Dubai enforces travel health insurance policy for visitors
Starting this month, visitors entering Dubai are being charged a minimum of Dh45 for a travel insurance certificate without which a visit visa is not being issued.
The move comes after the introduction of a recent government ruling that made health insurance compulsory for visitors and residents.
Though health officials from Dubai Health Authority (DHA), while announcing the new Health Insurance Law for Dubai last week, said that the ruling will only be applicable starting early next year, residents applying for visit visas told Khaleej Times on Tuesday that the law had already been enforced.
Charges for an individual health policy period of up to 30 days single entry visas are Dh45; for 60 days the charges are Dh75; 90 days are Dh95 and for 180 days the charges are Dh185.
Visitors will only be covered for emergency medicine (accident and sickness) for upto Dh150,000. However, those aged between 70 and 84 years will have to pay a deductible of Dh2,000.
The travel insurance also covers for up to Dh7,500 in case of death in the UAE and for repatriation of remains.
Starting next year, all residents and visitors to Dubai will be required to have a compulsory health insurance cover to be provided by their employers or sponsors.
Officials said last week that resident or entry visas will not be processed unless an essential health insurance plan is submitted.
Roughly, two million people in the Emirate are expected to benefit from this scheme, including blue-collar workers, many of whom are currently without any basic health cover. Nearly a million people in Dubai are already insured.
While the health cover for the UAE nationals will be provided by the government, employers will be responsible for resident expatriate workers and their dependents. Those sponsoring their wives and children will have to buy individual health packages separately. Domestic workers will also have to be covered.
A basic health insurance package for residents will cover maternity, emergency, surgical procedures, etc but will not include procedures such as cosmetic surgeries.
Residents had a mixed reaction to the new ruling. While many said the extra cost added up to a big number, others said that the insurance cover would mean a peace of mind. “Life is unpredictable… and it is good to know that in case of any adverse event, we have medical cover,” said 34-year-old Mushtaq Amin, who is currently job hunting in Dubai.