UAE residents with annual essential health benefit insurance cover will soon be able to renew their policy with a single swipe of their National ID or insurance card at kiosks set up in petrol pumps or shopping malls through credit card payment, a top official has said.
The policy can be also be renewed on the website of Dubai Health Authority.
Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of health funding at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), told Gulf News: “The good news is that the essential health benefit package for low income groups has come down from Dh625-Dh700 per annum to Dh560-Dh650 per annum as the insurance net widens and everyone gets covered. The economies of scales have kicked in already,” he said.
He explained: “In case of domestic help the sponsors will find it very easy to renew their insurance by simply going to such a kiosk as we are working on smartness of design to smoothen operations in this sector.”
This is among the many positive steps that are on the anvil to streamline the health insurance sector, said Dr Yousuf, who praised the new law on health insurance fees and penalties issued by the Dubai Executive Council Resolution (7) of (2016) as a positive step.
“The new law is designed to strike a balance between three stakeholders the payer who is the insurance company, the service provider which is the hospital and the patient. We want to make sure that the employers do not default on their employees’ insurance cover. Therefore our penalties are much higher than the actual cost of insurance coverage. The employer will realise it is cheaper for him to pay the insurance than default. At the same time we do not want the patient or the hospital to abuse the insurance cover,” he added.
He added that the government was very keen to make sure that employees who were given the insurance cover were not being indirectly charged for it through instalments deducted from their monthly salary.
“For any complaints about insurance, a resident can seek redressal through thehttp://ipromes.eclaimlink.ae website,” said Dr Yousuf. He added: “The law applies equally to everyone and sponsors of housemaids and houseboys will also face stiff penalties if they default. We want resident sponsors to realise that we are defending their interests by providing insurance cover for their helpers.”
The ultimate aim of the mandatory cover is to bring each and every resident under the health net and make sure people are able to utilise it. “We want every resident, however low his income may be, to know that the element of protection exists for all in society,” said Dr Yousuf.