Dubai health insurance deadline end-2016

(Supplied)

Less than a month before the mandatory health insurance deadline hits, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has decided to extend a grace period.

Dr Haider Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at DHA, said individuals will be given a grace period until the end of the year to get themselves and those they are sponsoring insured.

This means no penalties will be imposed on individual sponsors who fail to insure themselves, employees and dependents.

In an earlier interview, Dr Haider had told Emirates24|7 the absolute need for health insurance cover for every individual. “It's about protection.

“Recently we've seen a case of someone who had to pay Dh80,000 to treat his housemaid of pneumonia. She had to be in the ICU for a few weeks. I would ask him why he didn't buy a package for Dh600? He would have paid Dh500 participation in the treatment and that's all. And, insurance would have protected you. But, not having it will put you in fanatical ruin.

“You know health catches up with you. Maybe you will just head to the pharmacy and take a Panadol, but at some point you will need health cover.”

Starting next week, Al Yousuf said the DHA will be organising workshops and roadshows, where companies who have been shortlisted to provide the basic insurance package will be invited to meet the public to ease the insurance process further.

“There are many competitive packages in the market from Dh565 to Dh650 for people who earn less than Dh4,000. And, starting at less than Dh700 for dependents. And, these are basic benefit packages but they cover essential health needs,” he said.

Employers can do so by visiting www.isahd.ae or visiting sales centers of the insurance companies. The employer information pack is available on: http://www.isahd.ae/content/docs/Employer%20information%20pack%20v4.4%20011014%20(1).pdf

In fact, Al Yousuf said a study found that the cost of the essential benefits package is less than 1.5 per cent of employees’ monthly salary on average.

Approximately 3.8 million people are on Dubai Residence visa. Around 75 per cent of the Dubai population already have Dubai Visas that have mandatory health insurance and it is expected that almost 95 per cent of resident with Dubai visas will have to come under the mandatory health insurance cover.

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