Two weeks ago, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) released the Employer’s Information Pack that provides comprehensive guidance on the Health Insurance Law (ISAHD). After having gone through it in detail, our insurance experts share their key findings:

When will health insurance in Dubai become mandatory?

Insurance coverage is mandatory for all residents of Dubai, including free zones. It is being implemented in three phases. By October 2014, companies with over 1,000 employees must provide coverage to all their workers. Companies with 100 to 1,000 employees must provide health insurance to all workers by July 2015. Finally, by the end of June 2016, all other workers, domestic staff, spouses and dependents must have health insurance.

The size of the workforce for a company will be determined by the number of employees under their trade license.

Who will pay for it?

For UAE Nationals, the Government of Dubai will provide a health insurance program. However, a National working in the private sector can choose to be part of their employer’s group health insurance plan as well. Expats will fall into two categories; those who work must be covered by their employer. However, a company is not required to provide health insurance for the employee’s spouse or children, this responsibility will fall on the employee. Similarly, health insurance for maids and domestic workers must be arranged by their sponsor.

What is the minimum insurance cover?

The Dubai Health Authority has established the Essential Benefits Plan (EBP), which details the minimum coverage that must be provided to residents. All health insurance companies in Dubai must provide health insurance plans that meet or exceed the level of benefits under the EBP.

How will the health insurance law be enforced?

The Dubai Health Authority will link with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners’ Affairs. The issuance or renewal of residency visas will only be processed upon submitting proof of health insurance. It is thus necessary for residents and companies in the private sector to keep the data with their insurers up to date. The insurance companies will in turn upload it to the DHA’s portal. The reporting requirement also requires the insurer to upload the specific coverage each resident holds.

What will the basic plan cost?

Currently, the Essential Benefits Plan will cost between AED 500 to AED 700. The DHA will set a price range each year, so the premium may change in the future.

What are the benefits provided?

In summary, the most basic plan will have a maximum coverage limit of AED 150,000 and 20% co-payment by the insured for emergency in-patient treatment. The DHA has not issued specific guidance on the hospital & clinics network to be included in the plan. You can click here to read about the Essential Benefits Plan in detail.

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