Is medical insurance for Dubai employees and family compulsory?

I have been reading about medical insurance in Dubai and am trying to find out if it is compulsory. I’m unsure whether it has been implemented officially or if it has been put in force as obligatory for employers to provide this for Dubai-based employees. If so, is it the employer’s responsibility to cover the employee only, or do they also have to provide cover for their family? DW, Dubai

Mandatory medical insurance for Dubai employees is being introduced in several phases. Companies with more than 1,000 employees have had to have suitable cover in place since October 31 last year; those with 100 to 999 employers must have cover in place by July 31 this year, and companies with fewer than 100 employees have until June 30 next year. It is the responsibility of the sponsor to provide medical insurance for everyone else no later than June 30 next year, and this includes spouses, dependents and domestic workers. Employers are obliged to provide cover for their staff only, so, for example, an employed man may have his own insurance provided by his employer but will be responsible for arranging cover for his wife, children and maid by the deadline. All plans will need to comply with the new Dubai Health Authority rules, and note that both providers and advisers must have specific authorisation to provide plans and advice.

Keren Bobker is an independent financial adviser with Holborn Assets in Dubai with more than 20 years of experience. Contact her at Follow her on Twitter at @FinancialUAE

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek appropriate independent legal advice

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