Insurance: Regulations, Reimbursement, and Competitiveness
The U.A.E. spends approximately $1,200 per person each year in healthcare, ranking it among the top 20 countries in the world for healthcare spending per capita. In order to sustain all of its healthcare costs, the country has been moving toward a universal healthcare system. A law passed in 2005 required all expatriates and their families living in Abu Dhabi to have private medical coverage, and a law passed in 2007 gave HAAD the mandate to develop insurance policy and provide health insurance regulation services. In 2010, a requirement in Abu Dhabi was enacted for all hospitals and insurers to bill on a diagnosis rate group (DRG) system. This requirement, plus other measures such as standardized contracts, is expected to slow the rising cost of medical services. Today, universal healthcare insurance is in place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai but only actively enforced in Abu Dhabi. Dubai is in the process of rolling out its universal healthcare insurance system and recently mandated that the population of the entire emirate must be covered by 2016. Sharjah is expected to implement a health authority and policies similar to HAAD and DHA in the near future.