Dubai residents have just few days left, until December 31, to get health insurance, or face fines, an official said on Wednesday.
Starting January 1, 2017, a fine of 500 Dirhams per month will be paid by each resident who does not have mandatory health insurance coverage.
The said fine must be paid by either an employee’s sponsor, or a resident who is sponsoring dependants. If not provided by a an employee’s company, dependants can include spouses, children and domestic workers such as houseboys, maids and nannies.
No new visa will be granted and no existing one renewed without health insurance.
This rule will be enforced in cooperation between Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA).
Compulsory insurance coverage applies to Dubai residents only.
DHA officials urged sponsors who have not yet provided their employees and dependants with insurance to comply as soon as possible.
The yearly premium for the most basic health insurance cover, known as the Essential Benefit Package, ranges from Dh565 to Dh650 — not much more than the cost of a single month’s fine.
The beneficiary with basic insurance cover — aimed at dependants and employees who make less than Dh4,000 monthly — gets a maximum coverage of up to Dh150,000.
“It is much cheaper to insure your employee [or] dependant than to pay the fine,” said Haidar Al Yousuf, DHA’s Director of Health Funding.
“It’s a very minimum cost which provides health security and stability to individuals,” he added.
Al Yousuf said that the basic coverage package made premiums for elderly dependants far cheaper.
“Similarly, premiums for elderly dependants were extremely expensive before the scheme and are affordable today,” he added.
The Essential Benefit Package can be boosted with optional add-on cover.
The last and final phase in the three-year roll-out for full insurance cover for everyone in Dubai ended on July 31.
However, the DHA extended a six-month grace period, by not linking insurance cover to the visa renewal process until the end of the year.
But penalties are already in place for those companies who fall into the earlier roll out phases (phase 1 and 2) and have not complied with the deadline of the phase.
The DHA’s website, www.isahd.ae, lists 50 insurance companies that provide health insurance choices at different rates.
Nine of these insurance companies have been approved to dispense the bare-bones Essential Benefit Package.
The basic cover includes outpatient consultancy at clinics, referrals to specialist and for surgical and pathology investigations, maternity health cover, emergency visit to hospital and any surgery required as well as medications.
Women who have become pregnant either before or after getting the insurance will be covered for the cost of maternity care.
While employers have group insurance schemes for their employees, a resident can shop for a tailor-made cover for his dependants that include spouse, minors and domestic house help.
The amount of fine to be paid per month, per employee or resident from January 1, 2017 is Dh500.
The proportion of Dubai’s population who already have mandatory health insurance is 88% already.
There will be 3.4 million insured Dubai residents by June.
There are 50 insurance companies that has DHA permit to provide health insurance services in Dubai.
There are 9 insurance companies to provide basic health coverage to employees earning Dh4,000 and less.
There are 44 million health insurance services provided to individuals through the health insurance system in Dubai in 2016.
There is Dh6.8 billion total cost of the services.
There were 32 million individual diagnosis made in 2015.
Dh17.4 million of prescriptions issued.
There were 20,602 doctors have used the Dubai e-claims system.
Source: Gulf News