number of therapy sessions allowed, pre-authorization requirements, and coverage for specific mental health conditions.
  • Out-of-Pocket Expenses: Assess the out-of-pocket expenses associated with mental health coverage. Look for information on copayments, deductibles, and any additional costs you may need to bear.
  • Pre-existing Conditions: Determine if the insurance plan covers pre-existing mental health conditions. There might be waiting periods in place before pre-existing conditions are covered under certain plans.


How much does insurance for mental health cost in the UAE?

Basic coverage for mental health starts at Dh950, while more extensive plans offering comprehensive coverage options begin at Dh3,000. (subject to policy terms and conditions)

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) sets specific limits and standards for mental health coverage, and insurance providers typically adhere to these regulations.


Is mental health coverage included in all insurance plans?

Not every health insurance plan incorporates coverage for mental health services. Nevertheless, in the UAE, medical insurance does encompass several psychological disorders, such as depression. Some insurance providers even offer specialized plans dedicated to mental health. Presently, medical insurance companies in the UAE treat mental illnesses on par with physical ailments, resulting in comparable coverage scopes. This includes hospitalization, therapy sessions, diagnostic tests, pharmaceuticals, and related services. Moreover, certain medical insurance plans may also encompass consultations, rehabilitation, counseling, and more.

While not all insurance companies in the UAE automatically include mental health coverage, there is a growing trend towards incorporating mental health services in more comprehensive insurance plans.

The extent of mental health coverage varies based on the insurance company, the level of coverage, and the specific diagnosis. Policies may cover psychiatry, psychology, or family therapy, but the provided coverage differs among plans. For expatriates, most insurance plans generally do not cover psychiatric treatment or sessions with psychologists, although there are exceptions. For instance, Daman's comprehensive premiere plan for non-Emiratis includes psychiatric services, albeit with a maximum coverage value of Dh3,500 per year. Similarly, some enhanced plans offered for larger organizations may also include mental health coverage, although the limits and benefits can vary.


Inclusions Under Mental Health Insurance

Key inclusions are:

  • Consultations with doctors
  • Hospitalization expenses
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Radiology tests
  • Prescription medication
  • Ambulance charges
  • Rehabilitation services
  • Daycare benefits
  • Room rent for hospital stays


*Note: It's important to note that the specific details and extent of these benefits may vary depending on the specific details of your insurance plan.


Exclusions Under Mental Health Insurance

While certain insurance providers may not include coverage for doctor consultations related to psychological illnesses, other benefits such as hospitalization and room rent coverage remain consistent. However, it's important to be aware of some specific circumstances and limitations that may apply to mental health insurance coverage, including:

  • Mental disorders caused by substance abuse or misuse may not be covered by some insurance plans.
  • Recurring disorders may indicate that the prescribed treatment regimen was not followed properly before, which could impact coverage.
  • Outpatient treatment and consultations may have specific coverage limitations or requirements.
  • Services obtained from medical facilities outside of the insurance provider's network may have different coverage terms.
  • Services obtained from medical facilities that do not meet the hygiene and service standards set in the UAE may have limitations in coverage.


*Note: It's crucial to review the terms and conditions of your specific insurance plan to understand the scope and limitations of mental health coverage in these situations.


Which Psychological Disorders are Covered Under Health Insurance?

Health insurance for mental health disorders typically covers a range of psychological disorders, including:

  • Psychotic disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Acute Depression
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Mood disorders


These are the commonly covered psychological disorders under health insurance plans for mental health. However, it's important to review the specific terms and conditions of your insurance policy to understand the coverage details and any potential limitations.


Best Health Insurance Plans in UAE with Mental Health Coverage

Some insurance companies in the UAE include mental health services in their standard plans or offer specialized packages catering to the unique needs of individuals seeking mental health support. Here is a list of UAE’s best health insurance plans with mental health coverage:

  • Sukoon Insurance (previously Oman Insurance): Sukoon Insurance Company offers mental health coverage for emergency mental healthcare treatments under their Essential Benefits Plan (EBP plans). Their HealthPlus plans cover psychiatric treatments which are not mandated by DOH and DHA, with a payable coinsurance of 30%. The coverage limit for these plans starts from AED 5,000 and ranges up to AED 15,000.
  • Daman Insurance: Psychiatric treatments with pre-authorization is covered under Daman health insurance. Under Daman insurance plans, visits to psychiatrists and psychotherapists are covered once a week through direct billing, up to four times per month. If additional sessions are necessary as part of the patient's treatment plan, they may also be covered. Emiratis enrolled in the Thiqa insurance plan provided by Daman have free and comprehensive access to mental health care services at over 50 public and private facilities. Inpatient treatments are covered up to 10 days and you can coverage up to AED 10,000/year for outpatient treatments, both non-network and outside UAE.
  • Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (ADNIC): ADNIC’s Shifa plans offer coverage for psychiatry treatment and psychological counseling under their Silver, Gold and Platinum tiers. The coverage limit for these plans start from AED 1,500 and ranges up to AED 30,000 per year.
  • Orient Insurance: Orient Insurance offers coverage for in-patient psychiatric treatments up to AED 10,000 and outpatient psychiatric treatments up to AED 3,000 in their plans with premiums over AED 2,000 per year.
  • GIG Insurance (previously AXA Insurance): GIG’s Smart Health plans cover psychiatric treatments with a coinsurance of 30% under their Silver, Gold, Regional and Global plans. The coverage limit for these plans start from AED 5,000 and ranges up to AED 15,000.
  • Cigna Insurance: Cigna offers inpatient and daycare benefits for emergency mental healthcare under their Regional, International and International Plus plans. Their plans also include non-emergency mental health care coverage up to AED 12,000 per year.
  • Takaful Emarat Insurance: Takaful Emarat’s Enhanced Medical Plan includes psychiatric treatment coverage, up to AED 3,000 per annum for outpatient treatments and up to 10,000 per annum for in-patient treatments.
  • Bupa Insurance: Bupa Insurance covers consultation fees with psychiatrists, psychologists and psychotherapists in case of medical emergencies and chronic conditions.


How to Get Insurance with Mental Health Coverage?

Navigating the intricacies of health insurance, especially concerning mental health coverage, can be challenging. This is where insurance brokers play a crucial role. Insurance brokers are professionals who specialize in helping individuals find the most suitable insurance plans based on their unique requirements. Our insurance brokers can help you get health insurance plans with the most extensive coverage for mental health services. Their expertise can assist you in making informed decisions that align with your well-being.



By understanding the benefits of mental health coverage and considering key factors when choosing a plan, you can prioritize your mental well-being and access the necessary support and resources. Remember to thoroughly review policy details, including the inclusion of mental health services, network of providers, coverage limitations, out-of-pocket expenses, and coverage for pre-existing conditions.

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