Time is fast approaching when the Health Insurance Law comes into force in the Emirate of Dubai. Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf, the Director of the Health Funding Department, authorized the law requiring employers to ensure that all their employees, spouses, and dependents have the appropriate health insurance coverage for medical expenses. It’s important that all participants, both employers and insured members, know the implications of the law and how it will impact on their residency in Dubai.
Timeline for the Health Insurance Law
All individuals holding Dubai visas are required to have mandatory health insurance by 31st of December 2016. The government of Dubai has implemented the Health Insurance Law in a gradual process to ensure that by 1st of January 2017 all employees, spouses, dependents, domestic staff, and members under individual sponsorship have mandatory health insurance.
Timeline for implementation of the Health Insurance Law shown below:
- 1st of November 2015: Companies with more than 1,000 employees.
- 1st of August 2015: Companies with between 100 and 1,000 employees.
- 1st of July 2016: Companies with up to 100 employees.
- 1st of January 2017: All members under individual sponsorship and their dependents.
The mandatory health insurance law will be enforced by the cooperation of:
- Dubai Health Authority (DHA)
- Health Funding Department (HFD)
- General Directorate of Residency & Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA)
These three organizations will make sure that before any new visas are issued or current visas are renewed, the individual applying for a visa must have adequate health insurance in place.
How the Health Insurance Law is Enforced
The new law about mandatory health insurance in Dubai is enforced by General Directorate of Residency & Foreign Affairs (GDRFA). From 1st of January 2017, they will link to, and monitor the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) register of members to make sure all applicable individuals have health insurance.
It’s important that individuals and employers make sure and correctly fill in the appropriate visa application forms because missing or incorrect information could result in visas applications being rejected. Information about the insured individual is processed this way:
- Employers or individual sponsors provide information to the health insurer or intermediary.
- The Health Insurer or Third Party Administrator (TPA) uploads the information to DHA’s Member Register.
The cooperation between the GDRFA and the DHA makes sure that all individuals are insured for the complete length of their visa. It also avoids any gaps in insurance coverage where an individual’s health insurance expires after their visa renewal date. So, even though an individual would receive a visa if they had one or two months left on their health insurance policy, they would have to make sure and renew the insurance policy as soon as the previous one expires. Failure to do so would incur a fine of AED 500 per month per employee.
Responsibilities Under the Health Insurance Law
For the Health Insurance Law to operate effectively and to avoid individuals being fined for breaking the law, the government of Dubai has outlined specific responsibilities to insure individuals under the Health Insurance Law.
Employer’s and Individual Sponsor’s Responsibility
It is the responsibility of employers and individual sponsors to arrange for their employee’s, domestic help’s, or dependent’s health insurance. The employer or individual sponsor should provide all the required information to the health insurer or TPA. This information includes:
- All personal details of the insured person. Name, date of birth, marital status, emirates ID number and UID number, etc.
- Issuing Emirate of the corresponding member.
- Residential and employment location.
- Salary band and if the income is commission based.
Incorrect information could result in fines or refusal to issue a new or renewed visa.
Health Insurer’s and TPA’s Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the health insurer or TPA to promptly upload all information received by the employer or individual sponsor to the DHA member’s register. They are also prohibited from changing or altering the received information.
If a policyholder complains to the Health Funding Department (HFD) because information has been changed by the health insurer, the government may impose fines of AED 10,000 per policy. They will also be responsible for paying any fines imposed on an individual because of breach of health insurance policy.
Health Insurance Intermediary’s Responsibility
It is the responsibility of the health insurance intermediary to promptly forward all mandated information about their clients.
If the health insurance intermediary fails to do this and the policyholder complains to the Health Funding Department (HFD), fines can be imposed. If the HFD discovers that the complaint is warranted, the government may impose fines of AED 10,000 per policy. They will also be responsible for paying any fines imposed on an individual because of breach of health insurance policy.