Abu Dhabi: President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in his role as Ruler of Abu Dhabi has passed Law 23 - The Abu Dhabi Health Insurance Regulation Bill.

The General Authority for Health Services in Abu Dhabi (HAAD) alongside other ministerial departments in Abu Dhabi will enforce the Law.

The Law obliges all employers/sponsors in Abu Dhabi to provide health insurance for expatriates residing or working in Abu Dhabi; this includes residents working and living in Abu Dhabi; families and people who are sponsored by expatriates and all individuals sponsored by expatriates residing in Abu Dhabi.

Under Law 23, regardless of high inflation rates in the UAE, the executive council of Abu Dhabi and Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) agreed with Daman to keep the premium basic product stable at Dhs600 for 2008.

The basic product policy (BPP) provided by Daman and closely supervised by HAAD covers healthcare services within Abu Dhabi through an authorised network of healthcare providers with an upper limit of Dh250,000 annually to individuals and their dependants with incomes not exceeding Dh3,000 with housing or Dh4,000 without housing.

The policy does include medication costs which will cover a maximum of Dhs1, 500 for out-patient medication expenses and 30 per cent from the transaction; in case the transaction exceeds Dhs500 the insured is required to get previous permission from the insurance companies.

The insured may liaise with an authorised insurance company to increase the upper limit by switching to an enhanced insurance policy, provided they pay the premium difference.

"It is one of our key objectives as a regulator to ensure affordable healthcare for all residents of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and we do not want to unnecessarily increase the burden on the employers who finance the health insurance premiums for their expatriate employees. We, therefore, are proud to have reached the agreement with Daman to not raise prices on the basic product and hope that other insurers will pay equal attention to maintaining price discipline" said Dr. Finn Goldner, Head of Health System Financing, HAAD.

HAAD will ensure the implementation of the Health Insurance Scheme and carry out the following procedures: implement and oversee the complaints and dispute resolution procedures; work with other government, federal, local and quasi-government authorities and the private sector to ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Law and Regulations; conduct investigations as appropriate in association with other federal and local government authorities to ensure the Health Insurance Scheme is implemented in compliance with the Health Insurance Law and these Regulations; determine and enforce the implementation of applicable standards to be met by healthcare services providers, insurance companies, intermediaries and insurance claims administration companies (third party) in relation to the Health Insurance Scheme; oversee and be responsible for the appointment of authorised officers.

In case the employer or sponsor fail to subscribe or renew the subscription in the Health Insurance Scheme for their workers or those residing under his/her sponsorship a penalty of Dh300 for every person each month without an insurance subscription will be applied.

Moreover, employers are responsible for procuring health insurance policies for their employees and their dependants, and must not pass on the cost or any portion. In case of violations, the employers will be fined Dh10,000 for every employee, in addition to refunding the amount to the employees.