Compulsory health insurance to be introduced for most visitors

Saudi Arabia is introducing compulsory health insurance for all visitors, including medical tourists.

Saudi Arabia is introducing compulsory health insurance for all applicants for entry visas to the Kingdom for a visit, those seeking visa renewal and travellers in transit, and their dependents,

It does not apply to Haj or Umrah pilgrims, diplomats, guests of the state, and visitors to representative offices and international organisations involved in diplomatic work.

Cover can be bought from Saudi health insurance companies and those licensed to carry out online sales.

Although no minimum cover has been set by the he Council of Cooperative Health Insurance, health insurance must cover medical examinations, diagnosis, treatment, hospitalisation, pregnancy and childbirth, emergency dental cases, premature infant cases, emergency dialysis and medical evacuation cases. Cover must also include injuries caused by traffic accidents, and the costs of handling or processing the bodies of the deceased.

Cover exemptions include non-urgent medical tests which can be postponed until the insured visitor returns home, as well as diseases that arise from the abuse of medicines and cosmetic surgery, venereal diseases, eyeglasses, hearing aids or electroacoustic devices and implants of organs

Health insurance cover for visitors to Saudi Arabia has been set at a maximum of SAR100,000 (US$26,700).

The insured person is not entitled to cancel his or her pre-organized insurance document after entering the Kingdom, but can do so in cases of non-entry. In such circumstances, the value of the payment will be returned to the beneficiary.
The insured visitor is entitled to receive medical services within 60 minutes from the time of requesting the approval.

Cover does not apply to the expenses of any treatment for a condition known prior to the planned visit, to prevent deliberate medical tourism.

In the current rules, there is no exclusion for inbound medical tourists, so they need to buy cover too.