Health Insurance is a basic policy in every country. At the state level, various laws and regulations are present which assist people during their hospital visits and critical situations. Various organizations also provide an incentive for health insurance to facilitate their employers.
Different insurance companies are running their successful business on people’s health. Whatever the situation is, health insurance is the basic need for all the people to make their treatments a possibility without a second thought. Saudi Arabia has so far introduced the new policies for the expatriates while looking at the enormous number of expatriates working in the Saudi fields.
What new is in the Saudi grounds is not a miss-miss. Read the article below and learn how health insurance is getting handy and changing its shape with the new upcoming law.
The new announcement regarding the health insurance
According to the new announcement, the Saudi expats, as well as the local citizens, no more require carrying a Medical insurance card along with them while visiting the hospitals or renew it separately, your National Identity Card or the Saudi Iqama is now the new health insurance card. It will be playing a dual role.
Keeping a view at the advancements in the technology relating to health insurance, providing smart applications on mobile phones, laptops, and e-health insurance card services, it was the need of the hour to facilitate the citizens. It was converted because
- To protect the rights of the insured people.
- Improve the services of health insurance.
- Facilitate health care as early as possible.
- Improve customer satisfaction.
When will the new law be implemented?
According to circular passed by CCHI, the health insurance will be linked with National Identity Card or Saudi Iqama from 1st January 2020.
Compulsory insurance initiative is part of Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Vision 2030 which has the aim of increasing tourism and changing economic dynamics.
- Through this strategy, Saudi Arabia hopes to increase tourist arrivals from 41 million at present to over 100 million by
- Further, it aims to replace medical treatment abroad with treatment at home. 20,000 Saudis annually used to have medical treatment overseas, despite the availability of treatment at home. The Government has decided to stop paying for medical treatment overseas as long as the same treatment is available in local medical centers.
Saudi Arabia has decided to nationalize various parts of the healthcare sector to employ 100,000 Saudis by 2030.
Who is responsible for health insurance in Saudi Arabia?
According to the one-contract health insurance policy, the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) has announced that all the private sector companies are required to sign a contract and provide the insurance facility as a mandatory act to all the employees and their dependents. The beneficiaries including Bupa, Tawauniya, MetLife etc. utilize company debits for the employees using the medical services.
What are CCHI and its function in Saudi Arabia?
CCHI is the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance. It is a Governmental body with an independent legal personality established under Article 4 of the Council of Ministers Resolution which provides the establishment of the Cooperative Health Insurance Council to oversee the implementation of the Cooperative Health Insurance headed by the Minister of Health.
The strict regulation on the implementation of the law
Saudi authorities have warned companies in the kingdom to ensure that they provide health insurance to all their employees to avoid facing penalties.
The Saudi Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) in coordination with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development has ordered that establishments that do not provide health insurance to the Saudi and non-Saudi employees and their family members will be subject to the suspension of services. According to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reports,
“They will also be required to pay a fine equal to the value of insurance for each individual.”
The regulations of linking health insurance with Saudi Iqama or National Identity Card
CCHI has made new procedures aimed at increasing the regulatory supervision of private sector companies. A mandatory electronic link now has to be completed that guarantees health insurance to all employees.
While the issuance and renewal of residency for Saudi expats is linked to the provision of health insurance, the lists of Saudi employees registered in the social insurance has also recently been linked with the National Information Centre to identify any discrepancy. Therefore, the employer will be required electronically to provide insurance to all his employees.
The benefits of having health insurance
The assisting costs relating to hospital treatment provided by the health insurance is SAR100,000 (US$26,666). It covers the following situations
- medical tests.
- emergency treatment.
- premature birth treatment.
- injury in a traffic accident.
- Emergency dialysis.
- medical evacuation both within and outside of Saudi Arabia.
- Emergency dental treatment.
- Painkillers cost.
- Antibiotics cost.
- pregnancy expenses.
- Repatriation and travel costs for one person accompanying the mortal remains of a relative.
Who is responsible for dependents’ health insurance?
According to CCHI orders, the company is solely responsible for the employers and the dependents on the employers Saudi Iqama. They have warned the companies regarding the private-sector employer’s limitation of the number of children covered by the insurance policy of employees. As per stated by CCHI,
“The company or employer has no right to define the number of insured children in the policy of an employee. The wife and all children up to the age of 25, in addition to unmarried females for whom there is no cap on their age, must be covered in the insurance scheme.”
What was the old rule for Health Insurance Card?
According to the old law, every Saudi expat has to issue an insurance card to use it. The steps take up to 16 months to the final in-hand possession of health insurance cards. They are:
- Application Submission.
- File Review.
- Royal Decree Issuing.
- Initial Public Offering.
- Insurance card Issuing.