By Fatima Muhammad
JEDDAH — The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) has announced the start of the final phase of implementing unified health insurance which became effective from April 10 (Monday).
This phase includes all companies which have 25 or less employees. Such companies will have to provide health insurance cover to their Saudi and non-Saudi employees and their dependents, said CCHI Secretary General Muhammad Al-Husain.
The children to be covered under health insurance are employees’ sons below 25 years of age and daughters until they are married.
It is now illegal for any employer to exclude his employees from health insurance.
This final phase is part of a CCHI plan which started last July to implement a unified health insurance that includes all employees and their dependents.
The first stage included companies with more than 100 employees. The second stage targeted companies having between 99-50 employees. The third stage, which started in January this year, included companies with 49-25 employees. With the implementation of the final stage that includes companies with 25 or less employees, all private sector companies have been brought under unified health insurance cover.
Meanwhile, the CCHI stopped a medical complex and a private hospital from health insurance after it noted violations of CCHI regulations.
Similarly, some insurance companies were stopped from operating after they were found to be violating the system.