Dubai residents will be able to replace their health insurance cards with their Emirates ID cards by the first quarter of 2017, a senior official said on Sunday.

The new deadline for insurance companies to integrate the insurance card details into Emirates ID cards was revealed at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) stand during the inaugural day of the 36th Gitex Technology Week.

“We are moving all insurance cards to Emirates ID in the next few months, say by the first quarter of 2017,” Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of Health Funding at the DHA, told Gulf News.

He said the authority is pushing the insurance companies to comply with the new deadline. He said some companies which are facing technical difficulties need to resolve them so that all insurance companies’ details can be incorporated in a central database to enable the use of Emirates ID for health insurance services.

“No one will need to carry their insurance cards then … The moment the provider swipes the card, there will be a screen showing all the details about the card and services,” said Dr Al Yousuf.

The insurance companies, he said, can still choose to provide their cards to customers if they wish to. However, linking the scheme details with the Emirates ID card is a must for them.

About 3.4 million residents have already registered for insurance coverage in Dubai. “By the end of the year, we hope to reach close to 100 per cent of our target population,” Dr Al Yousuf said, saying that families and other dependents of individuals will have to be covered by the end of December.

“We are really going to ramp up our communication to ensure that everyone is insured before next year.”


Meanwhile, the DHA announced the launch of a self-registration system using Emirates ID cards for SAADA health insurance scheme for UAE nationals in Dubai.

SAADA, which means ‘happiness’ in Arabic, is applicable for all Emiratis in Dubai who do not benefit from any other government-funded health insurance cover. NEXtCare is the third party administrator selected for this scheme.

More than 106,000 Emiratis have so far registered for the SAADA scheme, said Dr Al Yousuf.

“The process takes less than five minutes and users have an option of registering their family members as well. Once registered, they can use their insurance immediately and an Emirates ID card is sufficient. They do not need a separate insurance card.”

During phase one of the roll-out, four kiosks will be available where Emiratis can self-register. They can download the SAADA app that will inform users about the self-check kiosks that are closest to their location. More kiosks will be set up in shopping malls and DHA facilities later.


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