*** ----> Bahrain all set to launch first stage of health insurance for expats | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Bahrain all set to launch first stage of health insurance for expats

TDT | Manama

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Bahrain is all set to boost ahead to a more advanced phase of its ambitious health care project designed to provide mandatory health insurance for expatriates in the Kingdom.

The project dubbed Mandatory Private Cooperative Health Insurance Programme (PCHIP) for Expatriates is nearing the launch of its first stage.

This development is as per a tender launched by the Supreme Council for Health seeking a supplier to “perform specific tasks” during the first stage. According to the tender board, the tender attracted two companies.

Aon Bahrain quoted BHD 210,000.000, and Marsh (Bahrain) Company quoted BHD 5,287,586.000 for taking up the work. A successful vendor, SCH says, should provide administrative and brokerage services for the first stage of the programme concerning mandatory health insurance for residents.

Tender Board, however, says that the company quoting the lowest amount may not necessarily award the tender, as price becomes a principal concern only after fulfilling technical and other criteria set.

National Health Plan

As per Health Insurance Law No. 23 of 2018, health insurance is mandatory for all citizens, residents and visitors. The decision is also part of the National Health Plan (2016- 2025) that paves the way forward for the health industry in Bahrain.

One of the main objectives of the Plan is the adoption of the Social Health Insurance Programme (SEHATI) to develop the quality of the current health system and ensure sustainability.

Sehati on way

Recent reports say that the National Health Insurance Programme Sehati will be implemented early next year by launching a self-management project at health centres and government hospitals on a trial basis. The scheme is expected to cover expatriates in the second quarter of next year and nationals early 2023.

How does autonomy for primary healthcare centres works?

Under the new system, each individual will get paired with a family physician.

The family physician will provide therapeutic and preventative services: such as vaccinations, and early detection of diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and others. If specialist care is needed, the patient will get it through a secondary healthcare hospital.

Follow up will be through a family physician at the primary healthcare centre. Hospitals will also be granted more autonomy in the direct day-to-day running of their activities regarding budgeting and human resource capital.


How does the insurance work?

The mandatory health package for expatriates will have a cap for spending and doesn’t include labour room services or cosmetic procedures. If a person exceeds the spending cap, a reevaluation of the premium rate will come into play for the forthcoming year.

Employers are required to pay for this package. Expatriates also have the right to sign up with private insurance companies, provided that the package is inclusive of all the services provided in the mandatory package.

Visitors will be responsible for purchasing mandatory health insurance packages for the length of their stay in the Kingdom. These packages will cover accidents and emergencies with a set cap.