Expatriate insurance premiums are rising across the country, with the median price for an expatriated health insurance policy rising by 9% in the past year, according to the latest data from the insurance marketplaces.
The benchmark benchmark premium for a policy is set by the expatriat’s employer, and the rate of increase is capped at an average of 8% a year, but prices have been rising rapidly this year as a result of a rise in premiums due to the sanctions on expatriats.
The expatriacy health insurance market has remained stagnant this year, with an average rate of growth of 0.7%, and some insurers have been unable to meet their needs, according the Health Insurance Regulatory Commission.
According to a report by Bahrain Insurance Regulatory Agency, premiums have increased by 9,9% over the past two years, which is a far cry from the 8% average rate increase of last year.
This year, prices have increased at a faster rate than the rate increase over the previous two years.
In addition to the increase in premium, the Government has introduced new policies that offer higher benefits and more financial incentives.
“Expats in Bahrain are facing a new set of financial and financial difficulties,” said Dr Ali Hamid Al-Khatib, director of health and social affairs at the Bahrain Insurance Commission.
“This year they face a lot of pressure, but they have been able to cope with the situation, especially with the increase of the price of their policies.”
Al-Khelib also said that the cost of medical care for expats is rising as the cost for a basic health checkup for expatriating nationals is now higher than for locals.
Dr Al-Shaheed al-Hassan, the medical director of the Bahrain Health and Social Care Organization, told Al Jazeera that the rise in premium has caused some expats to choose to seek out alternative coverage, such as health insurance for expat-owned businesses.
There are also fears that expatriation health insurance policies are not being properly assessed by the health care authorities, so many expats are choosing to go abroad rather than pay for a premium.
“We have seen a lot more expats coming to the UAE than in the last year, and there is a lack of awareness about expatriatory health insurance in the country,” said al-Shan, referring to the number of expats who are choosing the Gulf state as a place to settle.
Al-Hazm, who lives in the United Arab Emirates, said that expats have a right to health insurance, and that they should not be forced to pay exorbitant premiums for a service that is being provided by the Government.
“We are expats and we should be protected,” he said.