Draft health insurance policy for private sector staff, tourists under review: CMA

MUSCAT, JULY 18 – The Capital Market Authority (CMA) announced yesterday that it is coordinating with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) the formulation of suitable mechanisms to ensure that health insurance is available to tourists and visitors to the Sultanate.
The move is part of a wider effort led by the Authority, which also regulates the insurance in Oman, to ensure the smooth and effective implementation of Compulsory Health Insurance for employees of the private sector and expatriates as well.
“The Capital Market Authority is continuing its endeavours to implement the decision of the Council of Ministers in collaboration with the entities concerned with implementation of the compulsory health insurance scheme for the employees of the private sector, expatriates and visitors,” the Authority said in a press statement.
“As to insurance for visitors entering Oman from the various entry points, the CMA is endeavouring with Royal Oman Police to set out an appropriate method for visitors to obtain health insurance at the border checkpoints,” it states.
The Cabinet decision, the Authority explained, has multiple objectives. Firstly, it aims to ensure that employees of private firms have their basic healthcare requirements suitably covered; Secondly, it seeks to mitigate the significant cost burden incurred by private employers as a result, particularly amid the current economic situation; and Thirdly, it seeks to ensure that quality services are provided by insurance companies and healthcare institutions to the insured.
An executive work plan, complete with targets and milestones for implementation of the health insurance scheme, has been prepared by the CMA. A key goal is to prepare a draft unified health insurance policy for the employees of the private sector and their families to ensure sound market competition and to avoid any future irregularities by insurance companies to provide the customer with proper basic health cover, it said.
“The CMA reviewed the draft policy with the relevant entities such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Manpower, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, insurance companies, health services providers in Oman and Oman Medical Association. The policy is currently under legal review at the CMA,” it stated.
Implementation of the scheme is envisioned to be gradual and in phases, with any transition to the next phase expected only after the smooth execution of the first phase, it said. To this end, the Authority met with representatives of stakeholder ministries and concerned entities for their opinion on the implementation phases, it added.