Final deadline for mandatory health insurance declared and health insurance for Dubai visitors required

The final deadline for mandatory health insurance was issued last month by the Dubai Executive Council, under the Executive Resolution No (6) of 2017 (executive resolution). This means that any sponsor who fails to have the necessary health insurance cover in place by 31 March 2017, can be fined for contravention under the Executive Resolution.

Date published

24/04/2018

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The final deadline for mandatory health insurance was issued last month by the Dubai Executive Council, under the Executive Resolution No (6) of 2017 (executive resolution). This means that any sponsor who fails to have the necessary health insurance cover in place by 31 March 2017, can be fined for contravention under the Executive Resolution. In addition, those on travel visit visas to the Emirate of Dubai must also have health insurance in place as a mandatory requirement under the executive resolution.

The mandatory health insurance, for the Emirate of Dubai, Law No (11) of 2013 (law) came into effect in 2014 implemented in phased approach. The deadline for Phase 1 that covered companies with 1,000 or more employees ended on 31 October 2014. Similarly, the deadline for Phase 2 covering all companies with 100-999 employees ended on 31 July 2015. Phase 3, which covers companies with 100 or less employees and includes every resident, inclusive of domestic workers and dependents of employees ended on 30 June 2016. However, due to delays and the large number of applications, the deadline was extended to December 2016, which was further extended on the last day of December 2016. No revised date was declared until Sunday 19 February 2017 when the new deadline issued by the executive resolution stipulated that all residents must have health insurance cover in place by 31 March 2017. The Executive Resolution No (7) of 2016 provides a list of penalties in case of violation of the law by employers/sponsors and we expect any breach beyond the deadline is likely to incur fines from the regulator.

The executive resolution has also directed health insurance providers to extend coverage to Sharjah and the Northern Emirates. This is due to the high number of Dubai residence visa holders living in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates who could not access health care in a location that was convenient to their home address. Providing coverage in Sharjah and the Northern Emirates was optional and therefore some health insurance providers did not offer insurance cover outside the Emirate of Dubai.

The executive resolution has also prescribed compulsory health insurance for visitors to the Emirate of Dubai. The announcement for compulsory health insurance for visitors is announced for the first time in the executive resolution, and we expect to get more details of the provisions in the coming months. Given the popularity of Dubai as a tourist destination and a business hub, a compulsory health insurance requirement for all visitors would mean new opportunities for health insurance providers.

The new deadline announcement for mandatory health insurance, the extension of coverage to Northern Emirates and Dubai visitors presents a further extension of the Dubai government’s aim to provide cover for all Dubai residents and quality access to healthcare in the Emirate of Dubai.

We have not yet seen a copy of the executive resolution at this point. The above information is based on news reports and information currently available in the public domain.