Companies told to be ready for mandatory health insurance

Muscat: The authorities have said that the mandatory health insurance in the private sector will be gradually implemented, as per a road map, and all companies must be prepared for its effective implementation in 2019.

Speaking at the Middle East Healthcare Insurance Conference, Abdullah Salim al-Salmi, executive president, Capital Market Authority (CMA), said, “We announced for the first time the government’s decision on the implementation of mandatory health insurance at the last year’s conference.”

He said the authorities have worked on a clear plan following three points – the gradual implementation of the health insurance system, reducing the cost of insurance coverage, creating a unified health insurance policy document and the health insurance policy.

Al Salmi said the health insurance will be gradually applied in five stages and some necessary foundations must be laid for the for the implementation of the health insurance system.

These are the formulation of a necessary legislation that provides regulatory frameworks and promotion of healthy competition between health institutions and insurance providers.

He said the preliminary data indicate that health insurance premiums have increased by 18 per cent in the first half of this year.

Ahmed Al Mukhaini, advisor, office of the executive president, CMA, said,  the latest statistics show the number of employees in the private sector is largely concentrated in Muscat, with numbers estimated to be round one million.

“The number of private health institutions has to be increased as the total number of private hospitals in Muscat is only 15,” he said.

Al Mukhaini said, “Creating a unified system linking all institutions and stakeholders is one of the most important challenges that we face,” he said.

Ahmed Ali Al Mamari, vice president, insurance supervision, CMA, “Our goal is to establish a new market in the field of health insurance by creating more demand and added that the companies must be prepared to effectively to apply health insurance.