Brutal Reality: UAE’s Health Insurance Payment System Hinders Growth

Notwithstanding the virtues of providing proper health insurance to employees, various academic studies suggest numerous business benefits in ensuring that employees have good healthcare coverage. Benefits of providing adequate health insurance include:

  • Higher levels of productivity
  • Higher quality talent
  • Lower turnover rate

Brutal Reality

Many UAE employers understand the business benefits of offering good insurance to their employees. However, a significant number of SMEs remain under-insured, either because they can’t afford to insure workers or because they have done a risk assessment and don’t believe it’s worth the investment. To afford an adequate insurance policy today, a small business with only 10 employees will have to pay over $10,000 in upfront annual insurance fees. Again, we are not talking about “great” insurance plans – we are discussing “adequate” insurance plans.

Large upfront payments mean cash flow constraints. Thus, SMEs are often left with a brutal choice between:

  1. Buying a “visa-purposes only” insurance policy that comes with an extremely limited medical network and benefits. Annual costs for these types of policies vary between AED 650-AED850/employee.
  2. Buying an “adequate” insurance policy with at least an average level of comprehensive coverage. Annual costs for these types of policies start at AED 3500/employee (depending on various factors). A senior level insurance could be as high as 50K AED/year


Cheaper minimum-coverage insurance policies will help with the cash flow issues in the short term, negatively impacting talent quality, productivity, and future growth.

More expensive, yet adequate insurance policies will help with attracting the right talent. However, large upfront payments mean cashflow constraints which will limit the SME’s ability to hire the number of employees the SME requires. Instead of re-investing the available cash towards growth, employer ends up giving it to Insurance companies to simply… hold it.

Solving the Dilemma

The solution to solving the dilemma is painfully obvious – offer easy monthly payment plans for employee health insurance policies. Paying annual fees in monthly installments will lead to improved cash flow management for businesses, more comprehensive health insurance options for employees, and decreased liability for insurance companies.

EmployersEmployeesInsurance Companies
Increased productivityGreater sense of securityExpand Portfolio
Lower turnoverBetter HealthCarry less liability
Re-invest into BusinessLess out-of-pocket expensesSell more high-ticket policies
Hire More
Hire Faster
The large-scale introduction of monthly payment plans will largely lead to a WIN-WIN-WIN scenario.

SME growth = UAE economic growth

SMEs are the driving force of the UAE economy. According to the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, SMEs contribute to 95% of the companies in the UAE and employ 86% of the total workforce in the non-oil private sector (2019). Over 8 out of 10 employees in the UAE rely on the insurance provided by an SME. Let’s eliminate cashflow constraints for UAE SMEs and we will see the acceleration of comprehensive economic growth.

Zink Pay will facilitate a seamless transition from upfront payment requirements to a monthly direct debit billing system. No post-dated cheques, no manual reconciliation, no large upfronts payments.

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