Saudi Insurance companies’ approval not necessary to treat emergency cases

The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance has confirmed that treating emergency cases no longer requires prior approval from insurance companies. (Reuters)
Updated 06 January 2018
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Saudi Insurance companies’ approval not necessary to treat emergency cases

The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance has confirmed that treating emergency cases no longer requires prior approval from insurance companies, as long as the service provider informs the insurance company within 24 hours of receiving the case.

The council’s spokesperson, Yaser Al-Maarek, urged insured individuals to become familiar with their insurance company’s policy. He also stressed how important it is for them to be aware about the intricacies of the cooperative health insurance system and know their rights.

Fuaad Hawasawi, a health insurance expert, told Arab News: “It’s natural that hospitals are being required to take action now as a service provider. Hospitals are now more in command as they are capable of treating the patient, performing surgeries if needed and after that, they’re required to inform the insurance company of the case within 24 hours. After that, the insurance company can pay the hospital bill and the insured should only pay a specific amount depending on his insurance card, 10 percent of the amount or so.”

He added: “There have been cases before the regulation was passed in which hospitals contacted insurance companies about costly surgeries or a cardiac catheterization case that the hospital deemed as an emergency, but were forced to stop when insurance companies stalled to inquire more and ensure that their policy covered the patient’s case.”

Notably, there are a few treatments exempt from the policy such as cosmetic procedures (except in cases with urgent physical injuries that are not dismissed by insurance policy); injuries caused by self-harm; dental implants or bridges, as well as braces (unless caused by accidents); diseases contracted due to the misuse of certain medications, stimulants and sedatives; and those resulting from use of alcohol and drugs.


Security officer, suspect killed in drugs bust gun fight

Updated 20 June 2018
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Security officer, suspect killed in drugs bust gun fight

  • Two people were killed in the shoot out and another injured
  • Four Ethiopians were also arrested following a chase

DUBAI: A security officer was killed in a gun fight on Tuesday that broke out during a drugs and alcohol raid in Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported.

Security forces were searching a property in the Asir area during the night when a group of men opened fire.

A gun fight broke out during which one of the security forces and one of the suspects – an Ethiopian man - were killed, and a Saudi national was also injured.

The officer killed was later identified as Captain Abdullah Asiri.

Security officers also arrested four other Ethiopians after a chase in the mountainous region.