Adnic picked to run health insurance scheme for DIFC employees

New Master Health Insurance Scheme follows on from the free zone's introduction of employee savings plan earlier this year

DIFC Gate building. Courtesy Dubai International Financial Centre Authority

Abu Dhabi National Insurance Company will provide group health insurance for all employees in the Dubai International Financial Centre free zone from October 1, reinsurance firm EC3 Brokers MEA said on Monday.

The DIFC Master Health Insurance Scheme will offer cost-effective health insurance to employees of all registered firms in the free zone and their dependents.

“The insurance scheme is a first for any free zone in the UAE and we hope it provides our 2,500 firms and more than 25,000 professionals access to high-quality health insurance at streamlined rates,” Arif Amiri, chief executive of the DIFC Authority, said.

Adnic was picked for the group health insurance policy after a bidding process, said the reinsurance firm that facilitated the deal.

DIFC has rolled out a number of changes to employee benefits in recent months to attract top financial firms. On February 1, the free zone’s new Employee Workplace Savings plan, which replaces the UAE’s end-of-service gratuity with a defined contribution investment scheme, went live.

The health insurance scheme, which will be optional for DIFC firms, will help SMEs and start ups gain access to plans providing a good standard of cover for employees, the brokerage said in a statement.

Smaller firms often have difficulty in accessing group rates from health insurers and are required to make detailed disclosures relating to the health and pre-existing conditions of staff for insurers to price the risk related to them. The DIFC’s new group health cover aims to provide SMEs and start-ups with the pricing and benefits usually afforded to larger employers.

“[This will] enable ADNIC to support the DIFC in its vision to provide cost-effective health insurance and a high level of service to its partners,” said Ahmad Idris, chief executive of Adnic.