In Abu Dhabi and Dubai, it is mandatory for all companies to provide health insurance to their employees. However, the Northern Emirates, such as Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, do not have local legislation requiring employers to cover employees' health insurance. According to legal experts who spoke to Gulf News, the answer depends on the Emirate in which your company operates. In Dubai, employers are required to provide health insurance coverage to their employees.
However, employers are not legally required to provide health insurance coverage to their employees' dependents; the responsibility lies with the employee (the visa sponsor). The Dubai Health Authority encourages employers to offer health insurance to their employees' spouse or dependents. However, if an employer doesn't offer coverage, then your sponsor will have to arrange coverage for you. The decision to implement this was influenced by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) ISAHD (Insurance System for the Advancement of Health Care in Dubai) initiative.
The Dubai Compulsory Health Insurance Act ensures that all residents and nationals of Dubai can access health services. Dubai's health insurance law requires employers to offer a minimum level of health coverage to their employees without deducting the amount of the premium or reducing their salary to offset premiums. The Health Insurance Act No. Dubai's 11 (201) requires all residents to have a level of health insurance coverage that meets or exceeds the minimum benefits established by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
While organizations in Dubai are responsible for the health insurance of their employees, this responsibility does not extend to the dependents of their employees. The main objective of the plan is to ensure that all expatriates in Dubai have access to quality basic health care and the means to pay for it. This Dubai health insurance law applies to all regions of the emirate, including free trade zones. For Dubai citizens, additional preventive and therapeutic health services may also be covered.
All expatriate workers employed by entities licensed to trade in the Emirate of Dubai or in any of its free zones. In addition, a monthly fine of AED 500 to 150,000 may be imposed on an employer or sponsor in Dubai if they do not provide the minimum health insurance coverage established by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) to their employees or to people under their sponsorship. This is to ensure that all employers comply with the health insurance law, regardless of where they are based in Dubai. Whether you're an Emirati or an expatriate from Dubai, you and your dependents need to have health insurance in Dubai, as it's a legal requirement.
The plan has a fixed cost of AED 550 to 650 per year and its benefits include emergency treatment limited to Emirates within the United Arab Emirates, basic medical care in Dubai and a 30% co-payment for each prescription. The list of minimum benefits offered under ANY health insurance plan marketed in the Emirate of Dubai is available in Appendix A of the information package for employers. It offers insurance coverage to citizens who do not benefit from any government health programs in Dubai. Health insurance plays an important role in providing a high standard of medical care in the United Arab Emirates and is necessary for expatriates living in Dubai.