Kuwait lawmakers approve draft law forcing expats to buy health insurance

Published:  11 Dec at 6 PM
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Kuwait’s National Assembly legislative committee has approved a draft law forcing expatriates in the emirate to pay mandatory health insurance.

The new bill comes as the Assembly and the Kuwaiti government approved a law establishing expatriate-only hospitals. Along with the compulsory private healthcare insurance, charges for expatriate medical services obtained in public hospitals are also to be introduced. At present, expats living and working in Kuwait must pay KD50 at the time of their annual residence permit renewals in addition to paying partial charges for the majority of services provided by the emirate’s public hospitals. Perhaps crucially, the necessary government opinion without which the bill in unable to be passed was not given following its announcement.

In addition to making private health insurance compulsory for all expats, a new bill imposing obligatory health insurance for all visitors to Kuwait is to be debated. The bill will impose the responsibility on the visitor’s sponsor to attach a copy of a health insurance contract to the visitor’s visa application, and visitor visas will not be granted unless private health insurance has been taken out. In the same parliamentary session, lawmakers debated a draft law granting pensioners and Kuwaiti employees a KD50 monthly fuel allowance following the 2016 hike in fuel prices applicable to both Kuwaiti nationals and foreigners working in the emirate. The assembly is also expected to debate a controversial law regarding early retirement which has met with opposition from several prominent parliamentarians.
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