The Dubai Health Authority announced in 2014 that all residents in Dubai will be required to take part in a health insurance scheme.
Whether they are businessmen, housewives, children, drivers, maids or cooks – they all are required under the Dubai Health Insurance Law No 11 of 2013 to have health coverage.
If they fail to do so, the UAE visa will not be renewed or will be penalised.
The legal liability for every sponsor is to provide an essential insurance package— fixed between Dhs550 and Dhs700— so that those with salaries under Dh4,000, such as domestic workers, receive adequate cover.
So, are domestic workers, such as maids, cooks and drivers, required to have coverage? According to the DHA, they are and their sponsor has to pay for it.
The Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai states: “Where a person employs domestic workers on their sponsorship, whether the sponsor is a national or a resident, the sponsor must arrange and pay for insurance coverage.
“It is not permissible for employers to deduct premiums from the employee or to reduce salary to mitigate the cost.
“As for treatment costs, employees will have to pay only the deductible or coinsurance amounts specified under the terms of the policy as well as any other treatment costs incurred which are not covered by the policy or which are in excess of any policy limits or sublimits.
“For these Lower Salary Band (LSB) employees, the employer or other sponsor must purchase a plan that meets the Essential Benefits Plan minimum levels of cover.
“For this segment of the population, these plans can be purchased only from insurance companies who have qualified as Participating Insurers.
“Participating insurers have exclusive access to this segment but in return they cannot deny coverage or impose special conditions.”
The companies that have been qualified as the participating insurers are Axa Insurance, MetLife Alico, National Health Insurance Company (Daman), Oman Insurance Company, Orient Insurance Company, Ras Al Khaimah National Insurance Company and Takaful Emarat.
The beneficiary with basic insurance cover is given a maximum coverage of up to Dh150,000 and has to pay 20 per cent during each visit to the hospital.
To get insurance for a domestic worker under your sponsorship, visit www.isahd.ae or visit the sales centre of the insurance companies.