Latest updates to health insurance product designed specifically for UAE SME market aimed at addressing members’ physical and mental health concerns triggered by the pandemic
Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company today announced the addition of several new benefits, as standard, to Focus — its health plan for the UAE SME sector, offered in partnership with Aetna International — that include coverage for mental health, emergency treatment outside the area of cover, and organ transplant. The latest round of enhancements are offered as part of Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company and Aetna International’s wider commitments to addressing the growing physical and mental health challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The additions to Focus follow recent upgrades made to Al Ain Ahlia and Aetna’s Pioneer and Summit plans that were announced in January this year.
Focus was launched in early 2020 based on an in-depth survey of UAE-based SMEs. Responses revealed that a tighter fit to business needs, together with support services, availability of wellness and healthy-living programs and favorable cost-benefit ratio, were important criteria when selecting health insurance plans.
The plan is targeted at organizations employing less than 100 people and offers four variants of cover — Platinum, Gold, Silver, Bronze — and a host of benefits, including full payment for cancer care, and free access to Aetna International’s virtual-healthcare service, vHealth. All these options are offered with rapid quote-turnaround times, a single point of contact, and transparent reporting. Only in the first six months of service, Focus met more than two-thirds of the premium target and since launch, it has also seen healthy renewal rates — a strong indicator of the high value seen in the health plan by employers in the SME market.
“We are delighted with the uptake and renewal rates seen with our Focus plan,” said Mr. Mohamed Mazhar Hamadeh, General Manager at Al Ain Ahlia Insurance Company. “Some 94% of enterprises in the UAE are SMEs and the Ministry of Economy reports that the segment employs around 86% of the private-sector workforce. Al Ain Ahlia and Aetna International both recognize that SMEs have significantly different health-and-wellness needs from those of larger enterprises. We have worked together diligently to understand those needs, and our efforts have yielded a great response from the market. We are committed to continuing the work of providing flexible, comprehensive and financially viable health insurance plans to our UAE customers.”
“COVID-19 has served to highlight many of the gaps in healthcare that exist around the world,” said David Healy, CEO EMEA at Aetna International. “Flexibility in coverage is the one thing insurance companies can do to support the paradigm shifts created by the pandemic. Such provisions must, of course, cover the coronavirus itself — testing, treatment, and vaccination — but they must also take account of the knock-on effects of this unprecedented public-health crisis. The mental and physical health of remote and field employees must be preserved. Our Focus health solution is based on an empirical study — we listened to the market, and we responded.”
Now included in the enhancements to Focus are inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment and psychotherapy for patients with medical conditions that are not emergencies. Extended inpatient, outpatient, and daycare treatment, for emergency medical conditions, in areas outside of cover, is also included, as is full coverage for organ transplant (kidney, pancreas, liver, heart or lung, and any related treatment) as standard across all four plan variants.