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Saudi Arabia – Health Insurance

Is Health Insurance Mandatory in Saudi Arabia

Yes, health insurance is mandatory in Saudi Arabia for all residents, including citizens and expatriates. The government has implemented this policy to ensure that individuals have access to quality healthcare services and to ease the financial burden of medical expenses on individuals and families.

The State Health Insurance System in Saudi Arabia

The state health insurance system in Saudi Arabia is known as the “Saudi Arabian Cooperative Health Insurance” (CCHI). It is a comprehensive insurance program that covers both citizens and expatriates. The CCHI aims to provide accessible and affordable healthcare services to all residents of the country.

What Does the State Health Insurance System Cover?

The CCHI system covers a wide range of medical services, including but not limited to:

  1. Inpatient Care: This includes hospitalization, surgeries, and other medical treatments that require admission to a healthcare facility.

  2. Outpatient Care: Outpatient services such as doctor’s consultations, diagnostic tests, and follow-up appointments are covered.

  3. Emergency Services: Emergency medical services are available without any restrictions.

  4. Maternity and Childbirth Services: Prenatal care, childbirth, and postnatal care are covered for expectant mothers.

  5. Chronic Disease Management: Treatment and management of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension are included.

  6. Prescription Medications: Certain prescribed medications are covered by the insurance.

  7. Preventive Care: Preventive services such as vaccinations and screenings are covered to promote wellness.

  8. Dental Care: Some dental services may be covered under specific circumstances.

How to Apply for State Health Insurance in Saudi Arabia

To join the state health insurance system in Saudi Arabia, follow these steps:

  1. Employer Sponsorship (For Expatriates):

    • Expatriates working in Saudi Arabia usually get health insurance through their employers. The employer sponsors and facilitates the insurance coverage.
  2. Individual Application (For Citizens and Expatriates):

    • If you are not covered through your employer, you can apply for individual health insurance.
    • Visit the official website of the Saudi Arabian Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI) and register as a user.
  3. Submit Required Documents:

    • Prepare the necessary documents, which may include a valid passport, residency permit (Iqama), and proof of income or employment.
  4. Choose a Health Insurance Provider:

    • Select a suitable insurance provider from the list of authorized insurers provided on the CCHI website.
  5. Submit the Application:

    • Complete the online application form and submit the required documents to the selected insurance provider.
  6. Payment and Confirmation:

    • Once your application is approved, you will receive the details of your health insurance plan and payment instructions.
  7. Health Insurance Card:

    • After payment, you will be issued a health insurance card that you can use to access medical services.

Advantages of International Private Medical Insurance for Expats

While the state health insurance system in Saudi Arabia provides comprehensive coverage, expatriates may still opt for international private medical insurance for additional benefits and flexibility. Some advantages of international private medical insurance for expats include:

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  1. Extended Coverage: International private medical insurance may offer coverage for medical services and treatments not covered under the state health insurance system.

  2. Access to International Healthcare: Expats with private insurance can access medical facilities and specialists globally, giving them more options for treatment.

  3. Choice of Hospitals: With private insurance, expats may have the flexibility to choose their preferred hospitals or clinics.

  4. Shorter Waiting Times: Private medical insurance often allows for faster appointments and reduced waiting times for medical services.

  5. Family Coverage: Private insurance can offer comprehensive coverage for the entire family, including spouse and dependents.

  6. Repatriation Benefits: Some international insurance plans provide repatriation benefits, which cover the cost of returning to one’s home country for medical treatment.

  7. Multilingual Customer Support: Many international insurers offer customer support in multiple languages, making it easier for expats to communicate their needs and concerns.

  8. Global Coverage: Expats with international insurance can be covered even when they travel outside of Saudi Arabia, providing peace of mind during international trips.


Health insurance in Saudi Arabia is mandatory for all residents, and the state health insurance system, known as the Saudi Arabian Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI), provides comprehensive coverage for medical services. The CCHI aims to ensure accessible and affordable healthcare for all citizens and expatriates. Expatriates can also consider international private medical insurance for additional benefits, extended coverage, and flexibility in healthcare services. It is essential for expats to research and compare different insurance options to find a plan that best suits their individual needs and preferences.

Please note that the information provided in this article is based on general practices related to health insurance in Saudi Arabia, and specific insurance policies and regulations may vary. It is always advisable to refer to official sources and consult with insurance providers for the most accurate and up-to-date information on health insurance in the country.

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