What Parents Need to Know about Dubai’s New Health Insurance Laws
We recently shared information about the changes to Dubai’s health insurance legislation. Soon, anybody coming to the Emirate must have compliant health cover in place in order to be issued a visa.
Dubai’s new visa requirements for health insurance are being enforced in phases so that companies with a workforce in Dubai have time to prepare. The laws make health cover for international assignees posted in the Emirate the responsibility of the employer.
This law’s aim is to ensure that every national, resident and visitor in Dubai has health insurance coverage and access to essential health services. This stems from the government’s fundamental goal to provide happiness and security to the people of Dubai as it evolves as an international hub of economic activity.
While the new insurance requirements are a positive development for employees being posted in Dubai, one issue has been overlooked that people who are working in Dubai who have dependents need to be aware of.
One of the key aspects of Dubai’s health insurance regime is that employers are not required to provide coverage for the dependents of their employees.
Instead, cover for dependents falls to the sponsor themselves. So where a ‘trailing spouse’, child or any other dependent does not receive cover from an employer, it becomes the responsibility of the sponsor to put in place and maintain the required cover.
Employers are not required to provide health cover for their staff’s dependents because this rule could deter employers from offering jobs to people with partners and children in order to save money. If employers were expected to cover dependents, they are likely to favour single job candidates. This would be unethical and could drastically change Dubai’s family-focused culture.
If you are living and working in Dubai, your employer will provide you with a health plan. However, it is not their job to look after your family. You should purchase a suitable international health plan for your dependents to ensure they have access to medical facilities in the UAE.
Potentially, you could arrive in Dubai with your family only to discover your dependents are not allowed to stay in the country.
It’s also wise to question the extent of the cover provided by your employee benefits package. Does it extend to covering dental care and treatment? What about the potential costs of pregnancy and childbirth in Dubai?
The new health insurance laws also mean domestic staff such as maids will need health cover.
It is vital you arrange international health insurance for the entire family before you go to Dubai.