Health insurance must for visit visa

ABU DHABI — It will become mandatory for expatriates on visit visa to go in for a health insurance policy from the beginning of next year.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Tue 18 Jul 2006, 10:34 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 7:12 PM

"It is not mandatory for expatriates on visit visa that is extended to more than two months to purchase a health insurance policy before January 1, 2007," official sources at Daman, the National Health Insurance Company, clarified when contacted by Khaleej Times.

It appeared that many expatriates are confused about the newly introduced health insurance scheme that was enforced on July 1 for companies sponsoring more than 1,000 employees, under a presidential decree aiming at forcing employers to bear expenses of medical treatment required by their employees.

A case in point was a group of 15 expatriates with expiring visit visas who rushed to buy insurance policies from Daman thinking they would need an insurance membership as a prerequisite for immigration authorities to renew their visa. However, it was a procedure the expats later regretted and asked the company to reimburse their money.

"The expatriates were on the process of renewing their visit visa. It seemed they were confused. The company tried to explain the law but they insisted to buy insurance polices and we had to refund their money back," official sources at Daman told Khaleej Times.

At present expatriates on visit visa who require medical treatment have to pay double the fees for availing health services at the country's public health institutions, a matter that creates a financial burden for this category.

Expatriates on visit visa for over two months must have health insurance starting from January 1, 2007, the date set for implementing phase II of the insurance scheme.

In phase II of the scheme, expatriates on visit visa of over two months should be covered by health insurance under a special policy that falls under the categories of 'enhanced policy' or emergency policy', according to the law.

All expatriates residing and working in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi will be included in the second phase of the insurance scheme.

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