Bahrain is an expat’s heaven. High salaries. A good standard of living. Bahrain has everything that expats would need. Even the healthcare system in Bahrain has continuously ranked highly among developed nations. Both public and private healthcare facilities are up to the world standard. Most healthcare facilities have low waiting times due to a smaller population.
But, before you can land in Bahrain, you will need to complete a thorough health check-up in your home country. This is to ensure that you do not bring any infections with you. Once you are in Bahrain, you will need another check-up, which any local doctor would be happy to provide. Both of these tests are compulsory. The first test would be more comprehensive, however.
The government of Bahrain is also implementing a universal health insurance policy. The Bahraini public health insurance system affects expats and nationals differently. For nationals, the government will take care of their contributions. For expats, their employers are required to contribute on their behalf.
Does this mean there is no need for you to have an expat health insurance plan while in Bahrain? Before answering that, let us understand the Bahraini public health insurance system first.
Compulsory Health Insurance in Bahrain
The Social Health Insurance Fund Authority (SHIFA) is Bahrain’s system of health insurance. It is a primarily government-funded system. Under SHIFA, Bahraini nationals receive free access to certain healthcare services at public hospitals. If they choose private clinics or hospitals, a 60% subsidy will be offered.
For expats, however, the policy holds fewer benefits. Your employer will fund the mandatory package for you. But, this only includes primary and emergency healthcare. Also, it is available on a cost-shared basis and would have a cap on spending.
You can cover the gaps in Bahraini public health insurance with appropriate Bahraini private health insurance. This is where the real struggle begins. It may seem easy to pick an insurance policy, but the task involves a lot of research and consideration. We’ll do our best to walk you through the selection process with ease.
Expat Health Insurance Vs. Local Private Health Insurance
As an expat, you have two ways to get additional health coverage. You can either go for expat health insurance. Or you can invest in local Bahrain private health insurance.
While both policies offer similar coverage, there is one point of difference between the two. Local health insurance will not cover healthcare costs in other countries. The chances of medical evacuation and repatriation charges being covered are also low.
This leaves you no option but to get treatment in Bahrain. No matter how well-developed the healthcare facilities, you might need repatriation. And in situations like these, you do not need your local health insurance policy to become a factor that prohibits you from receiving treatment.
Thus, expats prefer to have expat health insurance in Bahrain for comprehensive coverage.
Selecting the Right Expat Health Insurance Policy
This is an issue most expats face while looking for expat health insurance in Bahrain: the problem of choice. Baffled by a plethora of options with no one to guide you, it is possible that you might buy the wrong policy.
However, there are certain steps that you can follow to help you choose the most appropriate policy:
Step 1: The first step is to not rely on the recommendations of friends or family. Sounds absurd? Well, a health insurance policy product is not a one-size-fits-all commodity. When you are looking for Bahrain expat health insurance, explore all your options.
You can consider the recommendations offered by people, but never blindly trust them. What may be comprehensive coverage for one person might be inadequate for your specific needs. Look for different policy providers and minutely study their policies. This brings us to our next step.
Step 2: Compare the policies carefully. The majority of health insurance policies for expats look very similar at first glance. It is very easy to get tricked into believing that every Bahrain expat health insurance plan is exactly the same.
In Bahrain, where healthcare facilities are generally good, it is possible that you can skip analyzing the network of hospitals and clinics attached to your policy provider. But, that would be a grave mistake to make. It’s important to know in advance exactly where you can receive treatment and what the facilities are capable of providing. Check out the hospitals and treatments included.
Step 3: Analyze the premiums. The most influential factor when investing in expat health insurance is the premium.
It is important to understand that Bahrain expatriate health insurance is not a cost-saving technique. It is a provision for future contingencies. It is something that offers you mental peace. You might want to select a policy that has a lower premium, but be wary of the fact that low premiums often translate to low coverage.
However, this does not mean that you have to select the policy with the highest premium. The key to finding the right Bahrain expatriate health insurance is careful comparison.
Buying Bahrain Expat Health Insurance
Expats in Bahrain are usually prone to sunburns, heat strokes, and dehydration due to extreme temperatures. Ensure that your policy covers these common ailments. Also, due to rapid construction work and dust and sand from the island, expats tend to develop respiratory ailments. If you already have asthma or other respiratory issues, it is better if your policy covers that, too.
No matter what expat health insurance plan you choose, ensure it has all your risks covered.