New insurance rights for Saudi expat workers

Expats in Saudi Arabia can rejoice whilst knowing that Saudi employers must now provide health insurance to their workers. The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) will work alongside the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to ensure that health insurance is provided for all employees and their families.

If employers do not adhere to these new regulations, they risk being permanently banned from recruiting and face fines of up to the cost of the insurance. New inspection teams will regularly keep watch, ensuring that the new labor laws are being adhered to.

Residence permit to act as healthcard

These new changes affect not only Saudi nationals, but all citizens of the country, including expats. This means that the usual battle of needing insurance to receive a visa has now been reversed, with health insurance being provided within every work visa. The changes mean that residents will now be able to use their national ID cards or residence permits to access healthcare.

The new changes are set to be implemented in four phases, the first of which began earlier this month. The policy’s objective is to protect worker’s rights and improve the country’s health insurance services.
The CCHI will continue to monitor the changes and plans to improve the system used to track violations. The whole process will be digitized, meaning that any records showing violators can be tracked with ease. Any employees found to be violating the regulations will not be allowed to recruit new employees, or provide them with health insurance, until their fines have been paid.

For further information on visas, healthcare and more, you can check out Just Landed’s Saudi Arabia country guide

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Rosy Parrish

Rosy Parrish grew up in Britain and now lives in Madrid. She divides her time between teaching English, writing about expat life, and befriending dogs in the street.