Rules for Health Insurance If You Work in the UAE
While rules pertaining to health insurance are different around the world, the situation in the UAE is a bit more complex considering the fact that the region receives a large influx of its workforce from overseas. If you have found employment in the UAE, or are already working there, then it would be best if you remain up-to-date with the rules and regulations of the state, especially those pertaining to your health insurance coverage.
Responsibilities of the Employer
If you are working for an employer in the UAE as a permanent member of an organization, then you are entitled to be provided health insurance coverage by your employer. There have been cases whereby employers have asked employees to bear some of the cost of the insurance premium, especially from those employees who are above a certain age and hence require a more expensive plan. Know that the responsibility of paying for your coverage plan lies entirely with your employer, and you don’t have to pay a single penny.
For example, in the law which governs Dubai, especially Article 10, Law # 11, which was published in 2013 and focuses on health insurance matters within the region, it has been explicitly stated that the responsibility of paying for coverage lies entirely with the employer and that no charge can be charged to the beneficiaries. Under this law the employer is also liable to ensure that the coverage which has been subscribed coverages the entire tenure for which the employee is expected to work for the company.
In case the employer is unable to subscribe to a sufficient coverage plan or a plan at all for an employee, then in cases of emergencies the employer is liable to pay for all the medical expenditure which is thus incurred by the employee.
If a plan has been subscribed to, then the health insurance card which is received for the employee must be handed over to the employee so that health insurance benefits may be received as needed. The health insurance policy which is drafted by the organization must be provided when the residence visa is initially issued or renewed.
Health Insurance Must Be Adequate
According to stipulations made under the law of Dubai pertaining to health insurance, specifically the law # 11, the health insurance coverage which a resident receives must be sufficient, and the Dubai Health Authority does specify the minimum benefits which ought to be covered under a coverage plan. Your health insurance plan must either meet that minimum benefits level, or exceed it, but cannot fall below it.
Insurance for Dependents
Dubai also makes it mandatory for employee benefits plan to include all of his or her dependents in the list of beneficiaries as well, including all the domestic help which you may have employed at your residence.
Of course, the law only requires for the dependents to receive at least basic benefits, which are covered under what is referred to as the Essential benefits plan (EBP). However, this condition is not mandated upon employers, and the person sponsoring the visa instead is liable to ensure provision of coverage for dependents of an employee.
In case of Abu Dhabi, the employer is liable to provide health insurance coverage to both the employee and all of his dependents, although only 50% of the insurance costs are borne by the employer, and that too only for the spouse and at most 3 children of the employee.
Employees are expected to provide the rest of the 50% of the insurance costs for dependents, and in case they have more than the allowed number of dependents as per law, they must bear the full cost of their insurance themselves.
As for the rest of the UAE, such as Fujairah, Ajman, and Ras al Khalmah, the responsibility of providing health insurance coverage does not lie with the employer, although they may do so if they so please.
However, there is an exception in the case of Sharjah as employees as well as all their dependents are provided coverage for healthcare so long as they work for the government. Apart from that, if anyone wants to be covered under a healthcare plan, they must do so on their own.
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