With the 1-year anniversary of mandatory medical insurance around the corner, GWM explain what you need to consider to avoid incurring fines or visa restrictions
With the looming renewal deadline on mandatory health insurance, Dubai businesses could face penalties for failing to comply with the law says the financial planning firm Guardian Wealth Management (GWM).
With the deadline to renew fast approaching for many businesses, GWM’s Corporate Solutions team says effective planning should be put in place to avoid gaps in cover and the risk of fines or worse, visa and licence restrictions that were implemented by the DHA last year. The team has issued a five-point plan to help companies comply with a vital area of their operation.
Neil Stewart, Corporate Solutions Advisor at Guardian Wealth Management UAE, said: “The DHA means business when it comes to mandatory company health insurance.
“Last year it was important for businesses just to get the insurance for employees by deadline. One-year on and business-owners have more time to plan effectively and put in place the most appropriate cover.”
Guardian Wealth Management have come up with a 5-point plan covering rules, plans and responsibilities for business-owners when renewing. They are as follows:
- Know the rules
- Shop around for the right policy
- Outline responsibilities of employees
- Be clear of the T’s & C’s
- Know your timeline
The DHA introduced a three-stage legislation for mandatory health insurance introduced from 2014 to 2016 to ensure all expat workers were covered, regardless of the size of company they worked for.
The rules set-out stipulations such as a minimum level of health cover that needs to be met. It also specified that the cost of the medical cover cannot be passed to employees, whether directly or as a salary deduction.
With over 45 local insurers in the UAE alone, businesses can shop around for the best policy to suit their requirements. GWM work with the region’s top-tier insurance brokers who understand the market and ensure that businesses are fully compliant within the given time frame.
Key questions for employers to ask themselves are, what jurisdictions does the healthcare cover? Which clinics can be used? Does it include lifestyle benefits such as dental and optical? What are the conditions for maternity cover or IVF? Does an excess have to be paid by the member each time the insurance is utilised?
“The likelihood is if you don’t know the answers to these questions, your staff won’t either. Employers should look under the bonnet and read the small print of their policies, then relay these considerations to their employees,” said Neil Stewart.
“Acting now is imperative to ensure everything is in order prior to your policy expiring or before the end of June. Of course, many business-owners are busy running companies, therefore may have other priorities. Best advice is to talk to a professional who can help you understand each consideration and steer you through the whole process.”
For more information visit www.guardianwealthmanagement.com