Kuwait expats face 165 per cent compulsory heath cover increase

Published:  19 Oct at 6 PM
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From 2017, expats living and working in Kuwait’s private sector will have to pay 165 per cent more for their compulsory heath insurance.

The recent announcement of new independent healthcare provisions for expats included news that the cost of coverage would increase, but gave no details of the exact figure to be charged. At present, the charge is just $165, but will increase next year to $430, although the amount doesn’t reflect the full cost of the new services.

The Kuwaiti government estimates around two million expats will be served by the project, with the system due to be put in place in two stages. The first stage will involve primary heathcare centres and will start early next year, and the second stage, expected to kick in at the end of 2019, will include three new hospitals for expats’ exclusive use.

In Saudi Arabia, the rumour mill seems to be in full working order, with the kingdom’s government forced to deny it intends to deport all expats aged over 40 years. Expats familiar with local social media were quick to contradict the supposed leak, but Saudi’s Ministry of Labour and Social Development felt it necessary to confirm the report was false.

The ministry also claimed rumours were being circulated in order to create instability and damage relationships between Saudi nationals and expats. A ministry spokesperson advised expats who may be worried about something they read on social media to visit the government’s official websites.

Another rumour causing concern to expats in Oman has been debunked in a similar fashion by the emirate’s Central Bank chief. According to Hamood Sangour, the government has no plans to force expats to pay tax on their remittances to their home countries. Taxing expat remittances as an aid to balancing the books after the oil price crashed was proposed some two years ago, but was ruled out at that point. The bank chief pointed out the IMF would need to approve any such tax, adding that very few states actually to tax expat remittances.
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