State mandates employers to medically insure employees under new law
As of June 3, 2013, the Emir HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani has issued a law regulating the health insurance system. This new law requires employers across all sectors – public, private or mixed – to provide medical coverage to all their foreign workers and their families. The law, which has 30 articles and is divided into six chapters, prohibits employers from deducting workers’ salaries for insurance premium installments. According to this law, no individual must remain in the country without any form of medical insurance.
The insurance system, as mandated by law, should cover a range of services including preventive services (vaccinations, treatment of ailments etc.) as well as rehabilitation in relevant cases and regular medical checkups. Foreign workers or their dependents will not be issued or allowed to renew their residence permits unless their employers have purchased health insurance.
The legislation has appointed the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) to implement and to closely monitor the health insurance system. To carry this out, employers will be required to submit their workers’ details to the SCH to aid them in the preparation of an extensive database.
A punishment whose terms include upto a fine of QR100000, a year in jail or both will be awarded to those violating the mandates of this law. In addition, the Health Minister may also order the closure of healthcare facilities for upto a month or revoke its license in case the entities fail to obey this law.