Health insurance to be made compulsory in Dubai

Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum has approved the Health Insurance Law that will begin to roll out from next year and stipulates that health insurance will be made mandatory for all citizens, residents and visitors in Dubai, making it impossible to be in the emirate without health insurance.
The law is fundamental to ensure smooth delivery of essential health insurance to everyone living in the emirate, which roughly means over three million people, including nationals and residents with Dubai visas.” said Issa Al Maidoor, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
It is expected that the law will be implemented from next year (2014) and will expand in phases until 2016. This will have an impact on the processing time for visa applications as proof of medical insurance will be an added step that was not present in many applications before the law was passed. Under the new law employers must provide cover at “essential benefits package” level for their expat employees without deducting the cost from their salary. It will also be the responsibility of the employer to provide cover for any family members that they are sponsoring as part of the employee’s visa.
The added appeal of compulsory health insurance will make Dubai and the UAE even more attractive to expats and people moving abroad for work, as house prices for foreign nationals are still within easy reach of many people making the move, as well as job openings in the banking and financial sector being on the increase according to Morgan McKinley.
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