Saudi Gazette – Expats arriving in Saudi Arabia on visit visas will have to take health insurance from seven cooperative health insurance companies licensed by the Cooperative Health Insurance Council which will begin implementing compulsory health insurance on expatriate visitors from next month.

The new compulsory health insurance scheme will be applied to expatriate visitors and their dependents, except Haj and Umrah pilgrims, guests of the State, and diplomats and visitors to foreign missions and international organizations who enter the Kingdom on business.

The council has also guaranteed the policy’s maximum premium of SR100,000 ($26,664).

The insurance will cover all medical check-ups, diagnosis, treatment, medicines, hospitalization expenses, pregnancy and delivery cases, dental and gum diseases, dental filling, root canal, extraction of pus, emergency renal dialysis cases, medical evacuation within the Kingdom and abroad, and injuries due to traffic accidents.

The expenses also cover preparation and repatriation of the insured visitor’s body to his or her home country.

The policy represents the basic level of insurance coverage granted to the insured and will be valid from date of entry to the Kingdom. The  insured cannot cancel the policy once it comes into force, except in the case  of non-entry into the Kingdom, and accordingly the company is liable to refund the premium.

The insurance company must responds to approval requests within 60 minutes.

Cooperative health insurance will include all applicants for entry visas to the Kingdom for the purpose of visit or transit as well as dependents of expats.

The number of expatriate visitors to the Kingdom is estimated at 1.6 million annually.

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