April launch for full Qatar health insurance scheme

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Qatar says the second phase of its compulsory health insurance scheme is expected to be launched by April next year when all Qatari citizens will be brought under the new system.

Public health authorities have said the National Health Insurance Company (NHIC), which was set up to implement and monitor the scheme, will be the sole provider of insurance cover for basic medical services, the Peninsula Qatar reported.

The first phase of the scheme was implemented a few months ago - covering a large segment of Qatari women.

However, the beneficiaries of the scheme, once fully enforced, will be the entire population, including citizens, expatriates and visitors.

Healthcare regulator, the Supreme Council of Health (SCH), has asked insurance providers to cancel any agreements with healthcare providers.

The grace period expires in April next year, SCH has said.

After then, insurance companies will only be able to provide additional insurance cover for non-basic medical services.

There are 26 basic healthcare services for which insurance cover will be provided by NHIC, the Peninsula Qatar reported, with the list likely to be made public sometime next year.

According to the new scheme, the Minister of Public Health will determine insurance premiums for each category of beneficiaries.

Employers will be required to pay the premiums for their foreign workers and their dependents, while the state will pay for the insurance of citizens.

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