Last Updated on September 18, 2014 by Brian Habibi
Many health insurance companies and brokers will simply tell you that the cost of a hospital room is covered in your insurance plan. However, it is important to understand exactly what this means, since the last thing you want after leaving the hospital from an emergency stay is to be surprised with a hefty bill.
Somewhere in the endless pages of your health insurance table of benefits, there is fine print that details the hospital accommodation clause and rent room limit. This defines exactly what type of room is covered, how long your stay can be and what items are paid for.
Type of room
If your plan says that you are covered for a private room, you should check exactly what this means. The benefit guide will have definitions for the terms used. In many cases, private room refers to a single room or semi-private accommodation. Some insurance plans will even define if the room comes with a private bathroom or not.
Rent room limit
Depending on your plan, the insurer will cover the entire cost of the stay, or up to a certain amount only. This can be from as little as AED 300 per night to over AED 1,200 per night. Note that a deductible or co-payment may apply. In addition, the health insurance company may only cover your stay for a limited amount of days or may require preauthorization past a certain time limit.
The benefits handbook will define exactly what charges during your hospital stay are covered by the insurance company. You may be surprised to find that meals and refreshments are sometimes not included. Other common expenses that are not covered include telephone charges, internet, newspapers or other personal items.
This refers to the insurance company covering the cost for parents to stay with a child who is covered under the same plan. However, this is usually limited to one parent only, and the child must be under 18 years of age. You should also check what the coverage is if no hospital bed is available for the parent, as many insurers will pay for hotel accommodation instead.
As you can tell, reading the fine print is very important when it comes to health insurance. Make sure you check all the disclosures that come with each benefit, especially for hospital accommodation.