Dubai: If you are an expatriate living and working in the UAE, you may have a medical insurance plan from your employer, but does that same medical insurance also cover your spouse and children?
Companies in Dubai are obligated to provide health insurance for their employees. However, providing health insurance coverage for the worker's spouse or children is up to the employer.
Natasha Sood, senior associate at Dubai-based law firm Motei and Associates, said: “In Dubai, employers are legally obligated to provide medical cover for their employees. The Health Insurance Law of Dubai No. 11 of 2013 requires that all residents must have a level of health insurance that meets or exceeds minimum benefits stipulated by DHA. The responsibility of providing health insurance rests with the employer.”
However, when it comes to health insurance for your family, it may or may not be covered by your company, as per their policy. The Dubai Health Insurance Law also states that sponsors must provide health insurance for their dependents. A service catalogue published by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) in 2020 advised Dubai residents to check their employment contracts to see if their employer has a contractual obligation to provide the workers and their families with medical insurance. DHA also explained that companies are encouraged to cover health insurance for the worker's dependents.
Therefore, if your family is under your sponsorship, you are legally required to apply for health insurance for them
“In Dubai, sponsors are required to provide private health insurance for their dependents,” Sood said.
In Abu Dhabi, Article 5 of 'Law No. (23) of 2005 Concerning Health Insurance in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Implementing Regulation', an employer is mandated to provide medical insurance for their employee and family. However, the scope of health insurance covers one spouse and three children until the age of 18, according to Mohammed El Dakamawy, lawyer at Dr. Mahmood Hussain Advocates and Legal Consultancy LLC.
“According to the law, an employer is mandated to procure medical insurance for his employees and their families, which is limited to a spouse and three children,” El Dakamawy said.
The Northern Emirates, which includes Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, do not have local legislation mandating employers to provide medical insurance for their employees. Therefore, when it comes to health insurance for employees and their families, the practice is based on each company's policy.