Health Insurance for Foreigners in Saudi Arabia
Health insurance in Saudi Arabia used to be free for expats and locals alike. However, the government decided that costs had become unsustainable and changed the rules. It’s now only free for Saudi citizens. As public healthcare no longer covers foreigners, expats must have proof of insurance to get their residence permit approved.
Healthcare provision is fairly prevalent throughout the Kingdom, including public, private, and military hospitals. However, most foreigners will generally only use private clinics and hospitals. Everyone living in Saudi Arabia needs health insurance. This includes employers and employees, spouses as well as all family members of employees. It also includes any foreigners who choose to move to Saudi Arabia. In fact, expats will be unable to receive their work or residence permit without proof of insurance.
Private health insurance in Saudi Arabia
As an expat, you must have private health insurance if you want to live and work in Saudi Arabia. Your employer will include health insurance as part of your benefits package. However, what your premium will cover can vary. So, be sure to go through your policy. Keep in mind what health cover you actually need. Is dental work part of the plan? What maternity costs receive coverage? What are your co-payments? Which hospitals and clinics can you visit? These are all things you should consider.
Also, keep in mind that insurance policies can vary substantially in price. This means that some of the more affordable ones might not be accepted at the larger, more popular or reputable hospitals and clinics.
The advantages of getting private health insurance coverage in Saudi Arabia
The good news is that even if your employer’s insurance is insufficient for your needs, you can always top it up. This means you can purchase additional private cover for things like chiropractic treatments or a contact lens stipend. In fact, you might even be able to negotiate additional private insurance in your benefits package.
Seeking additional private insurance can provide some key benefits. This could include access to the Kingdom’s best facilities or high-quality dental care. You might even find insurance that offers emergency evacuation should there be political unrest. So, take some time to consider what you and your family need and check if your employer’s insurance meets them. If not, start researching additional insurance.
How private health insurance works
Typically, employer-provided health insurance works on a co-payment system. That means even with insurance, you’ll likely have to pay something for treatments or care. Triple check your insurance policy to see what you’re responsible for and under what circumstances. Keep in mind that many employers’ insurance may provide only basic care. So, your co-payments – or out-of-pocket payment for specialised treatment – may be high.
Health insurance costs and reimbursements
Premium costs depend on the individual. For example, factors like how healthy you are, how often you seek medical care, and how strong your insurance policy is will all mean different prices. Although expats use a co-payment system, things like medications are heavily subsidized. This means you may end up spending less than you anticipated.
To get the best idea of what you’ll pay, see what your employer-provided and additional private insurance (if any) actually covers. That way, you’ll be able to estimate your costs more accurately.