Dubai: Dubai residents, whose employers do not provide family insurance, will soon have to pay a minimum of Dh600 towards each of their dependent’s mandatory health insurance, following a new law announced on November 26.

According to the Health Insurance Law Number 11 from 2013, the mandatory health insurance will apply to Emiratis and expatriates across the emirate, including free zones, from next year. It will be a pre-requisite for obtaining a new residence visa or renewal as employers and individual sponsors will have to submit evidence of insurance coverage with the visa application.

The law, to be rolled out in phases till 2016, will also apply to visitors to cover specific emergency services.

Announcing the provisions of law, Engr Eisa Al Haj Al Maidour, Director General of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Deputy Director General of Dubai Municipality, said the government will be responsible for covering Emiratis, while “employers will be responsible for their employees and sponsors for their sponsored individuals who do not work for an employer”.

The benefits are required to be not less than an “essential benefit package” whose value is around Dh600. “With his, every individual in Dubai will have access to quality healthcare. The mandatory health insurance will also help maintain the sustainability of the emirate’s healthcare services,” Al Maidour said.

Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, DHA’s Director of Health Funding, said details of the “essential benefit package” will be released soon. “For now, I can say that it covers basic emergency, primary, secondary, maternity and surgical procedures. It has been designed to ensure adequate access to health without burdening employers or sponsors,” said Al Yousuf.

He said employers must bear the cost of enrolling employees in an insurance scheme without any deductions to them. They must also ensure the validity of the coverage throughout their employment. In case an insurance cover expires before a visa is renewed, the employer has to bear the cost of healthcare, including emergency services.

He said the cost of the total package for employers will be around 1.5 per cent of the total salaries. Over two million uninsured people in Dubai, including blue collar workers and domestic help, are expected to benefit from the new law. Violations carry fines ranging from Dh500 to Dh150,000 in addition to other penalties. Repeat violations carry a penalty of up to Dh500,000. Violators could also face civil or criminal action. see more

source: gulfnews