Saudi firms ‘must provide medical cover for expats’
Riyadh, June 15, 2014
Saudi Arabia’s Co-operative Health Insurance Council has urged all private businesses to provide compulsory medical insurance for expatriate employees and their families, said a report.
The employment contracts of expatriate workers must include medical insurance for them and family members recorded as dependents, said the Arab News report.
“There are some private firms that have not yet implemented the new decision to provide medical insurance to the families of their expatriate staff. This medical insurance is required to renew iqamas,” Ibrahim Youssef Al-Raml, a member of the insurance committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was quoted as saying.
"The medical insurance is required for all expat workers arriving in the kingdom, according to new requirements and procedures which have been published on the passport department's website," he said.
The passport department will start demanding documents to prove that employers have provided this health insurance cover, he added.
The insurance coverage must be given to all workers irrespective of the salaries. However, it does not apply to children of Saudi Arabian women married to foreign men or the foreign wives of Saudi Arabian men, said the report.
The maximum medical insurance coverage for a person is set to be increased from SR250,000 ($66,645) to SR500,000 from July 1.
The move will provide good health care for the kingdom’s eight million expatriates and their dependents will boost the growing insurance market, it said.
While most companies now provide medical insurance for their workers and family members, the government is set to provide medical insurance for all nationals, which will double the market, which is now worth SR24 billion ($6.6 billion), it added.