How does the state health insurance system work?

Jordan has a range of hospitals, 67% of which are in the public sector. This amounts to around 18 beds per 1,000 people: high in the region, but lower when considered in global terms. Much of Jordan’s public healthcare is via programs led by the United Nations and nongovernmental humanitarian agencies. Direct out-of-pocket health spending accounts for around 25% of total health spending.

Public healthcare in Jordan is divided into sectors as follows:

  • public sector primary and hospital care
  • Ministry of Health
  • Royal Medical Services
  • public university hospitals
  • international humanitarian and charitable sector including UNRWA

Whilst good, the public sector has run into problems, mainly long waiting times.

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Who is eligible for state healthcare?

Jordanian public sector healthcare is funded by the government and by payroll contributions, so a monthly amount will be deducted from your salary if you are employed in the country. You will then be entitled to access public healthcare.

In an emergency your treatment will be free, but you may have to cover further hospitalization costs.

How do you apply to join the state health insurance system?

Your employer will need to submit a form to the Social Security Corporation (SSC) within a maximum of 15 days from the start date of your employment. You will also need to send in your passport.

If you are self employed, you will need to contact the SSC directly. Self employed people are allowed to contribute voluntarily in certain circumstances.

What is covered by the state health insurance system?

Primary health care clinics are found in urban and rural areas and offer services including:

  • GP appointments
  • vaccination
  • maternity and child care
  • chronic disease management

Home care services are in place to reduce treatment costs, but these are not covered by public or private health insurance. There is not very extensive provision for long-term care facilities.

You should have no difficulty accessing your prescription medication, and most pharmacists speak English.

Are retirees covered by state medical insurance?

As a retiree in Jordan it is advisable to take out private health cover, but check with your policy holder if there are any age limits if you have existing insurance.

Are students covered by state medical insurance?

As an international student in Jordan you will need to take out private cover during your stay in the country.

Will your family be covered by your insurance?

Your family will be covered by your insurance if you pay a ‘dependent’s supplement’: eligible dependents are a dependent wife; a dependent husband with a disability; a son up to age 23 or disabled; an unmarried dependent daughter; and dependent parents, brothers, and sisters.

Is dental treatment covered by state health insurance?

There has historically been no public provision for dental care outside hospitals, but the government has announced that it will open two public dental centres in Amman, to provide dental care for citizens, and to benefit dental students, who have limited opportunities for training. More public dental clinics are planned.

Given that Jordan is a major destination for dental tourism, however, and costs are comparatively low (particularly if you are coming in from the States), many expats take out private dental plans or pay out of pocket.

What are the contribution rates for state health insurance?

Companies which have more than five employees are required to register and contribute to the Social Security Corporation, and it is mandatory for all employees to register. As an expat, you will need to pay social security deductions if you live in Jordan and work for an organization which is subject to the Social Security Law.

Social security rates are fixed at a employee rate of 7.5% and employer rate of 14.25%. This is for overall social security, not just for national health insurance.

If you are self employed and permitted to make voluntary contributions, this is likely to be at the employer’s 14.25% rate.

Why buy private health insurance?

Private healthcare in Jordon is of a very high standard, and has an increasing market share in medical tourism globally, which brings around US$1 billion into the country per annum, but most clinics are located in Amman.

Many expats opt for private cover, with a medical evacuation clause in case they prefer to be treated outside the country. Lengthy waiting times in the public sector are the main reason cited by expats and locals for taking out private cover, though comfort and the quality of facilities are also a factor.

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What is covered by private health insurance?

Primary and hospitalization costs, plus elective procedures such as cosmetic surgery and dental implants, are covered. Medical procedures are around 10-30% lower than costs in the US: this is one reason why Jordan is so popular among medical tourists. Private sector treatment includes:

  • cosmetic surgery
  • neurological surgery
  • dental surgery
  • orthopaedics
  • organ transplants

How much does private health insurance cost?

This will depend on factors such as your age and any pre-existing conditions, and the kind of package you opt for (obviously, a more expensive insurance package will give you more a extensive range of treatment and facilities). As so many variables have an effect on the cost of international private medical insurance it becomes very difficult to give accurate estimates without knowing the full details of the coverage required.

However, as a very rough guide, using a standard profile of a 40 year old British male with no deductibles, no co-insurance, a middle tier plan/product, all modules included and worldwide coverage excluding the US, a ballpark price of around £4,000/$5,000 might be expected. Were coverage to be expanded to include the US then the premium could increase to almost double that amount.

Which companies offer private health insurance?

Many of the big international providers cover Jordan, including:

  • Allianz
  • Cigna
  • Foyer Global Health
  • Jordan Insurance Company
  • Pacific Prime

Glossary of health insurance terms

Most medical personnel in the private sector speak English and many have trained abroad; you should experience few linguistic difficulties.

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