Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mandatory health insurance for all in Dubai by June 2016

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) will complete the implementation of Dubai’s Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme ISAHD (Bringing Happiness), by the end of June, 2016.

DHA is currently in the third and final phase of implementing the scheme on companies with less than 100 employees, including all spouses, dependents and domestic workers

Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf, Director of Public Health Funding at DHA said that 75 per cent of Dubai expatriates are now covered by the insurance, thanks to the mandatory health insurance."This means we have 25 per cent left to cover by June, we hope to have close to 100 per cent of Dubai expatriates covered by the insurance by the end of next month," he said.

He added that the implementation of the scheme, to have all Dubai resident covered by health insurance is going according to the adopted time frame. Dr. Al Yousuf said that linking the health insurance scheme to visa issuance and renewal in partnership with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) contributed to the success of the implementation process.

Dr. Al Yousuf called on all companies to hurry in insuring their employers before the end of June 2016, to avoid penalties imposed by Executive Council Resolution No.7 of 2016. DHA has completed the first phase that included companies with more than 1,000 in 2014 and the second phase, which included companies with 999 to 100 employees in 2015.

The necessity to hold the Health Insurance Permit (HIP) is mandatory and only those companies with a valid permit are eligible to provide insurance cover as part of Dubai's Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme which is being rolled-out in phases until June -2016. The scheme is known as ISAHD which stands for Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai and also means happiness in Arabic.

So far, 46 insurance companies and four TPA's have achieved unconditional compliance, AL Maidoor said: "Putting these criteria in place is important as it sets unified quality standards for the health insurance industry in Dubai and protects all parties involved especially customers. Since we have set minimum criteria many insurance companies have improved their standards in terms of customer service, complaints handling, data security and operational effectiveness in order to obtain a permit. Putting such a process in place also assures the public that these companies have met minimum standards required. From a regulatory point of view, we can ensure that checks and measures are in place and in case of violations we can take action with the ultimate sanction being revocation of the permit."

He said insurance companies who qualified as Participating Insurers to provide essential health benefits (EHB) package to resident employees with salaries below AED 4,000 underwent a rigorous assessment procedure to ascertain their ability to provide an insurance package at an affordable rate. The premium for this package will range between AED 500-700 per person per year. Al Maidoor said: "The objective of the essential benefits plan is to provide adequate cover at a reasonable cost to employers. DHA recognizes that in doing so insurers also have to make a reasonable profit. Only those capable of handling volume business and who can operate effectively over the long term can make the system sustainable.