After years of confusion over the health insurance requirements for expats in Dubai, it has recently been announced that from January 2014 onwards medical insurance will be mandatory.
Foreign nationals account for 90% of the population in Dubai, which has led to claims that indigenous citizens were being squeezed out of hospital beds, as many previously uninsured individuals benefitted from "free" care. This new law could result in higher premiums, with the burden of paying for the coverage falling mainly on employers.
Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid, ruler of Dubai as well as vice-president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), approved the Health Insurance Law, which will be phased in over nearly three years.
In a recent article in the Telegraph, Kevin Melton, Sales and Marketing Director, AXA PPP International, comments:
'It's somewhat ironic that after years of confusion, it's suddenly announced, out of the blue, that employers will be legally obliged to insure their employees. But the model is very different to [what was] due to be introduced in 2008. There is much less state instruction in the Act as I understand it - not dictating what the product should be, and not saying what the level of cover should be.'
He added: 'I doubt if the change will have a dramatic effect…as most of the Western expat population is already insured.'
If you have any questions relating to the rules on private and state healthcare in a country you are about to move to, you can always rely on AXA PPP International as a dependable resource to provide you with the very latest information about healthcare overseas to meet all your needs.
Getting private healthcare in the Emirates