Oman Health Insurance
The complete guide!

How does the state health insurance system work?

A long-term plan for the country’s health care sector, Health Vision 2050, was launched in 2014 and reviewed by the WHO, which made recommendations in various sectors, including health technologies, nutrition, primary care and professional development. Community and family care initiatives, to promote healthier lifestyle changes, are in progress. Care for the elderly is also a concern: the over-60 population is estimated to increase from 6.1% to 13.1% between now and 2050.

Life expectancy is on average 76 years old and the population is growing older, thus placing an increased strain on public healthcare. The Omani Ministry of Health, in 2015, expanded the number of primary health care institutions under its management to 235 health centres, facilities and local hospitals, but Health Vision 2050 suggests that around 10,000 new health institutions will be needed. Around 95% of the country’s population now live within five miles of a medical centre and Oman has 69 hospitals and a growing number of integrated health cities. There is a continuing focus on decentralization, with healthcare being devolved onto wilayat (province) level.

The Ministry of Health, along with the WHO, is also bringing in a national certification for patient safety and quality control in health care facilities. Certificates will be issued to hospitals with regard to patient safety practices.

Oman does not currently have a national health insurance system, although this has been proposed. Public healthcare for nationals is free. Out-of-pocket health care expenditure in Oman comprises only 5.8% of total health expenditure. Some health experts have suggested making a nominal charge for GP appointments to discourage timewasters.

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Who is eligible for state healthcare?

As an expat, you can access public healthcare but with the exception of emergencies, you will have to pay: it is only free for nationals. Private health insurance with a provider who is recognized in Oman is now mandatory for overseas workers.

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

Oman does not currently have a national insurance scheme, so if you want to access public healthcare, you will need to pay upfront and then claim back from your insurance provider.

What is covered by the state health insurance system?

Public healthcare is extensive, ranging from community and family based primary care, to hospitalization and specialist consultancy. As an expat, you will have to pay. Some average sample costs are:

  • GP appointment: 10 – 20 Omani Rials (US$25-$51)
  • specialist appointment: 20-30 Rials (US$51-$77), depending on the specialisation
  • public hospital admissions: between 20 and 250 Rials (US$52-$648)
  • x-ray: 18 Rials (US$46)
  • GP home visit: 100 Rials (US$259)
  • physiotherapy session: 20 Rials (US$52)

Are retirees covered by state medical insurance?

You can access public healthcare, but you will have to pay. Most expats take out private health insurance.

Are students covered by state medical insurance?

International students will need to take out private cover for the duration of their stay in Oman.

Will your family be covered by your insurance?

Your family will be able to access public healthcare, but will need to pay.

Is dental treatment covered by state health insurance?

You will need to pay out of pocket or have a private dental plan to cover any treatment that you have in Oman. Some sample costs are:

  • consultation with a dentist and descaling: 10-15 Rials (US$26-$39)
  • consultation with a dental hygienist: 30-35 Rials (US$77-$90)
  • filling: 20-25 Rials (US$52-$64)

What are the contribution rates for state health insurance?

Oman does not currently have a national insurance scheme, so payroll deductions will not be made for this.

Why buy private health insurance?

Since Oman does not currently have a national insurance scheme, and cover is compulsory when you enter the country, most expats take out private health insurance. You can take out local cover, but most expats opt for international insurance with a medical evacuation clause.

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What is covered by private health insurance?

The sector is continuing to develop, with some big private healthcare projects such as the $1.5bn Sultan Qaboos Medical City (SQMC) in Muscat, consisting of five hospitals and other medical facilities, plus the $1bn International Medical City (IMC) in Salalah, an integrated medical tourism project with 530 beds located in a specialty care hospital, organ transplant centres, research and development (R&D) complexes as well as a health care resort.

Your health insurance will cover primary and secondary care, plus specialist consultancy and elective surgery, such as dental implants.

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 Oman, including:

  • Allianz
  • Cigna
  • Foyer Global Health
  • Pacific Prime

Glossary of health insurance terms

Many medical personnel have trained abroad and you should have little difficulty in finding English-speaking personnel.

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