x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Costs soar for one family

When a wife resigned her job, her whole family lost their health insurance. Replacing it was prohibitive

ABU DHABI // After Samantha Maasarjian resigned her job, she and her husband, Jack, and their nine-month old daughter could no longer rely on the health insurance her company had provided.

Mr Maasarjian, from Lebanon and self-employed, began seeking insurance for his family and for future employees of his trading firm.

At Daman "the process took ages" and the family had to pay for medical assessments, he said.

When Mr Maasarjian approached the Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company (Adnic), the family was sent to a local private hospital for tests, which would be paid for. But it took weeks to get an appointment, then weeks more for results to arrive from Brussels, he said.

Finally, "Adnic said insurance would cost Dh65,000 for the three of us, and Daman said Dh63,000. I was simply shocked," he said.

Mr Maasarjian is planning to close his business and move to Dubai, where health insurance is not compulsory, if he is unable to afford insurance for his family.

"One thing that shocks me is that if my wife starts working again tomorrow and goes back to the insurance company, they will quote her a normal price," he said.

* Caline Malek