KUWAIT CITY, Dec 23: Expatriates in Kuwait are downcast preparing for the proposed increase in health insurance fee to KD 130 next year at a time when many people should be enthusiastic about the fast-approaching New Year 2020.
In this context, acting CEO of the Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) Dr Mohammad Al-Qena’e has unveiled a series of pleasant surprises that could overshadow the pessimism already instilled in the minds of expatriates! He dismissed the impression that implementation of the expatriate health insurance policy will take off in January, stressing that extensive plans and final touches to the project are still ongoing.
He anticipated implementation of the new fee will be around the second quarter of next year or early summer. He explained that the company, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Council of Ministers, implements plans and studies to determine obstacles and challenges the expatriates are likely to face during implementation of the new policy, especially families, and “there is a serious consideration to roll out a low cost package for families with more than two children due to the economic implication on their stability in the country”.
He noted the first phase of Dhaman hospitals project will involve the construction of 12 health centers and three hospitals, including inauguration of five health centers across the country this year.
He stressed a study is underway to engage the services of the private healthcare sector, indicating the company has presented a proposal to the Ministry of Health and Council of Ministers to temporarily use 600 bed spaces in private hospitals for the project until Dhaman hospitals are fully established and equipped, because it will take at least two years to be ready.
He reaffirmed that another proposal is to use all private hospitals as obtainable with the retiree health insurance project “Afia”, which will be linked to payment of the mandatory KD 130 health insurance fee per person. Al-Qena’e reiterated that “value of the health insurance fees will cover all tests, x-rays and surgeries in hospitals. The mechanism of operating the health insurance policy will depend on initial visit of the patient (expatriates) to the Dhaman health centers with the payment of KD 2.5 per visit, and then the patient shall be referred to the hospital without charges in case the situation requires admission”.