Individual sponsors who fail to provide health insurance for themselves, their employees and dependants by the June 30 deadline set by Dubai Health Authority will not face fines this year.
A grace period of six months has been offered by DHA as it plans to enforce the final stage of its mandatory health insurance scheme for all residents.
Health insurance is now linked to Dubai residency visas in an effort to have widespread coverage for the 3.8 million people living in the emirate.
DHA said about 75 per cent of residents were covered by insurance, with 95 per cent of the population expected to fall under the mandatory scheme by the end of June.
The plan is in its third phase, which covers companies with 100 or fewer employees and includes domestic workers and dependants of employees.
Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of health funding at DHA, said the final stage of the plan was crucial for maids and labourers. “Individuals, their families and their employees – such as maids and cooks, for example – 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 dependants but also the sponsors," he said.
“Having your dependants insured will not only protect and save their lives in the case where they might need urgent medical intervention, it also protects the sponsor.
“If the sponsor insures the employee they will only have to pay about Dh500 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."
Workshops and roadshows have been organised by DHA to put shortlisted companies that are providing the basic insurance package in touch with those in need of cover to ensure as many residents as possible have access to health insurance.
It is thought up to 40 per cent of those working for companies with less than 100 employees already have insurance in place.
DHA has shortlisted companies to provide the essential benefit package for anyone earning less than Dh4,000.
The essential benefit package ranges from Dh550 to Dh700 in cost and ensures coverage for maternity, emergency and specialist referrals.
Companies that fail to provide health insurance by the relevant deadline could face fines of up to Dh500,000.