Your Guide to Health Insurance Exclusions in the UAE: Decoding the Fine Print

Exclusions under health insurance- medical insurance brokers- Gargash Insurance- UAE 09 Nov, 2023

Read this blog to uncover the details on common health insurance exclusions in the UAE and make informed choices for a secure and tailored health insurance policy.

When it comes to health insurance in the UAE, the fine print matters. Exclusions and waiting periods are terms in policy documents which have a significant impact on your insurance coverage. This blog helps unravel the complexities surrounding exclusions and waiting periods in insurance policies, providing you with essential insights to make informed decisions about your health insurance coverage.


Quick Read Section

  • Health insurance policies often come with specific exclusions, which are conditions, treatments, or situations not covered by the insurance provider.
  • Common examples of health insurance exclusions include pre-existing conditions, cosmetic surgeries, dental coverage, optical coverage and alternative treatments.
  • Understanding health insurance exclusions ensures that you're aware of potential gaps in your coverage.


What are health insurance exclusions?

Health insurance offers a safety net for unforeseen medical expenses and understanding the exclusions under health insurance in the UAE is vital for making informed choices.

Health insurance exclusions refer to specific conditions or treatments that are not covered by your insurance policy. These exclusions can vary widely between insurance providers, making it crucial for individuals to delve into the specifics of their coverage. Examples of common exclusions in health insurance include pre-existing conditions, cosmetic procedures, dental and optical coverage and alternative treatments.


Common Exclusions in UAE Health Insurance Policies

Exclusions are explicitly outlined in your health insurance policy document. These include self-inflicted injuries, injuries sustained during illegal activities, and treatments for non-medical purposes. Recognizing these common exclusions helps in managing expectations and planning for potential out-of-pocket expenses.

Take the time to understand these exclusions to avoid any surprises when seeking medical care. If you have any questions or concerns about the exclusions, don't hesitate to reach out to your insurance broker or provider for clarification before you sign the policy confirmation document.

Below is a list of general health insurance exclusions in the UAE:

  • Undeclared Pre-existing Conditions: Many health insurance policies in the UAE have exclusions related to pre-existing conditions. It's crucial to understand what your policy considers a pre-existing condition and the waiting period associated with it, as it varies from insurer to insurer. Failing to disclose pre-existing health conditions during the application process can lead to denial of insurance claims. It's essential to transparently provide information about any pre-existing conditions and lifestyle habits to ensure your coverage is comprehensive.
  • Cosmetic and Elective Procedures: Procedures deemed elective or cosmetic, such as plastic surgeries, facelifts, and implants, are not covered under standard health insurance. If such procedures are essential for medical reasons, it's advisable to discuss coverage options with your insurance broker.
  • Dental and Optical Coverage: Basic health plans exclude dental and optical coverage, necessitating the need for additional riders. You should carefully review policy details to understand limitations and potential out-of-pocket expenses associated with dental procedures, optical treatments, and the purchase of eyeglasses or contact lenses.
  • Self-Inflicted Injuries or Suicide: One of the most significant exclusions in health insurance policies is coverage for injuries resulting from intentional self-harm or suicide attempts. Expenses related to hospitalization, prescription medications, and even death benefits and repatriation expenses, are typically not included under health insurance coverage.
  • High-Risk Injuries due to Adventure Sports: Health insurance may exclude coverage for injuries sustained during high-risk activities or adventure sports. Ensure you are aware of these exclusions, especially if you frequently engage in such activities.
  • Injuries from War, Conflicts, Terrorism, and Natural Disasters: Health insurance often does not cover injuries resulting from war, conflicts, acts of terrorism, or natural disasters. Understanding these exclusions is crucial, particularly for individuals living in regions prone to geopolitical tensions or natural disasters.
  • Weight Control Programs or Treatments: Health insurance policies typically exclude coverage for obesity treatments or weight loss surgeries. If weight management is a concern, it's essential to explore specific coverage options or alternative solutions.
  • Infertility-Related Treatments: Fertility treatments, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), are not covered by standard health insurance. Individuals considering fertility treatments should explore specialized coverage or add-ons.
  • Alternative Medicine Treatments: Health insurance typically does not cover alternative treatments including ayurveda, acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic therapy, aromatherapy, etc. Those seeking alternative treatments or complementary medicines should be aware of these exclusions and explore specific coverage for alternative healthcare.
  • Mental illness/ disability: Mental health disabilities and access to crucial services like therapy or medication for conditions like depression or anxiety is excluded under health insurance coverage. Exploring insurance options with inclusive mental health coverage or seeking standalone mental health policies can provide the necessary support for overall health and well-being.
  • Treatments for Substance Abuse Recovery: When it comes to substance abuse rehabilitation treatments, it's important to note that health insurance typically does not provide coverage for such services. Exploring specialized coverage or seeking assistance from addiction treatment programs may be necessary in such cases.
  • Domiciliary or Private Nursing Care: Health insurance excludes coverage for services involving medical care provided at home, as they fall outside the scope of health insurance coverage. It's essential for policyholders to be aware of this exclusion, as it means that the costs associated with hiring a private nurse for at-home care may not be covered by their insurance plan.
  • Growth Hormone Therapy: Growth hormone therapy is a specialized medical treatment often prescribed for individuals with growth disorders. While it can be a crucial aspect of healthcare for certain individuals, health insurance policies may exclude coverage for growth hormone therapy. Open communication with healthcare providers and insurance brokers can provide clarity on available solutions.
  • Costs Associated with Hearing Tests, Vision Corrections: Routine health services such as hearing tests and vision corrections, as well as the costs associated with hearing and vision aids, are often excluded from standard health insurance coverage. These exclusions mean that individuals may need to bear the expenses of routine check-ups, eyeglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids, and related services out of pocket.


Waiting Periods in Health Insurance

Waiting periods are another aspect that policyholders should be familiar with. A waiting period is the span of time during which certain conditions or treatments are not covered after the inception of the policy. This is a standard practice by insurers to prevent individuals from purchasing coverage only when they require immediate medical attention.

Waiting periods are the duration during which certain benefits are not available after the policy comes into effect. In the UAE, health insurance plans typically impose waiting periods to prevent misuse and ensure financial sustainability. Commonly imposed waiting periods are associated with pre-existing conditions and maternity coverage. When it comes to pregnancy-related claims, a waiting period of up to 12 months is typically in place before policyholders can make a claim.


Which Diseases Are Not Covered Under Health Insurance?

Certain diseases may be excluded from health insurance coverage, depending on the policy. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, may have waiting periods or limited coverage. It's crucial to review your policy to understand the extent of coverage for specific diseases and conditions.


The Role of Insurance Brokers in Guiding You Through Health Insurance Exclusions

Insurance brokers play a pivotal role in providing expert guidance on the nuances of health insurance policies. Their in-depth knowledge can help you understand exclusions and choose a policy aligned with your specific needs.

In the event of a claim, insurance brokers act as advocates, facilitating a smoother process when navigating potential disputes or challenges related to exclusions.

Periodically review your health insurance policy to stay abreast of any changes in exclusions and maintain open communication with your insurance broker. If you have concerns or questions about exclusions, a broker can provide clarity and offer solutions tailored to your situation.

Insurance brokers can also assist in customizing your health insurance policy to minimize exclusions. By tailoring your coverage, you can ensure that your policy aligns with your health goals and financial considerations.



Understanding the exclusions and waiting periods in your health insurance policy is crucial for making informed decisions about your coverage. Thoroughly reviewing policy terms, seeking clarity from insurers, and considering add-ons for specific needs can help you tailor your health coverage to align with your individual requirements. Keep abreast of updates from the UAE health authorities and your insurance provider. Changes in regulations or policies may impact your coverage. By understanding the nuances of your policy, you can proactively manage your health and financial well-being. Remember, a little knowledge goes a long way in ensuring that your health insurance truly works for you when you need it most.

If you have questions, don't hesitate to reach out to your insurance broker. They can provide valuable insights into updates or modifications in your coverage.

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