Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has confirmed that the deadline for residents in the emirate to have mandatory health insurance has been extended into 2017.
The deadline to fully implement the scheme was fixed at December 31, 2016, but a new deadline is yet to be announced.
In a statement, the DHA said: “We made the decision due to the high influx of customers flocking to insurance companies in the last few days and in consideration of those who were not able to get the insurance in time due to one circumstance or another.”
Earlier this week, the DHA announced that over four million Dubai residents – accounting for about 98 per cent of the emirate’s population – already have health insurance.
Dr. Haidar Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at DHA, said at the time that all insurance companies are “working non-stop” to cope with the increased demand from companies and individuals.
The new ruling is part of the Dubai Health Insurance Law that came into effect in January 2014.
The law states that it is the legal liability for every sponsor is to provide an essential insurance package – fixed between Dhs550 and Dhs700 – so that those with salaries under Dhs4,000 receive adequate cover.
Each resident who does not have insurance after the deadline will be fined Dhs500 per month, with the sponsor bearing responsibility to pay the amount.
The mandatory health cover is also required for a new residency visa and to renew an existing one.
The scheme, implemented in three phases, initially had a stipulated deadline of June 30, 2016.
However, the DHA added a six-month grace period to sponsors to abide by the ruling.