Arab News – Only 3.11 million Saudis have medical insurance or 30 percent of eligible citizens in the country, while 7.85 million or 79 percent of expatriates have coverage, according to the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI).
With a new company entering the market within the next 90 days, in addition to the current 26 companies operating, 52 percent of the market in the country would be covered, a source at the CCHI was quoted as saying by a local newspaper on Friday.
He said that no company has been suspended from operating over the past six months, after six firms had their bans lifted for violating various rules and regulations in the first six months of 2015.
He said that the CCHI had approved four basic criteria to which firms have to comply in terms of fee structures. Policies must adhere to the limits set by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, he said.
He said medical insurance firms must base their policy prices on technical and objective criteria and should not be less than what would be required for treatment. They should not also base prices on those charged by their competitors, the source said.
Policy prices must be based on supply and demand, and the criteria laid out in health legislation. Article 36 makes it mandatory for companies to justify prices when renewing policies. Violators would be referred to the CCHI for further action, he said.
The government was still studying the possibility of introducing private insurance in the public sector. This matter has been taken up by the Ministry of Health and CCHI, which is primarily concerned with medical coverage for private sector employees and their families.
He said the CCHI’s plans for 2016 include the possibility of providing health insurance for a few government departments across the Kingdom. The implementation would start with a major advertising campaign over six months in Arabic and English.

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