Mandatory health insurance plans in Oman have reached advanced stage

The health insurance rules of the Dhamani project are in the final discussion stages

 Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images/Virojt Changyencham

Muscat: The mandatory health insurance project for private-sector locals, foreign workers, and visitors to the Sultanate is almost ready to be implemented, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has announced.

Ahmed Al Mamari, the head of the health insurance team said: "The health insurance rules of the Dhamani project are in the final discussion stages at the Ministry of Legal Affairs. This includes the legislative framework that regulates the relationship between the concerned parties represented by the employer, the worker, insurance and health institutions and the claim management company.

"The application of the system will be in accordance with a gradual methodology that takes into account the classification of companies, of which the highest is the 'excellent' rating level, followed by other levels of company classification."

Al Mamari explained: "Workers in the private sector, which includes domestic and farm workers will be among the target group of the early implementation stage.”

Shaikh Salim Al Kaf, Deputy Chairman of the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhofar Governorate said: "The implementation of compulsory insurance for private sector workers will enhance the insurance culture of entrepreneurs and raise awareness of the importance of providing appropriate health care , which will reflect positively on the performance of institutions, as well as highlighting the importance of health insurance as a form of risk management in these business institutions."

"We hope that the project will contribute to the growth of the private sector and regulate the health insurance market. This will play a role in expanding the volume of investments in the insurance and health sectors where we expect to see more private international health institutions and specialised centres as well as more insurance companies specialising in health insurance. In addition, companies specialising in claims management will expand and grow and that will reflect positively on the private sector's ability to absorb national outputs, " Al Kaf added.

Regarding the action taken by the CMA to implement the project, Al Mamari said: “The CMA has laid down a number of steps to ensure the successful implementation of the project in the Sultanate. The most important is to ensure the right of the worker to receive appropriate health coverage, whatever his place of residence or work, as well as coordination with the concerned authorities to improve the health and insurance services provided to them. In addition, working as much as possible to reduce the high cost possibilities that might be faced by employers in the private sector."

The Capital Market Authority estimates that the circulation of the project will contribute to the development of the infrastructure of the health services market due to the expected demand after the generalisation of Dhamani at all stages and categories of registered companies.

The current health insurance coverage includes approximately 469,000 workers in the private sector, and this number is expected to exceed two million when expatriates are added to Omanis working for private firms.

Al-Ma'amari explained, "The government wants to implement a health insurance project based on its enthusiasm to provide health care to expatriates and residents in the Sultanate as well as citizens. It wants to find appropriate alternatives to ensure the provision of sustainable care, capable of keeping pace with developments and therapeutic techniques through achieving partnerships with the private sector and creating an integrated system governing the relationship between health insurance parties which includes employers, insurance companies, private health institutions and worker beneficiaries. ”

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