Saudi Gazette – The Council for Cooperative Health Insurance has announced the start of the second phase of the implementation of the the unified health insurance document.

The second phase, which will become effective next month, cover companies that employ between 50 and 99 people. The first phase was implemented in July and covered companies employing 100 people and above. All companies will be covered by the program in two more phases to implemented before April 2017.

All companies will be required to register their employees, their wives and children in the program and pay for their insurance cover. The system however does not oblige companies to provide health insurance to an employee’s parents and siblings, said Mohammad Al-Shagdour, head of the department that coordinates CCHI and its partners.

Speaking to Saudi Gazette, Al-Shagdour said a larger number of insurance companies were stopped from operating after they were found violating the system, but some of them came back to the market after they fulfilled the necessary requirements.

Answering a question about the insurance provided to Saudi females working in the private sector, Al-Shagdour said Saudi women who work in the private sector have the right to get health insurance coverage for themselves, their children and spouses even if they are employed in the public sector.

Any employer does not provide health insurance to the employees will be considered a violator of the law and the CCHI will file a report to the Ministry of Labor and Social Development, which in turn will deny the employer all its services until the situation is rectified.

The CCHI will monitor the market to ensure that both the private companies and the health insurance providers are implementing the system without manipulations.

‎‏Ahmad Al-Shalan, head of electronic transactions at CCHI, said the unified insurance document aims at combating the black market and providing decent health insurance coverage to the public.

‎‏The two officials were speaking at an open discussion with private sector representatives and participants from the health insurance companies at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday.

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