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Oman authority prepares draft law for mandatory insurance

Oman authority prepares draft law for mandatory insurance

Health insurance is already mandatory for employers in a number of Gulf countries

Oman’s Capital Market Authority has said it is working with relevant institutions to implement a Council of Ministers decision to make it compulsory for private sector firms to provide their employees with health insurance.

The authority said in a series of tweets that the plans were now in the “drafting stage” for coverage to be provided to workers and their families as well as visitors.

“The decision aims at meeting the needs of the employees of the private sector relating to coverage of basic health, to limit the high cost to employers in the private sector, in view of the current economic situation, in addition to providing quality services by the insurance companies,” according to the statement.

The government first announced plans for compulsory health insurance last September.

Since then, the authority has reviewed the policy with other government entities, healthcare providers and insurance firms.

Implementation is expected to take place in phases like in the neighbouring United Arab Emirates but no specific start date has been given.

Oman’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry previously stated that ethical health insurance cover should be provided to all private sector workers by 2018.

Read: Oman Chamber says employee health insurance to become mandatory in 2018

However, tough market conditions and government austerity measures appear to have made providing insurance to workers less of a priority for some firms.

Read: Oman extends ban on hiring foreigners in 10 sectors, unveils new investment visa

Dubai’s health insurance law made it mandatory for employers and sponsors it different brackets to provide coverage in phases from 2014 until March 31, 2017.

Read: Dubai health insurance enquiries skyrocket after deadline

The implementation of that system boosted the profits of the UAE’s health insurers in 2016 despite tough market conditions linked to the lower oil price.

Read: Dubai compulsory health insurance boosts UAE insurers’ profits

Saudi’s Council of Cooperative Health Insurance also began the final phase of a unified health insurance framework in April last year.

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