The Executive President of the Capital Market Authority HE Sheikhk Abdullah Salim Al Salmi said the Unified Health Insurance Policy (UHIP)is one of the main components of compulsory health insurance for the employees of the private sector, expatriates and visitors “Dhamani” which CMA is preparing for actual implementation in collaboration with the concerned entities in implementation of the decision of the Council of Ministers NO. 26/2017 to prepare the required regulations and legislations to implement health insurance scheme in Oman.
He pointed out that the issuance of UHIP is a declaration of preparedness of the legislation infrastructure of the health insurance scheme “Dhamani” as prelude for gradual implementation in phases after approval of the Council of Ministers. He added that the implementation phases will be determined as per the classification of the commercial companies and the ability of the private health institutions to accommodate the expected numbers as the scheme is expected to provide insurance coverage for 2.1 million workers in the private sector Omanis and residents in addition to the visitors.
Al Salmi said the issuance of the policy is very important at this time for insurance companies as opportunity to establish health insurance products commensurate with the expected demand in accordance with the high quality standards.
On the methodology of preparation of the policy, Al Salmi said the UHIP was prepared based on a number of mainstays in that the clauses must be fair and equitable in regulating the relationship between the health service providers and insurance companies to render appropriate health coverage and the insurance premium shall not cause additional burden or expensive financial cost on the employers in addition to meeting the treatment needs of the insured smoothly without any complications or unnecessary procedures.
He pointed out that UHIP “Dhamani” was issued according to the same methodology of drafting the laws and regulations governing the capital market and insurance sectors such as community partnership among the related parties and passed through a number of steps with the participation of the Ministry of Health, General Union of the Workers of the Sultanate of Oman, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry in addition to insurance companies operating in Oman and private health institutions for exchange of views in the interest of the public.
Al Salmi explained that the policy represents the minimum limit of basic health care which would be granted to the beneficiaries of “Dhamani” and will render basic health care namely inpatient services, emergency and treatment of basic illnesses that hinder productivity in addition to prescribed medicines by MOH licensed doctor. It also includes a number of optional benefits such as pregnancy, birth, child health, dental and eye care which are additional benefits the employer may include in the basic and compulsory coverage as agreed with the worker and the ability of the establishment to provide these benefits.
Al Salmi said the provisions of the policy provide that the employer is obliged to pay the insurance premium and left to the employer the option of involving the worker in payment of the treatment costs for the outpatient services, as to impatient services the treatment will be provided directly without any participation by the worker. The policy covers the benefit of repatriation of corpse to the home country of the deceases.
The Executive President of CMA said that implementation of health insurance scheme “Dhamani” in Oman will contribute to attracting international health institutions in the Sultanate further to the role of the scheme in spreading health care in the various Governorates and Wilayats of the Sultanate. Moreover, the increased demand for the health insurance policy will contribute to attracting international insurance companies specialized in rendering high quality health insurance services which means new active market that would provide employment opportunities in the insurance and health sectors and would enhance the efficiency of the medical cadres working in the private health institutions and the quality of the rendered service. Implementation of Dhamani is expected to spread the health insurance for the employees of the private sector and expatriates residing in Oman and visitors and that would contribute to increasing the GDP of the country and creation of investment entities on the level of insurance companies and private health institutions in addition to specialized health insurance third party administrators as brokers between health services providers and insurance companies.
Implementation of the scheme and issuance of the UHIP coincides with remarkable growth in health insurance products during the past years. The share of health insurance in the total insurance portfolio was 33% in 2018 thanks to the growing awareness of the individuals and institutions of the importance of the health insurance and its role in reducing the costs of treatment in case of illness or injury.
The health insurance management team chaired by CMA and comprising members from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Manpower, Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Public Authority for Social Insurance and Omani Insurance Association continued holding meetings to execute the agreed tasks and prepared the legislative infrastructure of the scheme.
The UHIP included a number of clauses and provisions on maintaining the confidentiality of information of the insured, mechanisms for cancellation or deletion or addition of members and complaints and grievance mechanisms as well as employer’s ability to increase the ceiling of the benefits of UHIP and optional benefits.
It is noteworthy that CMA organized a number of events to introduce “Dhamani” with the participation of the related parties and exchange of views on the scheme and implementation methods to ensure success of the scheme and sound implementation. CMA endeavors to reach all targeted segments and to this end designed an awareness campaign on the health insurance and its social and economic importance. CMA will commence during the coming period organizing introductory meetings in collaboration of Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry targeting businesspersons in the Wilayats and Governorates of the Sultanate focusing in April on four governorates namely North Al Batinah, Dakhiliyah, South Sharqiyah and Al Buraimi and later the remaining Governorates.