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Saudi Arabia

Insurance premiums up 4%

Medical insurance beneficiaries believe the decision of a number of insurance companies to raise the price of their policies by 4 percent in the New Year is unjustifiable. Major employers received notifications from insurance companies announcing the increase and attributing it to the “rise in costs in the health care sector.” Beneficiaries say there are no signs of increasing costs in the sector and health care staff did not receive increases in their salaries.
A local newspaper cited sources as saying that major firms seeking to insure their employees have only four options. Despite the fact that there are several insurance companies in the country, only four receive major contracts with big employers. The sources said that the Health Insurance Council’s role is weak in terms of overseeing insurance companies and communicating with other bodies to resolve problems.
Tal Nazer, executive director of Bupa insurance company, said an increase in hospital costs required raising policy prices. “(Hospital costs) increased by more than 20 percent and it is difficult for insurance companies to keep the premiums at the same level,” he said.

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