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Visa health insurance waiver turned down by DNRD

posted on 23/05/2002: 2211 views


The Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) has no intention to waive the health insurance pre-requisite for granting residence visas on humanitarian basis to the parents of Dubai residents, but has put this condition on hold for the time being until the insurance companies come up with schemes acceptable to everybody, according to Colonel Saeed Mattar bin Bleilah, Director of DNRD.



Khaleej Times exclusively published last month the DNRD decision which came into effect from April 1 allowing residents of Dubai to sponsor their parents on residence visas provided they furnish a security deposit of Dh5,000 for each parent to be refundable when the visa is cancelled if the sponsored parent dies or leaves the country for good. Also required is a health insurance policy valid for one year to be renewed at the time of the residence visa renewal for the sponsored parents. "This decision has surprised the insurance companies, and during the course of its implementation, we discovered that some of these companies are either exaggerating the insurance charges or refusing to insure the elderly above a certain age," Col. Bin Bleilah observed. He told Khaleej Times that a number of applicants managed to get their parents insured, but the problem was mainly faced by those whose parents are above the age of 60 years.



Justifying the requisition for the health insurance for the elderly dependants, Col. Bin Bleilah said that most of the elderly suffer from health problems or certain ailments which require constant medical surveyance. "The health insurance is also needed in the cases of those elderly who suffer from disabilities or certain diseases and need special attention that necessitates their presence with their sons of daughters, unlike children and minors who are legally eligible to stay with the head of the family as per the rules stipulated in the by-laws of the Federal Entry and Residency Law," Director of DNRD explained.



The health insurance policies would cover all the medical services needed by the elderly and would ensure that they do not pose an extra burden and pressure on the government health system. The DNRD decision, according to its director, covers apart from parents, all the close relatives of a Dubai resident who fall under the category of humanitarian cases. "These might include an elderly unmarried sister, or a disabled sister or brother who need special care and have no one to look after them other than their siblings who live in Dubai," Col. Bin Bleilah said.



The Director of DNRD was almost certain that the insurance companies will come up with solutions for this problem "because they want to make business." In fact many companies promised to design insurance schemes for the elderly |at |reasonable |charges. However, if these companies fail to provide the department with suitable proposals, the health insurance condition will be permanently waived and the department will then think of other alternatives, he said.



"The last thing we want is to overburden expatriate residents with high expenses. "The order was meant to help people and was taken on mere humanitarian grounds," Col. Bin Bleilah stressed. The department invited a number of insurance companies for a meeting earlier this month following complaints from applicants about the costly insurance premiums and the refusal of some companies to issue insurance policies for those above 60 years old. The DNRD has amicably asked the representatives of five companies to come up with schemes to solve this problem. Oman Insurance was one of the companies which attended the meeting represented by Mohammed Abu Koura, Group Manager Life & Health Department.



Speaking to Khaleej Times, Abu Koura announced that Oman Insurance has finalised a scheme for insuring the elderly up to the age of 80 years and will be ready to start receiving applications from this Saturday. "Of course the insurance procedures and requirements for the elderly will be a little different from the ordinary health insurance policies, so will be the terms and the insurance mechanics." Elaborating, Mr Koura said that the insurance policy for the elderly will cover two types of schemes - the direct billing for inpatients and reimbursement for outpatients. He observed that the insurance premiums will be reasonable for most people with an average of Dh3,000 per year for the people in their sixties and with additional charges of 30 to 40 per cent for those in their late seventies. (The Khaleej Times)

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