Dubai: All UAE nationals are eligible for free health insurance that covers their expenses at public and private hospitals across the country as well as their emergency treatment abroad, according to Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, the UAE health insurance scheme and Dubai Government, which announced a comprehensive cover to be provided to government employees and their dependants.
President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued a law in 2005 that makes it compulsory for business owners and employers in Abu Dhabi to provide health insurance coverage for their employees.
Based on that law, The Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (HAAD) implemented in 2008 a compulsory health cover scheme for nationals, including for periodic medical examination called ‘Weqaya' and a health insurance scheme, ‘Thiqa' in Abu Dhabi. According to the scheme, treatment and services will be provided by both public and private sectors, in line with Daman's benefits schedules that are legalised by the Abu Dhabi's health authority.
The National Health Insurance Company ‘Daman' worked as a third party administrator (TPA) company through its Thiqa programme, the exclusive company providing benefits to all UAE Nationals.
Under this scheme, the employer must insure the employee, his wife and three of his children, under 18 years. Health insurance companies should pay the expenses of the health services for the insured. All employers are by law obliged to enrol with he health insurance system and must insure their employees.
While health establishments in the government sector undertake to provide medical services to the insured, private health institutions on the other hand will have to obtain a licence from the authority to provide such services to the insured. Medical institutions should provide the insured with services in case of emergency, for which they will be paid back by the insurance companies. The health insurance scheme covers medical check-ups and primary health care provided at clinics and medical centres, laboratory tests and X-rays as well as the cost of medicine.
Health insurance scheme for UAE nationals is managed by the national health insurance company, Daman and covers over 580,000 Emiratis.
Expatriates are also included in medical insurance. Shaikh Khalifa also issued Law 23, the Abu Dhabi Health Insurance Regulation Bill. Thereafter, HAAD enforced the Law in 2006, which obliges all employers and sponsors in Abu Dhabi to provide health insurance for expatriates that are residing or working in the emirate. It includes families and all individuals sponsored by expatriates residing in the capital. On the other hand, the health authority expanded its efforts to include expatriates with special needs, orphans, prisoners, detainees and inmates.
Expatriates in Dubai and the Northern Emirates' are also covered by a health insurance system since 2008.