Kuwait: Kuwait expats to see 200% surge in health insurance fees

A Kuwait government plan to ban foreign workers getting access to public healthcare services will cause a series of consequences to the expatriate community, local media has reported.

Kuwaiti Economics Committee in the Supreme Council for Planning and Development recently proposed a two-layered alternative health plan for the three million of expats residing in Kuwait which would cause expatriates’ annual health insurance fees to triple to not less than KD150 ($493).

At the moment, expats in Kuwait pay an annual health insurance fee of KD50 and get partially subsidized charges for certain procedures, while the country provides free medical services to all citizens.

The council’s plan divides foreigners in Kuwait into two groups – around 2 million employees of the private sector and one million expatriates who work in the public sector.

The first group of foreigners will be treated in expat-only hospitals. In 2014, the government established a shareholding company to build three 700-bed hospitals and 15 polyclinics to provide integrated medical services to foreigners in Kuwait.

When the new hospitals are established, foreigners will have to purchase the health insurance policy from the same company in order to have access to medical services at the three hospitals, in addition to paying a costly health insurance fee.

The second class of foreigners will be treated in private medical facilities.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK