Abu Dhabi: Expatriates residing in Abu Dhabi, whether working or living there, are entitled to health insurance coverage, said an official from the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (HAAD) on Tuesday.
According to the Abu Dhabi Health Insurance Regulation Bill under Law 23, all employers and sponsors must provide health insurance for expatriates who live or work in Abu Dhabi.
This includes expatriates residing in Abu Dhabi, even if their visa is issued in another city, such as Dubai, people who are sponsored by expatriates residing in the emirate and all individuals sponsored by expatriates residing in the capital city.
"A sponsor or employer is responsible for ensuring that resident expatriates are in possession of valid health insurance," said Sultan Al Daheri, team leader of Reimbursement and Claims at HAAD.
"They will be held personally liable for the cost of all healthcare services that are provided to persons on their sponsorship in the event that such a person is not covered by a valid health insurance policy," said Al Daheri.
Failure to subscribe or renew the subscription in the Health Insurance Scheme (HIS) by an employer or sponsor for workers and those residing under their sponsorship will result in a penalty of Dh300 monthly for every person without an insurance subscription, said Al Daheri.
In addition, employers and sponsors must not pass on the cost of providing Health Insurance to Employees.
If an employer or sponsor does pass on the cost to their employee, they will be considered in violation of the law and subject to investigation and penalties.
If an employee living in Abu Dhabi files a complaint against lack of fulfilment of an obligation arising from a health insurance scheme, a written complaint, called a Letter of Inspection Notification, is lodged at the Customer Service Section in HAAD.
Moreover, if any dispute occurs between parties involved, such as healthcare institutions, employers, or insurance companies, the problem is managed by the Enrollment and the Inspection Section (EIS) who send out their inspection team to monitor the issue and make sure a proper health insurance policy is provided to all employees.
According to HAAD Customer Service Head Afra Khalifa Al Ghathi, one of the most common complaints received at HAAD is related to Health Insurance Policies The EIS section also claims to receive up to six serious complaints per day.
Once HAAD officials receive these complaints, confidentiality is maintained so that the employee's position in the company is not jeopardised.
"Sometimes employers may fire or deduct from the employee's salary as reaction to the complaint. We put that into consideration and make sure the employee's name while lodging the complaint is not mentioned and all related details are kept confidential.
"We do not want to jeopardise the individual's position in any way and encourage people to openly share their experiences with us. It is our role to make sure employees and residents in Abu Dhabi are given a proper health insurance scheme," said Al Daheri.
Who to contact: Complain with confidence
Any complaints regarding health insurance regulations are handled by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi's customer service department, via three channels. The complainant's identity is kept confidential.
Toll free number: 800800 (from Abu Dhabi)
Visit: the Health Authority Headquarters, Airport Road
Total upper limit coverage: The annual upper limit for healthcare services is Dh250,000