Ask questions or fill in the information for a quote, we're here to help.
This is your last week to get Dubai health insurance before the penalty deadline
Posted on Mar 23, 2017 by Travis Jones
After numerous phases of rolling out, Dubai's healthcare reform law, known as ISAHD, is finally ready to reach an important milestone: Those without private health insurance coverage in Dubai will soon face fees. Fine out all about the law here, as well as penalties incurred and how to get covered.
Here is a public service announcement for those in Dubai that somehow have yet to be covered by a private health insurance policy: You only have one week left! This warning comes from the culmination of the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) healthcare reform law that has been rolling out since late in 2014. This 2 ½ year process now will be finalized and, given the window of time and extensive media coverage, nobody who has been in the area during for the past several years has any excuse to be caught without Dubai medical insurance coverage. However, those who are newly arrived, or who may be planning on coming to Dubai for the first time soon, should be sure to educate themselves on the government’s requirements. With this in mind, UAE Medical Insurance presents the below information to serve as a resource for newcomers and the unmotivated alike.
For those not in the know, here’s a recap:
In November of 2013, the decision was made by the government of Dubai to ensure that every person in their emirate, whether Emirati, expatriate resident, temporary worker, business traveler or tourist, should and would have not only access to excellent quality healthcare, but the ability to pay for it. This step would not only reduce financial hardship that people in Dubai may have taken on as a result of costly medical care, it may also have the effect of attracting foreign investors to the territory.
The law functions by compelling Dubai employers to provide insurance for their employees. People without employers, such as spouses, children and other dependents, would have to purchase their own insurance in order to comply. Initially the program only required the largest of companies (1,000 or more employees) to secure insurance for their employees during the first phase, which started on October 31st, 2014. Thereafter, on July 31st, 2015, employers with 100 or more employees were required to be compliant with the law. Finally, on June 30th, 2016, the 3rd phase of the reform was to be enacted, which would require all other people to be insured.
The official name for the legislation produced is the Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai. It works by utilizing private insurance companies in the Emirate to provide insurance policies to all who reside or enter it, rather than establishing a government-provided healthcare-for-all program like the systems seen in many European countries, for example. Of course, not just any insurance plans can be offered under the new system. All plans sold to adhere with the law are required to meet minimum requirements that have been outlined by the DHA. These include mandatory coverage of pre-existing conditions after an initial 6-month waiting period, in-patient and out-patient coverage, pharmaceuticals, maternity benefits and more. There are more specifics for all of these items, but the minimum level of coverage will provide at least Dh150,000 of coverage per person per year.
What will happen without a Dubai health insurance plan in place?
As mentioned previously, since June of 2016 all people in Dubai are required to be insured. So why are we now sharing an article about this being the last week to get insured? Well, as it happens there has yet to be any penalty put in place to truly compel people to purchase insurance. If you have yet to comply with the law up to this point, there have been no real ramifications for noncompliance.
This is because the previous deadlines listed for people in Dubai to obtain private health insurance resulted in insurance companies becoming bombarded with large influxes of policy applications, which backed up the process of enrolling new members to the point that the government extended deadlines multiple times. However, the March 31st, 2017 deadline currently listed is a firm date and the government has shown no signs of extending the grace period further.
After March 31st, uninsured people and companies that have not obtained insurance for employees will be subject to penalties in the form of fines. This comes in the form of a Dh500 monthly charge against the uninsured (the lowest cost plans start at Dh650 per year), and those that fail to upload their insurance policies to relevant authorities and cause visa delays can be subject to a Dh10,000 fine! What’s more, those staying in Dubai on any type of visa will likely not be able to get their visas renewed without having a compliant health insurance plan in place. Clearly it will be in everyone’s best interests to make sure they are insured before March 31st, 2017.
So how do you get insured?
Easy! The best was to see all the DHA compliant medical insurance plans that are available on the market is to work with a well established insurance intermediary that has relationships with all of Dubai’s top insurance companies, which is just what UAE Medical Insurance is. As a company with 17+ years of global health insurance brokering experience, our knowledgeable advisors are primed to answer all of your questions effectively and advise you regarding which plans best suit your needs. Contact us today for a plan comparison and free price quote!