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Expat Exchange - Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to Saudi Arabia?
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Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to Saudi Arabia?

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Is health insurance a requirement when you are moving to Saudi Arabia? This article explores health insurance requirements for newcomers to Saudi Arabia.

Healthcare in Saudi Arabia - Do I need Health Insurance When Moving to Saudi Arabia?

When planning a move to Saudi Arabia as an expat or digital nomad, one of the essential considerations is healthcare. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia requires all expatriates to have medical insurance. This is not just a recommendation but a legal requirement for obtaining a residency permit (iqama). The health insurance policy must meet certain criteria set by the Saudi Arabian government, including minimum coverage amounts and the length of coverage. It's important to ensure that your health insurance is valid from the moment you arrive and continues throughout your stay, as it is a prerequisite for residency and employment.

Does Expat Health Insurance Meet the Requirements?

Most expat health insurance plans are designed to meet the requirements set by the host country. In Saudi Arabia, the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) is the regulatory authority that sets the standards for health insurance policies. To meet the requirements, an expat health insurance plan must provide comprehensive coverage that includes inpatient and outpatient care, emergency services, maternity care, and prescription medication. It is crucial to verify that your chosen expat health insurance policy is compliant with CCHI regulations and is accepted by the Saudi Arabian government for residency purposes. It's advisable to consult with the insurance provider to ensure that the plan aligns with the legal requirements before finalizing the purchase.

Which local health insurers offer this type of insurance?

In Saudi Arabia, there are several local health insurance companies that offer plans compliant with the CCHI regulations. Some of the well-known insurers include Bupa Arabia, Tawuniya, Medgulf, and AXA Cooperative Insurance. These companies provide a range of health insurance products tailored to meet the needs of expatriates and their families. They offer different levels of coverage, from basic plans that cover essential health services to more comprehensive packages that include additional benefits. It is important to compare the plans from these insurers, considering factors such as coverage limits, network of hospitals, direct billing facilities, and customer service, to find the one that best suits your needs and budget.

Advice from Expats in Saudi Arabia about Health Insurance

Experienced expats in Saudi Arabia often emphasize the importance of thoroughly researching and understanding the health insurance policy you intend to purchase. Key advice includes ensuring that your policy covers pre-existing conditions if necessary, and that it has an adequate coverage limit to avoid out-of-pocket expenses for any medical treatments. Additionally, expats recommend choosing a health insurance provider with a good reputation for customer service and claims processing. It's also beneficial to select a plan that includes a wide network of hospitals and clinics, allowing for greater flexibility and convenience in accessing healthcare services. Lastly, expats advise reading the fine print of the insurance policy to be aware of any exclusions, waiting periods, or additional benefits that could impact your healthcare experience in Saudi Arabia.

Expats Talk about Health Insurance in Saudi Arabia

"My sponsor always paid for my insurance. I ended paying an extra amount for higher end insurance so I could go the Kingdom Hospital, and found out that the medical staff there are not adequately trained," said one expat who moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Allianz Care
Allianz Care

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Allianz CareAllianz Care

Flexible solutions allow you to tailor your cover to meet your needs and budget. Use Promocode: LIFE10 and get 10% off your international health insurance for life!
Get Quote

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