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20 April 2024

Dubai's health insurance system named 'Isahd'

By Wam

The mandatory health insurance system announced by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will be known as ISAHD, Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai, which also means "happiness" in Arabic.

"In line with the  vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the DHA has branded the name of the health insurance system to mean happiness; this stems from Sheikh Mohammed’s words that the primary job of the government sector is to provide happiness to the people of Dubai," Essa Al Maidoor, Director-General of the DHA.

"Health insurance is a form of security and our aim is to ensure everyone in the emirate has access to essential healthcare in case they need it. The health insurance system will empower patients by providing them with the right to choose their health provider within the private or public sector."

The roll out will take place in phases and every health insurance company that wants to provide health insurance will have to procure a health insurance permit from the DHA to be eligible to provide health insurance services.

Haidar Al Yousuf, Director of Health Funding at the DHA, said, "Presently, 50 companies have registered with us and we are evaluating them.  To ensure we have quality health insurance players on board, this is an essential step and this is a procedure that is followed across several countries.

"Insurance companies interested in providing the essential health benefits (EHB) package to resident employees with salaries below Dh4,000 will have to undergo further qualifying criteria to ascertain their ability to provide an insurance package at an affordable rate. The premium for this package will range between  Dh500-700 per person per year."

Al Yousuf said by the end of February, the DHA will publish the final list of approved healthcare companies. Once the list of published, the first phase of the roll out will begin.

In terms of the roll-out, Al Yousuf said, "Companies with 1000 or more employees will have to cover their staff before the end of October 2014.

Companies with 100 to 999 employees will have until  the end of July 2015 and companies below 100 employees have until end of June 2016 to cover their employees. All spouses, dependents  and domestic workers will also have to be covered by June 2016. They can start providing cover earlier, however, these dates are deadlines they must meet."