Will new Kuwait health insurance rule discourage expat arrivals?

Published:  5 Apr at 6 PM
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Kuwait’s new rule on mandatory health insurance for all visitors including expatriates arriving on relocation is to be brought in over the next few months.

The rule will apply to all arrivals, from short-stay tourists through longer-stay family visitors and expatriates arriving to take up a new reassignment. Details of how the law will be implemented aren’t yet available, causing concern to companies as regards new appointments as well as to established expatriates bringing in their families. The given reason why the rule has been established is to stop short-term visitors taking advantage of the emirate’s free healthcare.

For those from the 50 nationalities allowed to apply for e-visas, the situation is more complicated still, as proof of private medical insurance is mandatory, but no details have been given as regards short-stay travel insurance versus a full private health insurance package. Those who aren’t allowed to purchase e-visas will have to persuade immigration officers on arrival, presumably showing proof of health insurance certificates in a good number of foreign languages. For travellers from the 50 countries who’ve used their right to buy visas online, as yet there’s no mention of compulsory health insurance on the application page, leaving them possibly unaware of the new requirement.

In addition, no mention has been made of the supply of facilities for purchasing health insurance on arrival at Kuwait International Airport’s entry point, nor at any other entry points throughout the emirate. It’s expected temporary visitors will have the most problems with the new requirement, with the strong possibility that short-term visitors and tourists may well choose another destination rather than pay out for health insurance they're unlikely to have to use.
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