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Health Insurance

06 Sep, 2020
Topic: Health
Intended Audience
Visitor: Student, Tourist, Business Owner
Citizen: Parent, Business Owner, Employee
Resident: Parent, Employee

Health Insurance

Social Health Insurance Scheme

The social health insurance scheme in the State of Qatar provides universal health insurance for all people in the country, and offers members a choice of providers from across the public and private sectors. It forms a key part of the realization of the National Health Strategy and the overall Qatar National Vision.

This ambitious program stems from one of the Qatar National Vision’s core principles; population health is a key determinant for a successful and prosperous nation. As such, access to quality healthcare services is a crucial aspect to ensuring a healthy population, within the overall scope of the transformation of Qatar’s healthcare sector through the National Health Strategy.

The introduction of the social health insurance scheme puts Qatar at the forefront of global initiatives calling for universal health coverage, including United Nations and World Health Organization resolutions calling for member countries to provide universal health care as a key goal for development.

Social Health Insurance Law

Law no 7 of 2013 governing Social Health Insurance came into effect on 17 July 2013 to provide basic healthcare services to everyone in Qatar.

The various articles of the law cover the provision of services, the responsibility for premiums, and the penalties liable for deviations from the law.

Health Card

A state-issued Health Card is required for access to government-run health care facilities, including hospitals . The Health Card system provides free and heavily subsidized health care services to citizens and residents.

Expatriates living in Qatar must first obtain a residence permit before applying for a Health Card.

Private Insurance

People living in Qatar may obtain health insurance if they choose to seek medical services outside of government-run facilities. High-quality private clinics and facilities are abundant in the country.

Many companies provide their employees with insurance. Insurance companies offer comprehensive plans tailored to the various needs of their clients ranging from basic to premier and from regional to international coverage for:

  • Individuals
  • Families
  • Groups (companies, social clubs, sports teams)
  • Travel
  • Teachers working abroad

If you are seeking your own provider from one of the many private insurance companies operating in Qatar, be aware of the following:

  • Do they cover pre-existing medical conditions?
  • Are there surcharges for occupational hazards?
  • Are there annual limitations for particular treatments?
  • Are there restrictions on how many days one can spend in hospital?
  • Does the company enforce an age restriction?
  • Are dentistry and maternity benefits included?
  • Does “international coverage” exclude countries such as the USA or Canada, where the cost of services is higher?