Health insurance for UAE visitors

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Health insurance for UAE visitors

Postby shawarma » 03 Dec 2007, 12:07

There was a report apparently in the Khaleej Times 29 December 2006 saying that visitors to the UAE may or must sign up for UAE health insurance. I didn't see the report in the Khaleej Times itself (it was repeated in other sources) and can't find it online but here's what they reported an Abu Dhabi health official, Ibrahim Al Mousa, Executive Director of Finance at General Authority for Health Services for the Emirate of Abu Dhabi (GAHS), as saying:

  • Visitors will have the choice to insure themselves whenever they are in the country,
  • Opting for insurance is optional for visitors. We don't want to create a financial burden on visitors who intend to stay here for a short time and might not need the service,
The report said that the new Abu Dhabi health insurance project will start being enforced from 01 January 2007, and "stipulates that it is compulsory for visitors on more than two-month visit visa to purchase health insurance policy." - an odd comment since usually it's not possible to get a UAE visit visa for more than 2 months, although perhaps it's recognising that there are expats who regularly do visa renewal runs and "live" in the UAE on visit visas. Other points made in the report about the new medical insurance policy were (based on comments from Mr Al Mousa but without quoting him):

  • Phase I from 01 July 2006 covered companies with more than 1,000 employees.
  • Phase II from 01 January 2007 to cover all expatriates living and working in Abu Dhabi.
  • Employers must provide health insurance to all their expatriate employees and dependants.
  • Dependants include wife and up to three children under 18 years (presumably husband in the case of employed married females). For more than 3 children, the employee is responsible for their medical insurance.
  • For newborn babies, parents must inform their employer within 15 days of the date of birth, and the employers must notify the health insurance provider within 30 days of the date of birth. If the infant needs medical attention within the notification period but the insurer has not been notified, the insurer must cover medical expenses anyway.
  • Confusingly, if the employer and medical insurance company were not informed in a timely matter, then apparently the sponsor, not the employee must cover medical expenses if the baby needs medical attention (perhaps that part was misunderstood somewhere along the way - it would make more sense that whoever failed to inform the appropriate body should be responsible, for example the parents).
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