Think of smart solutions, insurance companies told

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Think of smart solutions, insurance companies told
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Dubai - DHA urged insurance companies to provide people with cost effective and good quality packages.

by

Sherouk Zakaria

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Published: Fri 18 Nov 2016, 7:25 PM

The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has called for insurance companies to use innovation in reaching out to residents, regarding the mandatory health insurance scheme.
With around one million residents still needing to get insurance before December 31, Dr Haidar Al Yousuf, director of health funding at DHA, urged insurance companies to provide people with cost effective and good quality packages. "One of the key elements of innovation is that it has to be sustainable. It should not inflate prices, but can only add value by either improving access, quality or sustainability," said Yousuf.
With the deadline for sponsors providing insurance to their employees and dependents approaching, Yousuf said insurance companies "should think of smart solutions to reach the biggest number of people possible." For those who do not have an employer, the responsibility of providing insurance goes to the sponsor.
"If the employer does not provide insurance to the employee's dependents, it becomes the employee's responsibility to provide insurance for his dependents," said Yousuf. However, the government ensures there are affordable packages in the market for employees with low income.
"There are about a million dependants still in need of insurance before the end of this year. Less than 30 per cent of dependants are covered by companies, so employees need to buy insurance for their families," Yousuf said, while urging insurance companies to design cost effective packages and build better relationships with members.
"Try to establish a 3-year-package or even 5-year-packages to ensure viable investments for you and your members," Yousuf told insurance companies.
Beware of violations
While a six-month grace period was given to companies and sponsors to apply for the scheme, which had the initial deadline of June 30, Yousuf confirmed that authorities will start applying fines by December 31.
Companies will be fined Dh500 per month for each employee without insurance; however, the fining process has not been revealed. "Those who haven't purchased insurance for their dependents are already violating the law. What has been extended is only the deadline for penalties," Yousuf noted.
"The basic benefit package starts from Dh550 per year, so it is cheaper to purchase insurance for employees than pay fines." He said 88 per cent of Dubai's population are now covered, and the authority will make sure the remaining 12 per cent are added to the scheme.
sherouk@khaleejtimes.com



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