Emirates ID cards will replace health insurance cards in Dubai by the first quarter of 2017, according to a senior official.
All insurance companies in the emirate will mandatorily have to link their insurance cards with Emirates ID cards via a central database, Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at the Dubai Health Authority told Gulf News.
“We are moving all insurance cards to Emirates ID in the next few months, say by the first quarter of 2017,” he said.
“No one will need to carry their insurance cards then. The moment the provider swipes the card, there will be a screen showing all the details about the card and services.”
Insurance companies can continue to provide their own cards to customers if they prefer, he added.
The move comes as Dubai implements its mandatory health insurance plan.
Under the scheme, which came into effect in January 2014, every sponsor is mandated to provide an essential insurance package fixed between Dhs550 and Dhs700 to ensure that those earning less than Dhs4,000 receive adequate cover.
The mandatory insurance plan is currently in its third and final phase, covering companies with 100 or fewer employees, domestic workers and dependents of employees. While they faced a deadline of June 30, the DHA has provided a six-month grace period to individual sponsors.
So far, about 3.4 million Dubai residents have registered for insurance coverage, Al Yousuf told Gulf News.
“By the end of the year, we hope to reach close to 100 per cent of our target population,” Dr Al Yousuf said.
“We are really going to ramp up our communication to ensure that everyone is insured before next year.”