Financial penalties for employers who haven’t yet purchased health insurance for their employees will be introduced in Dubai by the start of 2017.
In June a six month extension was granted to allow those who were in the 12% of people without access to health insurance time to get covered, with the responsibility falling on their employers or sponsors to arrange the insurance as they are liable.
Fines start at 500dh (£106) per employee, per month. With the basic health insurance package costing just 550dh a year Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of funding at the Dubai Healthcare Authority, therefore argues that purchasing the insurance is a fair deal that will protect both the employer and employee.
Whilst the vast majority of those requiring health insurance in Dubai only require it for themselves, a million people in the Emirate are classified as dependents (partners, children and even maids and nannies). Currently only around 27% of dependents are covered by company health insurance and so, as a result, the employee must cover their health needs.
The cost of a fully comprehensive dependent package is around 2000dh a year, albeit less comprehensive cover can be available for under 1000dh. Whilst this still represents good value for money it is a way in which many people risk being caught unwittingly out by the system.
Dubai followed the footsteps of Abu Dhabi by introducing mandatory health insurance to help maintain the high standard of care and facilities on offer in the country earlier this year. The insurance was rolled out across the Emirate in three stages dependent on the size of the company. After the final stage was initiated in June of this year a further six month period was added to ensure that everyone in the area was covered.
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