In the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the first phase of the health insurance policy comes into force, phasing out the existing health card system.
Employers are now responsible for providing health insurance for employees and their direct family including wife and three children below18 years of age. Initially, it applies to companies sponsoring more than 1000 employees. From Ist January it will extend to all expatriates residing and working in the emirate.
Already, some expatriates are worried that employers will not abide by the new rule and would leave them without insurance, when it comes to expenses of treatment. The construction industry has a problem with companies notorious for not spending money on employees or sub-contractors. Unless the cost of breaking the law is higher than the cost of providing insurance, companies operating in the sector, could decide to avoid insurance.
If you are going to work in the UAE, and have any doubts on the employer arranging insurance, it may be worth finding out the cost of buying your own cover.
Expatriate health insurance : News update: July 2006