Individual sponsors will not be penalised if they fail to insure themselves, employees and dependents in Dubai by the stipulated deadline of June 30 under the mandatory health insurance scheme.
The Dubai Health Authority has confirmed that a six-month grace period has been provided to individual sponsors.
The mandatory insurance plan is currently in its third and final phase, covering companies with 100 or fewer employees, domestic workers and dependants of employees.
DHA’s director of Health Funding Dr Haidar Al Yousuf said: “Individuals, their families and their employees – such as maids and cooks – will be given a grace period until the end of the year.
“We urge everyone to abide by the law, which aims to protect not only their dependents but also the sponsors.”
Under the Dubai health insurance law that came into effect in January 2014, every sponsor is mandated to provide an essential insurance package fixed between Dhs 550 and Dhs 700 to ensure that those earning less than Dhs 4,000 receive adequate cover.
Last month, the DHA confirmed that about 75 per cent of Dubai’s residents were insured. It added that 95 per cent were expected to be covered by the end of June.
“Having your dependents insured will not only protect and save their life in the case where they might need urgent medical intervention; it also protects the sponsor,” said Al Yousef.
“If the sponsor insures the employee they will only have to pay about Dhs 500 to get them medically covered for a year.
“However, if their employee was not insured and suddenly entered the ICU and required surgery, the employee will have to cover the medical costs, which can reach up to hundreds of thousands of dirhams,” he added.