Since 2006, all expatriates living and working in the emirate of Abu Dhabi must be provided health insurance by their employers or sponsor.
Coverage is valid for one year and should be renewed annually. Visas cannot be renewed without proof of health insurance coverage.
The insurance package of a migrant labourer will not be the same as that of the chief executive of a large company. For example, the national insurance company Daman offers a basic policy for Dh600 a person per year that is popular with construction companies.
Daman’s Global Plan, which has an annual payment limit of Dh5 million, ranges in price depending on your age. For a 25-year-old married individual it will cost about Dh7,700 a year. For a 50-year-old married individual, the cost is around Dh11,000.
Policies should contain an explanation of what is and is not covered, how to complain and the premiums involved, which, nevertheless are the responsibility of the employer or sponsor. Employers or sponsors cannot pass on the cost of health insurance to the person being insured.
All health care providers are obligated to provide treatment in emergency cases whether the patient has health insurance or not.
For tourists needing treatment from hospitals or clinics, the centre may seek to recover fees from the health insurance company in the patient's native country. Alternatively, the patient can settle the bill and recover payment later from their insurance company.
Employers or sponsors should provide insurance coverage to the employee and his or her family, including one spouse and three children under the age of 18. If there is a second wife and additional children, the sponsor of the family or the father should provide basic cover.
However, if a patient is in the country on a visitor's visa, it is the obligation of the patient's sponsor to pay medical fees.
If you have an emergency and dial 999 for help, you will be taken to a public hospital.
Quality of care
Cover provided by “enhanced” policies is generally comparable to that provided in most industrialised countries. There are, however, some significant differences and it is imperative that you read your policy carefully.
If you are injured in a car accident, costs should be recovered from the car insurance provider.
In the case of work-related accidents, the healthcare provider may recover the cost of treatment from your employer.