Dubai visa holders who have not obtained health insurance cover by December 31 will no longer be able to renew their visas, as the six month extension period comes to an end.
Also, no new visas will be issued if the individual concerned does not have health insurance coverage in place at the time of visa stamping or renewal.
However, an online poll showed that nearly 70 per cent were not yet covered, despite the deadline being just a few weeks away.
As announced earlier, individuals, their dependents and companies that have not yet insured their employees will be fined Dh500 per person per month for non-compliance, said Dr Haider Al Yousaf, director of health funding at Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
Once a breach of the law is identified, such as employers or sponsors not meeting enrolment deadlines to have insurance in place for employees or dependents, any fines that may be imposed will be backdated to the date of the breach.
As of January 1, 2017, the real-time system linking with the General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs (GDRFA) will be activated and in full effect.
According to a circular issued by the DHA last month, the system has been developed to monitor and ensure compliance with the law. It’s also designed to detect gaps in insurance.
For example: if an individual’s health insurance policy expires on February 1, 2017 and their visa expires on January 1, 2017, when they renew the visa during January 2017, it will be renewed without any issues.
However, if the individual does not maintain constant health insurance coverage, the system will track and log the gap in insurance upon the next visa renewal, ie, if they were uninsured for two months between visa renewals, they will incur a fine of Dh1,000 at the time of renewal.
With around one million still needing to get insurance before December 31, Dr Al Yousaf urged insurance companies to provide cost effective and good quality packages to residents.
In order to be compliant with the law, all employers and individual sponsors insuring their employees, domestic help or dependents must provide all the required information.
The penalty for an uninsured member, whether an employee or dependent, is Dh500 per month per member. In addition to the fines from DHA, this delay may cause the employer or individual sponsor to incur fines from GDRFA.
If delays in uploading the details of a policy holder member are caused by an insurer, in turn causing delays in visa issuance/renewal, a full investigation will be launched by DHA and fines of Dh10,000 may be applicable per policy.
In addition to the fine, the insurer will also be responsible for covering the cost of their member’s fines. Currently, 3.6 million of the Dubai population is already covered – the DHA is targeting all four million.