International health insurance can cover visitors
By Asma Hamid, Ahmed Abdul Aziz & Mary Nammour KHALEEJ TIMES 28 July 2008
ABU DHABI - Visitors entering the country on visit visas from tomorrow can be covered by international health insurance policies, according to Brigadier Nassir Al Awadi Al Minhali, Acting Director-General of the Federal Naturalisation and Residency Department (FNRD) in the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
He explained that if this health insurance policy is internationally certified and covers the UAE, it would be approved for all types of visit visas.
Meanwhile, Major Mohammad Al Hammadi, Director of the Entry Permit Department at the Department of Naturalisation and Residency in Dubai (DNRD) announced that from next week, special counters of health insurance companies will be set up on its premises to provide medical insurance covers for visa-seekers.
“We will be signing agreements with some health insurance companies soon to ensure the insurance service is made available to applicants at the DNRD. He, however did not disclose the fees and service costs.
Al Hammadi clarified that sponsors could also seek medical insurance cover for the visa-seeker through any renowned health insurance company in the emirate, or in the UAE.
“Private companies applying for visas for their workers should provide them with medical insurance. The same applies to the tourism companies. In case the tourism companies already have the insurance cover in their packages offered to the tourists, we will not be asking for that condition.”
According to Major Al Hammadi, the international medical insurance policies will be valid in the UAE. “The insurance should be valid as long as the visa-holder is going to stay in the UAE.”
The local insurance companies are making all preparations to meet the new demand. Speaking to Khaleej Times, Wesam Ibrahim, head of the Department of Life and Medical Insurance at Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC), said the company already has a plan that can accommodate visitors in accordance with the new visit visa requirements.
“We will find out the exact details of the new visit visa requirements by the end of this month. At this point of time, we have no plans to develop a new plan,” he said.
Ibrahim explained that AWNIC’s existing visitor plan only covers inpatient emergency cases, and covers healthcare services of up to Dh100,000. Clients can be insured for either a month or three months, but the company has no insurance policy for visitors staying for less than a month. The cost of the plan ranges from Dh130 to Dh150 per month. “We do not think that much will change for our company after the new visit visa law is enforced,” he added.
A reliable source at the National Health Insurance Company (Daman) said the health insurance will cover the categories that would be defined by the Naturalisation and Residency Department in the Ministry of Interior.
According to the current rules in Daman, the health insurance for mission visas (six months) costs Dh420 for those above 51 years of age, and Dh 240 for those between 16 and 50 years.