Dubai’s health regulator has announced that residents can continue to apply for mandatory health insurance cover in 2017.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) had earlier said that every visa holder in the emirate must have insurance before the December 31. It had also said that there will not be any more extension and had warned that failing to comply with the deadline will invite fine for employers and sponsors.
DHA has not announced the new deadline but AMEinfo has learnt from an industry source that insurance companies have been told to accept application till April 2017.
The authority said it revised the decision due to the “high influx of customers flocking to insurance companies in the last few days” and “in consideration to those who were not able to get the insurance in time due to one circumstance or another”.
Last week the health watchdog claimed that 98 per cent or more than 4 million residents are currently benefiting from insurance.
Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, Director of Health Funding at DHA, said that all the insurance companies are working nonstop to cope with the companies and individuals who want to get the health insurance. He added that there has also been large number of online transactions on the insurance company’s websites.
DHA made it compulsory to have an insurance cover for every visa holder in the emirate under Health Insurance Law No. 11 of 2013 by June 30, 2016.
However, it offered a grace period of six months for companies with less than 100 employees and for dependents in the third and final phase of implementing the law.
In the first phase of implementing the Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme ISAHD (Bringing Happiness), companies with more than 1,000 staff were asked to comply with the law in 2014 and in the second phase in 2015, companies with 999 to 100 employees were asked to comply.
Earlier this year, DHA said that companies that fail to provide medical insurance could face fines of up to AED500,000 after the deadline.
Individual sponsors whose dependents are not given access to any health insurance will pay a penalty of AED500 every month. Dependents include spouses, children, maids, drivers, cooks and nannies.