By Andy Sambidge
Dubai Health Authority says 7 companies picked to deliver special package to low-paid workers in emirate
Dubai Health Authority has announced that it has approved a total of 50 insurance firms ahead of the roll-out of the mandatory health insurance scheme.
All 43 health insurance companies and seven participating insurers - those companies who underwent additional qualification criteria to provide essential cover to lower paid workers - have now received the mandatory Health Insurance Permit.
Only those companies with a valid permit are eligible to provide insurance cover as part of Dubai's Mandatory Health Insurance Scheme which is being rolled-out in phases until mid-2016.
The scheme is known as ISAHD which stands for Insurance System for Advancing Healthcare in Dubai and also means happiness in Arabic, a statement said.
It added that insurance companies who qualified as participating insurers to provide essential health benefits (EHB) package to resident employees with salaries below AED4,000 underwent a rigorous assessment procedure to ascertain their ability to provide an insurance package at an affordable rate.
The premium for this package will range between AED500-700 per person per year. Its objective is to provide adequate cover at a reasonable cost to employers.
The statement said: "DHA recognises that in doing so insurers also have to make a reasonable profit. Only those capable of handling volume business and who can operate effectively over the long term can make the system sustainable. Consequently they are required to meet additional standards."
Haidar Al Yousuf, director of health funding at the DHA, said: "DHA is presently working with the seven participating insurers over the next month or so as they develop their product and their marketing plans to ensure that employers will have access to the essential benefits plan as quickly as possible."
He said that the roll-out will take place in phases - Companies with 1,000 or more employees will have to cover their staff before the end of October 2014, companies with 100 to 999 employees will have until the end of July 2015 and companies below 100 employees have until end of June 2016 to cover their employees.
All spouses, dependents and domestic workers will also have to be covered by June 2016.
He added: "Over the next two years, we will begin to see the immediate benefits of the mandatory health insurance scheme as and when its phased roll out takes place."
Which salary is classified as lowly paid here?